01 October 2009

Knowledge sharing as enabler of rural change

The KM4Dev workshop in Brussels (6-8 October 2009) includes a thematic 'AgHuddle' for people interested in knowledge sharing (KS) and knowledge management (KM) in the agriculture sector.

The second area of discussion will be on enabling processes of rural change.

Beyond our rather structured organizations and their particular concerns, we can see an explosion of interest in the use of ICTs to facilitate different aspects of knowledge sharing and application in and with rural communities - and among the people who interact with them.

While the attention is often focused on the technologies, we can also see many 'knowledge'and 'information' strands: So-called 'innovation systems approaches' explicitly recognize that innovation needs the involvement of different types of organizations and actors - and effective KS, communication and learning among them; there are some efforts to document local content and farmer/community knowledge, catalyzing its exchange among farmers and with others; providers of mobile devices and services seek ways to tap into existing knowledge systems and so offer added value services; various 'question and answer' services have been set up to connect farming communities with expert knowledge and advice; content creators - in research or academia - are looking for ways to translate their knowledge so it will be taken up by rural communities; and we are seeing the emergence of diverse 'infomediaries' offering a range of knowledge access, connecting and brokerage services across different media - radio, video, web, phones, etc.

Some of the questions we will discuss include:
  • How do we effectively work with multiple producers and consumers of knowledge, across cultures and languages and embedded in development processes?
  • How, and how well, do we share knowledge in a fast-moving technical environment where some types of mobile connectivity are growing rapidly, even among the poorest?
  • How do we effectively work in partnerships with diverse actors that have the potential to translate knowledge to action?
We plan to document and share our discussions across the web - and on this blog: Share your ideas and experiences by commenting on this blog.

See also the first area of discussion: 'KS and KM in changing organizations.'

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