Sample editorial

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Back to the Editor Handbook: [1] (This is a sample editorial from vol. 7, issue 1 - May 2011. It is presented here just as a reference, not as a template to follow)


It is with great pleasure that we are publishing this Special Issue: Beyond the conventional boundaries of knowledge management: navigating the emergent pathways of learning and innovation for international development. One of the objectives of the journal when it was started in 2005 was ‘facilitating cross-fertilization between knowledge management and related fields’ by acting as a ‘broad church’ (Ferguson and Cummings 2005). Indeed, one of the objectives was to bring the approaches of innovation management for development (IM4Dev) and knowledge management for development (KM4D) closer together so that they could better inform each other although, in the language that we had available to us in 2005, we called this agricultural knowledge systems rather than IM4Dev or innovation systems. To quote from one of the unpublished background documents (2005):

It will aim to facilitate cross-fertilization between knowledge management and related fields: for example information management, but also with other development-related approaches: agricultural knowledge systems, soft systems research, and other relevant ‘traditions’.

The rationale for bringing these two approaches closer together was that we thought at the time, intuitively, that KM4D with its roots in the private, non-development sector, could benefit from the insights of an approach which was grounded in development and which we had also identified as home-grown knowledge management. It is also fascinating to see how the different phases in IM4Dev correspond with those different generations of KM4D as you can read in the Editorial from the Guest Editors above.

One of the advantages of the IM4Dev approach is that it is focused outside organisations while one of the limitations of KM4D has been that, because it comes originally from the private sector, it was originally focused on knowledge inside organisations. Indeed, one of the original criticisms of knowledge-based aid from King (2000, cited in Kalseth and Cummings 2001, p. 163) is still, to some extent, valid:

The agencies have not started with the dramatic knowledge deficits of the South, nor with the key question of how knowledge management could assist knowledge development in the South. A continuation along their current trajectory will arguably be counter-productive; it will make agencies more certain of what they themselves have learnt, and more enthusiastic that others should share their insights, once they have been systematised.

IM4Dev, and the approaches in encompassed in it will help us to counteract this tendency. We also hope that the Community Note in this issue on the development knowledge ecology will play a role on focusing attention of KM4D outside the internal functioning of organisations.

We would like to thank all the authors in this issue and also the colleagues who have reviewed the papers behind the scenes. Particular thanks are also due to team of Guest Editors, Laurens Klerkx, Laxmi Prasad Pant and Cees Leeuwis, for pulling together a very interesting Special Issue.

Finally, we would like to welcome two new members to the journal team. First, we would like to welcome Patrick Lambe to the Editorial Board of the journal. Patrick is the author of Organising Knowledge (Chandos 2007), an Adjunct Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and founder of KM consulting firm, Straits Knowledge. He blogs at Second, we welcome Denise Senmartin as a new Senior Editor. She was previously a colleague at the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and is currently undertaking a PhD at Doctoral Programme on Information and Knowledge Society at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of the Open University of Catalonia, Spain. A warm welcome to you both.

Sarah Cummings, Ewen le Borgne, Ivan Kulis, Lucie Lamoureux and Denise Senmartin Editors, Knowledge Management for Development Journal

References - (2005) Scope note for new journal proposal. Proposed title: Proposed title: Knowledge Management for Development Journal (KM4DJ). Unpublished, 2pp. Kalseth, K. and S. Cummings (2001) Knowledge management: development strategy or business strategy? Information Development 17, 163-171 Ferguson, J. and S. Cummings (2005) Like a duck to water: the KM4D Journal. Knowledge Management for Development Journal 1(1): p.3-5 (Accessed February 2011)