KM4Dev Core Group Meeting - 2011-12-02

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There was only one item to discuss, the proposed 2012 Workplan [1] for the IFAD-funded KM4Dev project


Meeting of the KM4Dev Core Group and representatives of IFAD (Willem Bettink and Roxanna Samii), 02 December 2011


The discussion was held via Skype voice, with notes taken informally by various participants. The main points are listed below.

From the IFAD side, there is a general agreement with the plan, with some minor comments and suggestions, including:

Social Networking Analysis IFAD would like to learn from SNA, so it would be appreciated when this is organised to find a way to include IFAD as observers of the process. SNA should look into roles/identities in the SIWA and SA-GE communities as well.

The KS and Harvesting Events To the extent that IFAD projects can be connected to km4dev, it would be beneficial, so it would be great to capitalize on opportunities to do this in the context of such events (e.g. Projects could be approached for possible topics to harvest, especially in Asia and Africa, but also LAC)

In terms of engagement of an IFAD CoP, Willen and Roxy will communicate further with Nancy on this. W&R will also get back to us on IFAD regional contacts,

Innovation Fund It looks ready to go without modifications.

TAG Process W&R wanted more clarity on the idea of TAG process. This prompted the following exchange:

Ewen Le Borgne: Riff: The tech stewardship idea implies revisiting the TAG (tech advisory group) to review experiences w/ e.g. Ning etc.
Peter J. Bury: Maarten, Mark and Peter are working on a KM4Dev administration guide
Ewen Le Borgne: In the process, pull out some general learning that could help people into tech in other technologies etc. to decide what tools to use
Peter J. Bury: in the making, first draft early 2012
Ewen Le Borgne: tools in a community context e.g. technical & non-technical issues, ensuring that community needs are central and drive tech decisions etc.
Peter J. Bury: the guide will cover all forms of webpresence from dlist, Ning all the way to FB and linkedin
Peter J. Bury: The guide will also address what platform is meant for what and what the role of the admins cq. facilitators cq. volunteer managers is
Ewen Le Borgne: We need to widen the group of tech-focused folks as well so that the learning benefits a larger group
Peter J. Bury: the guide will also suggest different levels of admin, regular monthly volunteers, superadmins and such
Ewen Le Borgne: What role have people played in promoting the tools, where/when should tools be integrated etc. how does technology follow the community rather than reinforce tech silos...
Peter J. Bury: all for discussion of course once the draft is available
Ewen Le Borgne: Roxy: Can this link also with SA-GE and SIWA?
Peter J. Bury: will we and how include the role of SAGE and SIWA (currently separate silos)
Peter J. Bury: is SIWA seeing itself as a hispano KM4Dev?
Peter J. Bury: what about SAGE, Ewen?
Peter J. Bury: KM4Dev social network analysis should look into this
Peter J. Bury: Ewen can you identify the tech person in SAGE?
riff.fullan.helvetas: TAG members would be identified within km4dev, then would contact Helen, Chase and Roxy for them to get engaged at an early stage.
Ewen Le Borgne: Ewen: I commit to finding one person interested in joining the tech conversation from the SA-GE perspective

Sharefairs Funding for a regional sharefair would need to be raised, so the date/location and core organisers are not yet fixed, but the KM4Dev Core Group should discuss this with FAO and IFAD,

Fail Fair The thinking is: Ideas and concepts that have failed should be introduced in a safe, protected environment because of the taboos: one idea would be to start internally (e.g., within IFAD and/or FAO) and then progressively open up to an exchange among Rome-based agencies?

[14:28:52] Pete Cranston: Description of a Failfair - closed session Like many people, I have learnt at least as much from failure as from success. Yet, while we trumpet our successes it is much rarer for people to share experiences of things that went wrong, projects which didn't achieve all of their goals, decisions that caused problems. We know why: sharing negative experiences are risky, it is embarassing, it can be career suicide, it is prevented by other people. When failure is discussed it is often about other projects, other people rather than those of us who have been at the centre of the situation talking about what happened, why we think it happened and what we learnt.

So we are inviting people to come to a closed session and learn from each others stories of failure - big or small. It is closed in the sense that there will be no reports, no video interviews, no tweets: people will be welcome as long as they have at least one story to share of a failure in which they were personally involved. We aren't looking for a finger-pointing session (if only he had listened to me!) but honest reports from survivors who've learnt.

We will work in small groups, sharing our stories and our lessons, and then we will go away wiser and humbler

Come and join us.

Ewen Le Borgne: Fail fair: yes the idea would indeed be to start in a safe environment and ensure commitment to come to the fail fair if you have a failure to discuss
Ewen Le Borgne: Roxy: What would be the role of KM4Dev in this fail fair? --> Roxy: that of a facilitator

Peter J. Bury: I participated a bit in some of these platforms on mistakes:
Peter J. Bury:
riff.fullan.helvetas: W: failure not a helpful word, maybe re-think the terminology/marketing

Peter J. Bury: have a look at

Ana Maria Ponce: I agree on changing the name
Peter J. Bury: also this blog
Ewen Le Borgne: Hey, very topical link (on the fail fair):

M&E Group Willem would be happy to join the M&E group

riff.fullan.helvetas: Dear all, just to summarize: on the km4dev core group discussion, we will clarify who from that group will be involved with which aspects, the specific activities that need to happen in the short term (e.g. ToRs, etc.), who needs to be contacted (@IFAD, and in wider community), so we can hit the ground running in 2012.
riff.fullan.helvetas: Key is to announce clearly and early on to the wider community how people can self-identify for various activities.