October 8, 2009

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Present from the Core group: Bertha, Carl, Ewen, Josien, Lucie, Nancy, Peter, Riff and Sophie (and new members Natalie Campbell, Pete Cranston, Johan Lammers, Ana Maria Ponce and Lilia Efimova)


Core Group-related business

  • New Core group members: add Natalie Campbell, Pete Cranston, Virginie Aimard, Ana Maria Ponce and Lilia Efimova to Core group DGroup
  • Need to act on the people who volunteered to be on the Core group on the NING site (the terminology JOIN is an issue - moderate or approve membership)
  • ACTION: Ask Peter to delete the Core group Group on NING (note: Lucie did it on 11/10)
  • Do we need to ask inactive Core group members if they want off? After a year if no action, we'll ask if we can remove them.


Feedback on This Meeting (KM4dev 2009)

  • Mixture of people as balanced with our practice of experimenting with meeting design
  • Increasingly problematic about how to balance the experiences of long time participants with new participants.
  • So much variety. Diverse needs/ wants (chaos, emergence vs structure and linearity). More complex every time
  • Next time at plan at least one session in the simple domain of methods and tools. Newcomers to know, experiment with others.
  • What is the purpose of this meeting? should we be doing training or offer that separately.
  • Welcome, structured training and then more emergent forms
  • Facilities, etc. were good
  • Need to involve training every year even if it is old for us old timers
  • Mixed feedback on the huddles:
    • No exchange or little exchange between huddles about what came up w/r/t KM/KS, unique, shared with and enriched with other huddles
    • Was an occasion to deepen the conversation/learning within the sectors
    • Some huddles tried to cross pollinate
    • Some were smaller and less successful
    • How to better link
    • How the huddles are formulated
    • Some great conversations, ironic with the siloization of the thematic focus
    • The more cross cutting huddles -- different dynamics. More turn over and varied participants. Struggled.
    • Gender - talking about gender mainstreaming? In KM/KS? In end came with reflection and ways/processes affected by gender.
    • Climate change - very precise outcome about contributions for the next steps designing. Such as e-campaigning.
    • Lack of time for cross pollenization and follow up. Can some of this happen after the event?
    • Perhaps more systematic. More time.
  • More geographic balance and representation as possible. Plan and foster participation.
    • How to do this? Language...
    • Need more visibility for other KM4Dev groups (i.e. francophone, hispanophone)
    • Offers were made on DGroup list for funding support - but people may not be following that to know about the opportunity
    • Pan regionalism supported by different meeting locations
  • Open space - would like more.
  • The need for concrete outputs - something always struggling with.
    • We try to couch this meeting as more experiential/learning from each other vs concrete, concerted outputs.
    • How do we communicate that better? Aren't conversations concrete outputs?
    • How do we reconcile diverse needs and expectations (communicate, process, actions)
    • If you want concrete outputs, you have to make it happens (what to expect/not expect)
    • Also issue of old timers, new timers - facilitation style. Old timers and cultural issues.
    • Concrete outputs are different from having more structure, it's more creating products.
    • Some people need to justify their presence to to boss/organization, especially without a formal agenda
    • Part of the process is communicating rationale to bosses/orgs: why this different context is valuable (as compared to a formal, information dissemination, expert-focused meeting)
  • Should be able to cater to people who want more structure and concrete outcomes. Prepare in advance properly.
  • How do you figure out the participants needs.
  • Have a "Surgery" or KM4Dev clinic with experienced practitioner on the side
  • What is unique about KM4Dev? Do we conform to all the expectations?
  • We can't predict who will show up, who partners invite, so we can say how we'd redo today based on this year's situation may not predict what we should do and what the conditions will be next year.
  • Common elements - what do we do with those who know nothing about KM4dev and what should we do for them each meeting (introduce KM4Dev).
  • For old timers, identify what method/tool/capacity development that we can offer, with some blank spots.
  • John Smith - impressive community meeting, a lot of voluntary contribution, variety of chaos and order. But did not hear assessment on how your practice is performing into he world.
  • FOLLOW UP - ANALYZE and process feedback a bit more.
  • Can we collect expectations in advance (See Reboot conference model)? Would that just get the intra community expectations only? Would newbies engage them?
  • This year was a "chaos" domain event (see Cynefin framework)


