KM4DEV Rome meets with Daan Boom, ICIMOD

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The KM4DEV in Rome group met up on September 25 for its monthly meeting. This event was hosted by IFAD where Mr Daan Boom (see his bio below) from ICIMOD shared his experience and challenges with mainstreaming KM strategy in multilateral/development agencies.

Daan Boom is a knowledge and information management specialist with extensive experience in Asia, Europe, US and the Middle East.

Some career highlights:

  • Vice-chairman, Global Mountain Forum, 2009 -
  • Focal point ICIMOD, Asia-Pacific Water Knowledge Hubs, Asian Development Bank/Unesco, 2009-.
  • Programme Manager, Integrated Knowledge Management and member Management Team, ICIMOD.
  • Director CCLFI. Centre for Conscious Living Philippines.
  • Head Knowledge Management, Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines.
  • Director, Knowledge Management, KPMG Accountants and Advisors, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • KPMG International Member, Global KM Steering Committee, Montvale, US
  • KPMG Europe, Middle East and Africa KM Group, London, Berlin.
  • Chairman of the Public Library, Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

Highlights of deliverables:

  • 2020 strategy, KM chapter. Asian Development Bank. 2008
  • Project lead Implementation of STARS. ADB Knowledge Platform, 2007
  • Project lead KM Competencies of ADB HRM Policy, 2006
  • Knowledge Management Framework Asian Development Bank, 2004


Daan started his lecture by listing the places where he has worked and shared with us the main challenges he had to face during his appointments:

  • KPMG
    • His main task was to manage the professionals and have them specializing in 12 different thematic areas in order to keep the Knowledge up-to-dated
  • ADB (Asian Development Bank)
    • He has to develop a knowledge management strategy for the period 2001-2015. They were 4 pillars for this strategy, (1) capacity building, (2) technical assistance, (3) Community of Practice and (4) the IT environment
    • The main focus has been on the CoP and Daan started to reduce them from 24 to 12 getting from this decision a big success
    • The IT section was really challenging and highly depending on the KM strategy itself
    • He also reassessed the role of the library transforming them into a space supporting the CoP and making it a room where it is easy to share. The librarians started to manage the newsletter and other communication tools thus fostering the cohesion of the CoP. They have been trained, put some big screens and offer biscuits and coffee --> they went through a thorough reorganization/transformation
    • It has also been decided to appoint a trained KM person within each unit who would be the focal point and the engine for the knowledge sharing activities in the organization.
    • The whole process has been facilitated by the support of the management also offering some incentives (money) for the most active, the “best KM practitioner”
    • An important point was that the KM activities were evaluated (what the staff learned, wrote, … about it, how active they are) in order to provide some recognition and encourage the competitiveness among them
    • The satisfaction of the staff was also evaluated mainly through feedback email so that they could share their opinion on the different km-related initiatives taking place in the organization
  • IDB (Islamic Development Bank)
    • The main challenge here was to have a knowledge management strategy Shari‘a compliant
    • The most important was the wording and the introduction of some Qur’anic verses to justify certain statements
    • The main focus was to motivate the collaboration with external CoP but it didn’t work well because of the difference of culture and religion --> the communication was really poor and they was no really exchange and thus sharing
    • A cultural assessment is required in such an environment
  • ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development)
    • Daan is still working on delicate areas such as water, eco-system, biodiversity and livelihood
    • ICIMOD wants to be seen as a mountain learning center at the international level --> important to share what they learned
    • They developed a new website, a communication strategy, a newsletter, multi lingual reports, an e-dialog platform on gender, mountain, …, creation of wikis, booklets --> they are actively providing knowledge
    • One of the most important activities was the creation of booklets capturing the lesson learned from e-discussions, experts, … --> information disseminated


  • “Everybody wants knowledge out and no one wants to put knowledge in" --> no mandatory but conditions to share
  • some good tools used by Daan:, training, web discussions, writeshop on how to capture and disseminate knowledge, media training, world café, the Geoff Parcell KM self-assessment also used in IFAD monitoring and evaluation activities.

During his lecture, Daan also mentioned some interesting materials that you can find here below:

The event on Flickr Gallery

If you are interested in Parcell’s self-assessment, you’ll find detailed info on IFAD’s social reporting blog:

  1. KM self-assessment - The final act and next steps
  2. KM self-assessment: The overall process
  3. KM self-assessment- session with managers
  4. KM self-assessment: Session with country programme managers, technical adviser, policy analysts, communication and financial officers
  5. KM self-assessment: Session with the KM community of practice

Back to the KM4DEV Rome wiki page