10 January 2007

Rural knowledge management

A recent briefing note from the Linking Local Learners (LLL) project argues that "Rural Knowledge Management Pays Off" - in terms of increases in farmer income in Tanzania.

Some lessons learned include: "knowledge management is communication between learners that keeps ‘know-how’ alive by sharing and innovating for their own use. It is a continuous cycling of the tacit knowledge of peer to peer exchange and written explicit knowledge of experiences and practice."

"One key to success that we have learned in knowledge utilization is the maintenance of an unbreakable link between the idea or ‘know-how’ and the person who knows it. This allows other learners to contact the right person to re-invent how to do it for themselves in their own unique circumstances."

"Perhaps the biggest mistake we have learned from was that we did not properly include radio in the communication triangle of mobile phones – internet – radio."

"Perhaps then the greatest challenge facing us all is how public institutions can nurture the development of private enterprises that will take over to sustain and scale up the benefit flows to small farmers."

"The time has come for some experiments in private-public partnerships on knowledge management services for small farmer development"

As part of its efforts to link farmers to markets, the Linking Local Learners project in Tanzania integrates "online peer exchanges with face-to-face action learning processes" that bring together producers and key players in market chains to the benefit all parties. "Knowledge consolidation of local field experiences occurs through local stories, interviews with practitioners and policy briefs."




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