CTLab:KM4Dev Tech Inventory 2012

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We are working through a structured set of questions based on the Action Notebook from chapter 10 of "Digital Habitats". See also notes in the Discussion tab above.


Purpose of KM4Dev

From home page of km4dev.org (also repeated in email footer):

"Knowledge Management for Development (KM4Dev) is a community of international development practitioners who are interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing issues and approaches. Our main communication forum is the KM4dev Dgroup."


Community Characteristics

1. Where is your community in its lifecycle?

From the recent "Internally Focused Conversation" launched by Jasmin Suministrado:

"Our community has grown from just 650 people in 2008 to now more than 2500 members coming from 114 countries and a widerange of sectors and development fields. We’ve seen the evolution of our activities from sporadic exchanges of emails and organizing events in North America and Europe to intensive conversations on the mailing list and Ning group, contributing as one community to other large projects (e.g. for the knowledge sharing toolkit and for Global Share Fairs) and organizing multi-lingualand regional KM4Dev events. Indeed, our growth has been tremendous, fuelled by the growing interest of members to do better KM work with greater impact on development."

KM4Dev's technology platform was last reviewed in 2008 when a decision was taken to adopt NING alongside DGroups.

  • How do we assess the community's current state of readiness for change? Is it comfortable in its current technology configuration? Is it stable and adapting (needing some new tools) or Growing and Restless (ready to add new functionality to its tool configuration)?


2. How diverse is the community?

  • What are the different types of members and what are their levels of participation?
  • How spread apart are we in terms of location and time zones?
  • What language(s) do members use?
  • What other cultural or other diversity aspects may affect our technology choices?


3. Openness: How connected to the outside world is your community?

  • How much do you want to control the boundaries of your community?
  • How does your community need to interact with other communities?


Community Attitudes Toward Technology

4. Technology savvy: What are your community’s technology interests and skills?

  • How interested is your community in technology?
  • What is their capacity for learning new tools?
  • What is the range of skills? If their interests and/or skills are diverse, could it cause conflict or distraction?


5. Technology tolerance: What is your community’s patience with technology?

  • How tolerant are members of the adoption of a wide variety of tools?
  • How many technological boundaries are they willing to cross—for example, sign in to more than one web-based tool, learn to use new tools, or give up old favorites? (This helps you understand what level of integration you need.)


6. Technology factors: What constraints are imposed by technology factors?

  • What are your members’ technology constraints (e.g., bandwidth, operating systems, etc.)?
  • How much time are members able to be online and from where (office, home, field)? Some people have limited online time, or are able to be online only in specific locations. Others are always on. Very diverse situations can affect participation.