FAO TKN Review

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This is a space where we can post our ideas for the development of a framework and methodology for the TKN review:

The plan so far on the TKN review is to:

  1. Compile and research CoP M&E reports/methodologies and post them on a Dgroup. This has started and we have added you to the Dgroup.
  2. Start to build a framework and series of questions for focus groups to be conducted on 11-13 December using a wiki. This is the bulk of the activities we hope to concentrate on during the week of 3 December.
  3. Plan for focus group sessions and send out e-mail invitations with follow-up by telephone. Kristen will have to take the lead on this as she is best situated and knows the players.
  4. Run a series of focus group sessions with select TKNs on 11-13 December at FAO/HQ in Rome facilitated by Lucie. Lucie already has a game plan for these, but we will need to figure out who is available (note from Lucie: what game plan? :-))

The proposed timeline is:

Dec 3 week: research CoP M&E reports/methodologies, post them on Dgroup, read though them and build framework/indicator/questions for focus group on the wiki, develop methodology

Dec 10 week: finalize methodology, have focus group session(s) in Rome to gather data

Dec 17 week: update wiki with data and start analyzing results

List of TKNs

A. Actual or nascent Thematic Knowledge Networks (TKN):

  1. Agricultural water: (AGLW Chief: Pasquale Steduto) [Note: Virginie Gillet has left the organization]
  2. Avian influenza: Sabine Michiels. Senior officer: Anni McLeod
  3. Bio-energy: Geraud Servin (in Brussels). NRCE Chief: Jeff Tschirley. (Note: also Krell, Nyberg, Juergens, Jenin. Andreas Brandt is new.)
  4. E-Agriculture: Charlotte Masiello (away week of review), Matthias Trager. KCEF Chief: Stephen Rudgard.
  5. Plant protection: Field Trainers Network. Manuela Allara (AGPP Chief: Peter Kenmore)
  6. Urban forestry: Michelle Gauthier
  7. FSN forum: Huyen Tran (they are doing an online review of their forum this week)

B. Internal Communities of practice:

  1. Delivering as One(UN): Hans Page. No senior officer to invite. Suggested member: Peter Vandor.
  2. FAO Representatives Network: Siham Drissi. Simone Borelli, Dario Gilmozzi.
  3. Negotiation: Jean Balie
  4. Communicators: Tina Farmer. Denise Melvin, Stephane Jost. No senior officer involved.
  5. AGROVOC e-conference: Margherita Sini, Gudrun Johannsen. Senior officer: Johannes Keizer.

C. "Activity-specific" networks:

  1. Ask FAO: Dyaa Ajkebache. KCEW Chief: Steve Katz.
  2. Web AGRIS: Stefka Kaloyanova, Gauri Salokhe
  3. Food security Classification System: Denise Melvin
  4. Solution Exchange (FAO-India): Dan Gustafson (FAOR India), Gopi Ghosh

Focus Groups schedule

Italics means no reply yet.

Tuesday 11 December A103E 1400-1500 senior officers/coordinators: 

Gauthier, Michelle (FOMC); Page, Hans (TCOM) http://km-internal.fao.org/oneunforum/ ; Simone Borelli and Siham Drissi (OCDO) http://www.dgroups.org/groups/fao/faordiscussions/index.cfm?op=dsp_info ; Keizer, Johannes (KCEW) http://www.dgroups.org/groups/imarked/webagris/index.cfm?op=act_login ; Smulders, Mark '(ESAF) http://km.fao.org/fsn/fsn_home.html?no_cache=1;

Tuesday 11 December A103E 1515-1615 senior officers/coordinators: 

Katz, Stephen (KCEW) http://www.fao.org/askfao/home.do?lang=en ; Tschirley, Jeff (NRCE)http://www.bioenergywebshore.org/webshore_home.html?no_cache=1 ; Rudgard, Stephen (KCEF) http://www.e-agriculture.org/; DarlingtonDawes, Donna (AFHO);

Wednesday 12 December A103E 0930-1100 - coordinators: 

Ajkabache, Dyaa (KCEW) http://www.fao.org/askfao/home.do?lang=en ; Tran, Huyen (ESAE) http://km.fao.org/fsn/fsn_home.html?no_cache=1 ; Kaloyanova, Stefka (KCEW) http://www.dgroups.org/groups/imarked/webagris/index.cfm?op=act_login; Trager, Matthias (KCEF) http://www.e-agriculture.org/ ; Quinto, Emanuele (KCEF); Michela Paganini (AGPP) http://km.fao.org/gipb/ ; Chicoine, Bruno (FOMC); Monnerat, Melie (FOMC): Urban Forestry (TKN through the interactive website in development) and Agroforestry (no TKN for the moment - but potential)

