September 26, 2006

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Present

  • Erik
  • Lucie
  • Simone
  • Camilo
  • Nancy
  • Urs
  • Allison
  • Giulio
  • Marc


Agenda

  • Update on short term, IDRC involution
  • KM for Dev represents for me… I would love to see KM4dev doing
  • KM4Dev - Formal or informal?
  • Discussion on scenarios
  • Next steps


General Updates

  • Sebastiao is considering resigning from the Core Group. Nancy will write him a bit later this week (it has been on my to do list.)


Update on short term/IDRC Involution

  • Two issues – short term, one medium to long term. The latest on short term is Lucie has signed another contract through March 2007. Michael Roberts, interim ED, managed to get KM4Dev as a program, rather than operational expense. As a program, theoretically, if there is still support from program director, there is no problem in writing off the cost because it is programmatic.
  • The process for Bellanet to be part of IDRC inside of ICT4D has been accelerated. The director of the program area, Richard Fuchs is leaving that position soon. He wants to ensure the transition of Bellanet before he leaves. A prospectus is being drafted through 2011, with staff involvement. Latest draft contains references to KM4Dev support. Don’t know who will replace Fuchs. Michael’s (supporting) role may be different in the involuted IDRC. Still lots of variables and hard to predict the outcomes.
  • How much support is there at the IDRC director level for KM4Dev. Probably less awareness at higher levels, but strong support from Michael.
  • Consequences for our planning – perhaps defer our decision making, but we should keep working on ideas.


Visualizing KM4Dev

KM for Dev represents for me…

  • A bank, to make people share expertise and information
  • One of my important CoPs, a place of learning
  • Steady stream of water on to mill. Even if I don’t read all the messages, I know KM4Dev is alive. It keeps moving, the engine
  • In many different ways it is a resource mobilization pool; knowledge, experience, advice, opinions, human resources, mandates, all kinds of things I can mobilize.
  • A great network of professionals in knowledge sharing, network to check ideas, get new ideas, be connected to others, I’ve taken a lot of energy out of it, fresh ideas.
  • A wonder. Still can’t believe it is still working, and how incredible it is. To think there is a community like that. An inspiration, support group, Marc’s safe harbor.
  • My main professional association, CoP, the closest to an association for the work I do.
  • A connection to the outside world, useful to be connected to people interested in the same things I am. International connection.
  • Link to outside world. People who focus on KM in Canada don’t have the international perspective and international might not have the KS perspective. Linked to people who are focused on learning, tech, communication, facilitation, networks.
  • Constant reminder there is a world outside my own little job. Others struggling with same issues, and they are doing interesting work I can learn from. Useful reminder there is more than my little box.
  • Fun group

I would love to see KM4dev doing...

  • Debate actor promoting discussions in developing research, launching books, workshops and events
  • More of what it is doing. I like what it is doing
  • More of the same; the steady pool, safe harbor in a rocky environment, even if you don’t see it often. You need it when you need to refurbish and get going again.
  • Do more in consolidating existing information. A lot of things on the list are repeated. Should consolidate a bit more. At the same time try to become a bit more thought leader in the field of knowledge sharing. If we do always the same, members will withdraw. To keep it attractive have to launch new ideas.
  • A continued people with enthusiasm to do certain things, stepping forward, wanting to do projects, journal, wiki. Not necessarily us coming up with it, but the members of the community and bring the passion to do it.
  • Agree with everyone else. What it is doing now and more. More collaboration amongst members. I think it is going on, but it is not as visible. Happens around the journal collaborating on article. Possibility for collaborating on projects. Wiki, FAQ, delivering workshops, conducting joint workshops, etc.
  • Do some social network mapping of KM4Dev members, doing interviews and put them on. Interesting members. Could be conversation starters on different topics. A monthly newsletter on what we have thought, summarize discussions, keep people up to date who don’t read all the posts. Projects like the one we were talking about with Lucie, Allison and others during Brighton – joining efforts across orgs to do the training kit.
  • Doing more of what we are doing, but differently. Like to see people within KM4Dev taking more risks. It still feels like an environment where people are afraid to take risk, put themselves out there. Great that UNDP put out their A-Z community guide asking for review. Beneficial to UNDP and to individuals taking part in the exercise. Worthwhile process. See more of the F2F events, walking the talk.
  • Already get a lot out of KM4Dev. Ideally would like to see more representation of the voices from the South, people working from the field. Always amazed reading messages, how many experiences are out there. Tried many times, but have not been proactive sharing what we’ve been doing. Perhaps has to do with the risk issue. Share what they are doing in a more effective way.

