Monday, January 19, 2009

“What is the added value that knowledge sharing can give to your organisation?”-questions posed at Share Fair opening ceremony by Nadia Manning-Thomas

During the Opening Ceremony of the Share Fair-now underway at FAO HQ in Rome- Jim Butler, Deputy Director-General, FAO asked the question:
What is the added value that knowledge sharing brings/can bring to your organisation?
This question was posed to the people sitting at the Head Table of the Opening Ceremony.

Paul Larsen, Director of External Relations-WFP:
Paul talked about the importance of knowledge sharing within the work of the World Food Programme.

Emile Frison, Director General, Bioversity International:
Emile talked about the importance of knowledge sharing in strengthening collaboration and building synergies, especially in a time when we should all be working together more towards finding solutions to today’s even more pressing problems.

He stressed that knowledge sharing is a matter of culture which requires commitment at all levels to make it work and be useful. He gave some key examples from his organisation of how they are using knowledge sharing including:
  • A Planning week to bring together all staff and using ‘Speed dating to ensure they get to know each other and share what they are doing’
  • All their research is done through partnerships
  • Involvement in networks
  • Using CG MAP- a new application developed by the ICT-KM Program to collate all research project information and allows searching
He concluded by mentioning that we are currently at a time of re-shaping and re-building a new CGIAR and that this a prime opportunity to build knowledge sharing into our new way of working and culture

Enrica Porcari, Chief Information Officer, CGIAR:
Enrica pointed out that while the CGIAR works mostly on the knowledge generation side it has recognised the importance of knowledge sharing for not only improving how it works but in getting knowledge that is generated to be applied.

In answering the question posed she replied that ” we can’t do without knowledge sharing. When people complain that they don’t have enough time to do anything else or new, we tell them that what we are doing is finding smarter ways of doing things!”

Rodney Cooke, IFAD:
Mr. Cooke opened his statement by saying that knowledge sharing is an absolute requirement for the work of IFAD. It is necessary for leveraging and up-scaling of knowledge of IFAD stakeholders to make a difference. He said that people look to IFAD to be innovative as new solutions are needed for improvements in rural areas. But these solutions must build on what has been learned- both successes and failures. He concluded by saying that IFAD’s development efforts depend on knowledge capacities of IFAD and its partners.

Anton Mangstl, Director- Knowledge Exchange and Capcity Building Division, FAO:
Anton stated that FAO had made a number of changes in its structure and way of working driven by the need to provide all staff with an enabling environment for sharing knowledge and learning. This has been strengthened by the new position of Deputy Director General for Knowledge. He ended his statement by saying that to do more and better we need the help of new technologies.

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