Wednesday 12 December A103E 1430-1600 -  coordinators: 

Drissi, Siham (OCDO) http://www.dgroups.org/groups/fao/faordiscussions/index.cfm? ; Farmer, Tina (FIES) - tentative: [bluebar] list; Melvin, Denise (ESAF); Balie, Jean (ESAE); Gianfelici, Francesca (NRLA); Sini, Margherita (KCEW) and Johannsen, Gudrun (KCEW) http://www.dgroups.org/groups/fao/agrovoc-e-conference/docs/Full_report.pdf ; VonBrandt, Andreas (NRCB)) - tentative

Thursday 13 December Canada Room 0930-1100 - network members

Chicoine, Bruno (FOMC) - Urban Forestry; Egal, Florence (AGNP); Ceci,Paolo (FOMC); Jost, Stephane (NRCB) - bluebar and other; Vandor, Peter (TCOM) - One UN; Bell, Lori (PBEE); Jennifer Nyberg - tentative, Bioenergy; (Krell, Rainer (NRCB); Snijders, Fred (NRD) - tentative; Tassone, Romolo (KCEW) - Ask FAO; Rouah, Carine (AFHO) - Negotiation lab; Knowles, Marco (TCOS); Saif, Miriam (KCCO); VonBrandt, Andreas (NRCB)) - Bioenergy & food security, tentative

Thursday 13 December

Queen Juliana Room booking has been cancelled (10/12)

Thursday 13 December A103E  1600-1630 Meeting with Gustafson

Rudgard Nadeau Lamoureux Salokhe Loumbeva

I have not requested PPT or videoconferencing assistance. Where there is time, I suggest calling people elsewhere for shorter interviews rather than teleconferencing them, A103E will be crowded and there are no meeting rooms free Weds AM either. I will look up all numbers today.

General ideas (from our discussions so far)

  • We will aim to have more than one focus groups that will bring together network sponsors, coordinators and members across all networks that we will approach.
  • This will enable us to factor in participation from cross-cutting types of participants (i.e. coordinators, members, sponsors, based in Rome, based elsewhere, etc.)in each TKN.
  • Our framework for assessing TKNs should have indicators that cover different elements related to TKNs (i.e. activities/participation, facilitation, support, technology, costs, outcomes, etc.). However, the framework should not be too "heavy" so that it does not limit participation in the assessment exercise (from focus groups).
  • In addition, as part of the framework, we will consider network support to relate to all other aspects of a network (activities, facilitation, technologies, costs, outcomes). In addition, support to networks is external to networks. All other aspects are internal to networks. Evaluating what is working well (or not well) and where with regards to networks should enable us to identify possible reasons why and suggest ways for improvement.
  • We should look at the Purpose Checklist and consider a reflective or retrospective version. (We are going to use the purpose checklist as an evaluation tool, at least to an extent. This is why we should find purpose checklists if such have already been collated by the networks we will review.)

Evaluation: How to go about it (based on Lucie's brain and assorted readings :-))

Ideas for success factors:

  1. Clearly defined community goals and community objectives
  2. Sufficient time allotted for TKN participation
  3. Appropriate level of participation
  4. Appropriate level of support from management
  5. Appropriate level of encouragement from facilitator
  6. Coordination support (from within or outside of network)
  7. Availability of relevant and quality information to network participants
  8. Ability to apply thematic network knowledge directly to the job
  9. Alignment of network objectives with organisation objectives
  10. Access to technology(ies) that facilitate communication
  11. Availability of funding for the TKN

Ideas for indicators:

  1. Quality of feedback from members
  2. Quality of TKN business plan/principles & progress made
  3. Reuse of knowledge assets
  4. TKN activity (TKN with discussiuon forums)
  5. Image/visibility of the TKN (how well known / praised)
  6. Number of requests fulfilled/time period
  7. How well the TKN manages its limited time (effectiveness, efficiency)
  8. Composition of the TKN (various types of members)
  9. Willingness to share (this is a tough one to put in an indicator!)
  10. Reduction in days/hours needed to solve problems (another tough one!)
  11. Reduction of financial and other resource cost due to superior knowledge resources or shared knowledge (ditto!)
  12. Increase in innovative ideas
  13. Transfer of "good practices" from one member to another
  14. Adoption of "good practices" or innovations that came from the TKN by people within the TKN or by the bigger organisation

On metrics:

Here are four simple metrics that are currently being used by a group (I lost the reference, will look it up). Not sure if these cover everything:

  1. Increase in Size of Network -- attracting new people to the mission
  2. Increase in internal network connectivity -- connecting the right people to get things done
  3. Increase in connections to valuable third parties -- bringing in outside skills and perspectives
  4. Increase in projects formed with all of the above -- creating value-added projects out of the interconnected skills.