Debrief: The diversity of the experiences of KM4Dev and the different ideas of what it should be. What shall we do with these ideas? (Missed a bit while responding to a client IM). People get out of it what they put in and want out of it. Get a sense of core group ideas, and are they heading towards more formalization or a more open model, people do what they want to do with KM4Dev as a vehicle. Heard a lot of that. Some ideas that would require time and resources. Maybe we need to consider if that requires something more formal; responsibilities to produce them. Would a formalized KM4Dev enable us to do this? Sometimes what people said made me react with a yes or a no, so a bit confusing on formalizing.

Consider using these sorts of evocative questions with the community at some point?

Action?

  • Raises the issue that there are no formal means for making decisions. Who has ownership of doing follow up from Core Group? We are informal. Reflection of where we are at now.


KM4Dev - Formal or informal? Discussion

  • What would a more formal KM4Dev look like? What would change? Do we have to be up front about who the core members are, list them and their responsibilities; transparent governance. Do we need to have regular meetings, guidelines for how we work? Regularity? Predictable means of discussing and deciding.
  • Why make life difficult if it has worked so far? Why change if we are happy?
  • Which harbor to choose? One with nice facilities. What kind of possibilities in the harbor, not if it is a privately owned harbor, or a foundation. What kind of tools/facilities do we need for the community to work well. KM4Dev needs a strong harbor. Right now it is uncertain because of changes at Bellanet and IDRC.
  • Support to KM4Dev – two elements, money from IDRC the other is IDRC as host. Host/funder 2 different things.
  • Are we taking a community perspective in this conversation or a management/organizational perspective and what implications does that have in our conversations and decision making?
  • How are we accountable to and listening from and asking into the community? What do we want to do there.
  • Remind ourselves that much of the community loses track that there is a core group and what it does. Is this good or do we want to make core group more visible.
  • Community may not be aware that there are people doing things on their behalf.
  • If we rotate hosts, that might change the nature of the community.
  • Analyze what formality there is already. There is a core group. Sub groups working on projects. Journal. Already some level of formalization, but it may not be transparent to the community. Map all of these hub groups and put it on the website, tell people what is happening. It is already there. Get some feedback from community about the level of current formality/informal and transparency. If we need to pitch for budget, then what kind of formalization that requires.
  • What about more engagement with the community on this issue?
  • Collect input from who are you stuff, do some analysis, send back to community, linking to the website with section on About KM4Dev. This is a picture of what we are right now. Invite participation on some regular basis.
  • That might wake sleeping dogs. Current KM4Dev is free of covetness as it is clear there is nothing to get with regard to funds. It is with Bellanet. Afraid of certain questions opening a can of worms. They see different stakes then currently.
  • If it is working, why to change? Rather spend time visualizing different activities, encouraging brainstorming, see who is available to lead activities. More exciting than dialog about organizational structure.
  • Electronic open space to come up with ideas of what people can, want to do, want to lead.


Summarize and Next Steps

  • Nancy share notes and others add in/correct as needed
  • Lucie summarize the ideas that came out of the profiles, put on website and invite reactions – needs more discussion on Core Group list. Lucie will take a first draft at it and see what we get. Will integrate today’s comments.
  • Draft letter to knew IDRC/Bellanet leader to share how important KM4Dev has been on us. Giulio take lead.
  • Share out a summary of our meeting to the community. Summary of minutes on the wiki. Allison