Capacity Building and Training in Knowledge Sharing and Management: The Knowledge Expedition Approach

From KM4Dev Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Workshop Main Page

KE Project Session Information

Title of the Project

Capacity Building and Training in Knowledge Sharing and Management: The Knowledge Expedition Approach

Project leader

Simone Staiger, CIAT/CGIAR ICT-KM Project (Colombia) and Allison Hewlitt, Bellanet/IDRC (Canada)

Brief description

The Knowledge Expedition initiative will generate methodological processes that can be followed, adopted, and adapted by development workers to address common and specific challenges. The main intended output is a set of materials that illustrate identified and shared challenges and how experiences in the use of KS approaches can help in addressing those challenges.

The KM4Dev 2007 workshop project idea is to benefit from the Knowledge Expeditions concept as a complementary approach for the development of KS curriculum (also a project idea being explored during the workshop).

After piloting and debriefing on a proposed approach to a Knowledge Expedition, the KE team – those who have signed up to take part in the project session - will embark on their expeditions, meeting with workshop participants to elicit their experiences in addressing common and specific challenges related to one of the KE themes. The expeditions will be assessed and documented using different media like wikis, podcasting, video streaming, etc. Patterns will be sought out and revisions to the process and documentation approaches will be made. Translation into training modules will be discussed as well as a plan for their delivery.

The goal of the KE project session can be summarized as follows:

  1. To generate a palette of methodologies that could be followed, adopted, and adapted by development workers to address common and specific challenges. The main intended output is a set of materials that illustrate how experiences in the use of KS approaches can help others make an informed choice about which method to use in which situation.
  2. To start to develop a process guide that could eventually be drawn on independently by those seeking to conduct knowledge expeditions in other times and places.
  3. To experiment with new online tools and practices for documenting the process, and for leaving a substantial memory trace accessible to others.

Current stage

Early project development stage

Estimated work time needed

9 hours


KS training modules that illustrate methodological processes to deal with pressing challenges faced by knowledge workers in the development community.

Experience/skills sought in potential collaborators for the project

We are looking to collaborate with anyone who is excited about the initiative but also for individuals who are:

  • Development workers having experienced the challenge, who are willing to share their stories, and who tried to address the challenge with KS approaches,
  • Peers to react and to help to work on the story,
  • Training and/or storytelling specialists and/or facilitators to guide the development of the module,
  • Media specialists to document the process.

Logistical needs

Connectivity, laptops, Video equipment, TV, Audio equipment

What would you like to see come out from the workshop?

From this workshop, we would like to produce, in a participatory manner, materials needed for the development of KS training modules including stories and methodologies captured as well as an outline for the modules, and a plan for their delivery.

Sign-up sheet

(to participate in this session, please write * Your name):

  • Simone Staiger ;-)
  • Jane Carter
  • Riff Fullan
  • Tesfaye Beshah
  • Dorine Ruter
  • Munyaradzi Saruchera
  • Sarah Barry
  • Arthur van Leeuwen
  • Christian Kreutz
  • Ewen Le Borgne
  • Peter J. Bury (alias profbury)
  • Esther Germans
  • Ronald Lutalo
  • Nancy White as bumblebee between project 5
  • Samantha Hargreaves
  • Anne Simmons-Benton
  • Allison Hewlitt
  • Axel Roduit
  • Petr Kosina (as bumblebee between project 5 as well)

Please sign up to the KE dgroup where conversations on the KE project session are underway.

KE Project Working Session Outline

Planning on the Project Session is taking place here: KE Process and Documentation Planning

Workshop Documentation

The workshop was documented in a number of ways. If you took part in the workshop or are just interested in knowing what we did, you can add to or check out the following:

Knowledge Expedition at the KM4Dev workshop in the Netherlands, June 2007: A future story, written by Simone

During this year’s workshop of the Knowledge Management for Development Community a newly energized set of self-organizing learning alliances set out a first step towards the knowledge expeditions: a purposeful exploration of the equipment that a knowledge worker needs to respond to common development challenges.

Monday, June 18

The group gathers in the Knowledge Expedition meeting room. Chairs are organized in a circle. Victoria, a storytelling specialist and the facilitator of this workshop welcomes the entering participants. The room seems ready for an event where multimedia has a role to play. It looks like there will be video and sound recording going on. Mary, a photographer is ready to take some shots and Camilo will take notes for the written documentation. Beverly is sitting on a chair with a laptop. She tells me that she is in charge of the documentation of this session which will be videotaped, and podcasted: “After the workshop, we will work virtually together to design, and develop knowledge sharing training modules”, she says. “The KM4Dev community has the project to pool its knowledge and make it available to a larger community”. Simone is coming in. She is one of the Knowledge Expedition workshop coordinators. I ask her to tell me more: “This project is a complementary track to the KM/KS4Dev curriculum project which is upon to start in the room next door. While they will work on basic KS training modules, we will be collecting practitioner’s experiences through stories, that will illustrate the modules”, she says. “The groups will interact as much as possible during the workshop in order to take into account new ideas that emerge at both ends.”

When everybody is ready, Victoria introduces Mukishi, a development worker from Tanzania. Mukishi will share a story with the group about her work on the development of market opportunities through the application of innovative knowledge sharing approaches. It is CARE that brought Mukishi to the workshop. “We are very interested in setting up training programs on knowledge sharing and management”, says Mare, KS adviser at CARE.

Victoria explains the process of this workshop: Victoria will interview Mukishi and the group will then engage in conversations that turn around Mukishi’s story, and the participants related experiences.

During the next hour and a half, I discover what a storytelling specialist is able to do: Victoria engages Mikushi in a fascinating dialogue that turns around her experience in the field. Victoria manages to keep the conversation focused on the people, what difference the KS approaches made to the collaboration and the results of the projects. A big chunk of the session is about Mukishi’s experience with knowledge fairs as a way to engage farmers.

After the break, Victoria opens the floor to the whole group of 15 participants. Mukishi's experience remains the focal point around which the discussion unfolds. Ruff, who sits beside me, mentions that the process is almost like a peer assist, and he seems very excited about the process. At the end of the session Victoria invites for a last round of short comments. Mukishi thanks the group for the opportunity to tell her story and the fruitful discussion. “It was interesting to share with people who know a lot about participatory processes. I have the feeling I could give some of my field experience and that this was useful to the group”.

Day one is over. I go to see Mukishi to thank her for sharing her experience. I ask Beverly how it went: “We got so much material to work with! I think we captured a lot of good stuff. The people from the curriculum group saw some excerpts and got very excited about the possible links between both approaches.” I ask Allison how she sees the knowledge expeditions to develop further: “This is a first small, but important step,” she says. Through the knowledge expeditions, and experiences like the one Mukishi shared with us, we would like to engage with interested development practitioners in a long-term inquiry process, where we would work in a perpetual learning loop - meeting, learning, going out and testing, coming back to share and so on.” Allison invites Adrian to add something. Adrian works for SDC, who co-funded this project. “SDC was present when the knowledge expedition concept emerged, and we wanted to support this pilot initiative. For the SDC it is important to contribute to strengthen the network of KS practitioners of international development organizations, and to contribute to capacity building efforts in the area of knowledge sharing.

Tomorrow is the next round of the workshop. This time Jonas will share his experience. It is on Headquarter-regional relationships in development organization, a more institutional issue. The knowledge expedition team calls this theme “the fire of the field”. I am looking forward to it.