Questions for the evaluation:

-How are indicators, success factors and metrics different from each other?

Indicators, success factors and metrics are all approaches through which we can assess 
(or evaluate) the success of a network:
-Metrics and Indicators are measures through which we can assess the success and effectiveness of a network. 
-Success factors are prerequisites for a network to be effective.
-Metrics are numerical (i.e., quantitative and more specific) measures.
-Indicators are more of qualitative measures.

-How are we going to use the indicators, the metrics and the success factors for the evaluation?

We could use the above to (qualitatively) analyse responses to the focus group questions. 
We have decided to analyse by TKN. We could also analyse by sponsors, coordinators and members
(groups, not individuals).

Elements to cover in our questions







Questions we will ask

General (for all focus group sessions)


Coordinators (i.e., Facilitators)

FAO TKN Review - Members

Skype Calls and Meetings

People to Call

People to call 11-13 December

Coordinator: Géraud Servin, Brussels: Available to participate in a 1.5 hour focus group session during the period of Dec 11-13? Yes It was good to see you too in rome even if very briefly. […] I am only afraid of not being as helpful as I would like to be since bioenergy is not a Tknet. I can’t tell you much about what worked well but I’ve certainly a few things to say about what did not work! Anyway it is a good idea to have Lucie back and you can count on me for the review. +32 2 204 0747 (direct line) or Geraud.Servin@fao.org

Coordinator: Franz Martin (outposted officer, FAO Chile) might be suitable to participate via SKYPE as well, as he has been involved in the Spanish speaking community. (e-ag) franz.martin@fao.org - see phone nrs in FAO phone book

Coordinator Gopi Ghosh - Assistant FAO Representative & Resource person & Moderator Food and Nutrition Community, Solutionexchange, 55 Lodi estate New Delhi 110003, Tel: 91 11 46532208 Fx 24620115 Mb 9810603671 gopi.ghosh@fao.org

Sponsor Urban Forestry: Fabio Salbitano from EUFORIC (he is in Florence and could eventually come)or IUFRO (more networking than $-sponsor)

Sponsor Urban Forestry: Gunther Merzthal, Peru: Coordinador General de Agricultura Urbana para America Latina y el Caribe, IPES (Peru) - RUAF Foundation (Holanda), IPES, Promocion del Desarrollo Sostenible, Lima, Peru, E-mail: gunther@ipes.org.pe Skype: gmerzthal.

OCD/FAORs: Siham says: Regarding the members that can be contacted during the focus group: we still didn't contact any of them. We could eventually contact one or two of them informally by phone, but let us know as soon as possible when the TKN review focus group session will take place so that we can also selct one or two members according to the time zone (HQ/office locally).

Members FSN Forum, suggested by Huyen: Outside (through skype if they have): Andrew MacMillan (andrew.macmillan@alice.it); susanne.boetekees@fao.org; luisalejandro.acosta@fao.org; Charles Teller (cteller@prb.org); SYED GHAZANFAR ABBAS (guzniabbas@gmail.com); Joseluis.Vivero@fao.org; Myeni david Mfanimpela (david_myeni@wvi.org); Andrew Odero (anodero@yahoo.com) (I suggest many because lots of them are busy so only a few can actually participate in this).

People to call 17-21 December (all FAO HQ)

Coordinator Sabine Michiels: Sorry I will be away on CMC mission to Benin leaving Monday from Paris so won't be able to attend. Will see if I time to send you a skype or phone number to call in but connections are very bad over there. (KK: I said we'd catch up when she is back in Rome).

Sponsor Avian flu: Anni McLeod. Sorry, am on duty travel next week.

Peter Kenmore, AGPP: Peter Kenmore is away until 13 December. Perhaps you would like to send him another email then.

Manuela Allara, AGPP: Our TKN has not been very active so far, as originally proposed, so I would not have much experiences to share on that.But in the meanwhile we have tried to activate/explore another network linked with a regional IPM project in Eastern Europe.So I would opt for the interview before Christmas, instead of participating in the proposed sessions, if possible in the week after (17-21 dec.), also because next week I will be busy in a terminal evaluation of the same regional project. I am available in the mornings, as I work part time.

Others to contact CARDI Hot Pepper Network

Focus Groups Main Messages

These will be discussed separately.