Next Meeting

  • Ana Maria - former director of Mountain Forum - connections for a location in the South of France. Chambery near Geneva. The provide meeting facilities. Based on organizational agreements, could co sponsor some of the logistics. Ana could put us in contact with Chambery
  • ILRI at Addis Ababa (Share Fair proposed in Africa, involve UNECA) - could do a back to back (ICT for Dev people Riff knows) IRC has Ethiopia locations
  • UN ECA - UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis
  • Is there a meeting schedule? No schedule. We try once a year. October is quite late. Around June is better.
  • Affordability is an issue.
  • Virginie from UNU has some money to support - could sponsor in Bonn
  • Need a local logistics person on the ground - really who is a KM4Dev person + volunteer
  • Seattle via Nancy
  • Bernard offered Syria/Alleppo (ICARDA)
  • Do we have a list of criteria? Connectivity, lodging, food, meeting room, breakout group
  • Reza - offer to host a meeting in Bangladesh, apparently has some SDC funds
  • ACTION: Bertha to put in a Google doc the different venues like we did in Almada (note: done on 13/10)
  • ACTION: EVALUATE OPTIONS BY NOVEMBER 15th.


Finance

  • IDRC then SDC (130,000 euros in 2008-09) and now ICCO (55,000 euros in 2009-10) providing funding
  • KM4D Associates and Helvetas put in in kind contributions as do Core group.
  • SDC funding (2008-09): engagement - online faciltiation (Lucie) - list facilitation, administration of web, wiki, Dgroup, Ning (support) - the issues that come with all of those
  • diversity element - bringing more regional, N/S diversity (funding participants to the workshop)
  • Increase value of KM4Dev workshops - considered a valued nodal point in the life of the community (support for org, support for attendance in 2008 of core group who couldn't otherwise be there. Otherwise historically self funded.)
  • Online resources - migration and updating of online resources
  • Governance - review, articulate governance model, operational management
  • 2009: pay for media wiki update/upgrade and move some of the resources from England to a new host in brussels. (England - secure but expensive)
  • ACTION: Can we see a budget sheet? (Problem of working across three org budgeting cycles)


SDC budget breakdown 18 months of engagement (really over 21 months):

  • Facilitation/coordination (about 3 days per week)- 60K
  • Workshops - 25 K
  • Online resources - 30K
  • Governance - 15K


ICCO Funding - transition time (Helvetas administers KM4Dev funding) (contract does not specify if 1 or 2 years. Expectation is 55K over 2 years)

  • Facilitation - 25K
  • Workshop - (this one - 10K - scholarships)
  • Online content revision - 5K (wiki housekeeping, and tool linkages)
  • Seed funding - 15K emerging ideas and pilots (3 x 5K)


  • IKM Emergent - KM4D Journal 10K euros funded by IKM Emergent and 20K to Francophone KM4Dev meeting
  • What do we need going forward?
  • We value diverse funders
  • Would it be useful to describe these on a wiki page for the membership and other potential donors to engage them in future activities. I.E. IFAD may be interested in regional chapters (Chase).
  • ACTION: UNFINISHED BUSINESS - Report to SDC by end of November. Need to follow up on this (who? how?)
  • What kind of reporting or evaluation do we want to make? What can we do realistically in the next 6 weeks. Our current effort stalled. No one took leadership/initiative.
  • We don't need to tie a larger assessment to the SDC final report. Careful about being over-ambitious. It gets too big on our shoulders.
  • Hire an intern to write down the story?
  • How to involve other members in this? Keep visibility of these tasks in the larger community and engage and spread out the work, be cautions of over dependence on just a small handful of core group members
  • Quantify voluntary contributions? Make it visible!
  • Where are the assets - what is the contracting authority for the domain name, etc. Helvetas. There is no institutional formality for KM4Dev. we maintain our squishiness.
  • Philosophical conversations about how much money is sufficient for our CoP and how much is too much. Afraid of losing some essential elements of informality and organicness if we structure too much or too much money kill the voluntary nature of the community. The fact that people believe it in. We have had bad experiences of this in other networks. Important questions to address.
  • Conversely if there is not some leadership at the center to support volunteers the volunteering doesn't happen. Chaos to complex environment.
  • We have to address this so we know how to seek and respond to opportunities.
  • Riff likes the idea of more resources, but not too much. I.E. funding a workshop in the south which has additional costs. Not a trivial decision w/r/t carbon footprints.


Technology

  • NING - pros, far more stable as a platform than our old platform, it functions, it is a social networking platform - user friendly and good for a community. A tool which wasn't what we had before(a CMS)
  • Cons - people can do a lot of stuff, put information in a lot of places. That is what is happening now. Other than the decoder that Nancy sent for this meeting giving some advice of what to do where. We need to do that for the NING site. Jaap putting photos of his kids on the NING. IS that KM4Dev? * Purpose, boundaries, openness, closedness, netiquette, explain better, good practices - if you want to do this, that is a good space. We'd have to repeat it. Bandwidth, but also most of the people approving on the NING are from the South.
  • The discussion tool is extremely annoying - email that send notice that there is a new message, but not the content. You have to log in to see it.
  • Social web mania - even within the NING platform, all the places you can create things are use. One person created a group for the event. One created an event for the group. Fragmented. And we were actually using the wiki!!! Then people created huddles on NING -- where to do what?
  • On NING you create an event on event page, can say attending yes/no. Then someone created a Facebook event where you can do the same thing. Different people on different platforms. Then registration on Ning, using PayPal. All these places that say "yes I'm attending" but none that matter until you paid.
  • NING intention - mash up what we have. Wiki, Dgroups as core. Then we have the Journal software - used for preparation of Journal.
  • NING is a closed platform. Difficult to bring content from outside without cross posting. Facebook you can actually plug in external content.
  • Wiki page URL change destroyed our wiki Google juice
  • ACTIONS:
    • create some guidance on specific actions
    • spidergram?
    • Ask questions on the DGroup list
    • Event - event manager
    • (Discussions, content management, wiki)
    • NEED TO TALK TO RIFF ABOUT WIKI UPGRADE - implications for our current problems with our wiki in terms of URLs, restore old ones, etc.)
    • RIFF PLEASE bring up decisions to the core group, not just act on it without opportunity for others participation - as we have some experiments
    • Jaap and Nancy to be added as NING admin beyond Lucie - can we rectify any of our identified issues. Share some stewardship (note: done on 11/10)
    • ACTION: make sure we evaluate NING use at one year (next Spring) and clarity for what we are using
    • Tab for Wiki on NING (note: done on 13/10)
    • Clean up wiki (Nancy and Lucie)
    • Lucie to point to page why this platform was selected. Here it is: http://wiki.km4dev.org/wiki/index.php/KM4Dev_Technology_Assessment_Group_Work_Area
    • Lucie to ensure that footers on Dgroup messages that link to the right places
    •  ? to talk to the guy from Telecenter.org who sent a message to the link. Partha Sarker (in the KM4dev list Ning thread). They use NING with a trilingual community. Look and see what they have done.
  • We need to be more up to date on DGroups evolution
  • People always never find things on any website - how to reconcile diverse needs
  • Always going to be a techie saying another platform is better
  • Systematically link between Ning and wiki
  • Stopped sending out monthly "legacy system" email. How do to what. Maybe should start again?