KM4Dev's Guidelines

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Knowledge Management / Knowledge Sharing for Development

Welcome to km4dev-l, the Discussion Forum on Knowledge Management for International Development Organisations! This discussion forum is an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences among development professionals that are exploring knowledge management / knowledge sharing within their organisations or networks. As a community, KM4Dev has evolved following these supporting principles:

  1. Open and interactive in nature
  2. Supports and encourages diversity in its membership
  3. (International) development is the specific, underlying context to our exploration of KM/KS issues and approaches

The following text on the Mailing List Environment is available here in a wiki:

Because of the iterative nature of the content, please consider the above as the up-to-date version.

While the KM4Dev mailing list is open for anyone to join, discussions tied to KM/KS issues and approaches in the international development field are strongly encouraged.

Supporting Practitioners

The KM4Dev list is a practitioner-oriented forum. Although discussions can centre on KM theory and more philosophical aspects, they are not meant to focus on conceptual debates but rather on the implementation of KM principles, approaches and tools within international development organizations. The wiki and other side channels are always available for "side" conversations.


While the primary purpose of the list is to promote dialogue, community members are welcome to post messages pertaining to events they are organizing or suggesting - even those with fees - but postings of a purely commercial nature are not welcome on this list. The same applies for announcements about new books and publications that members have written. Repeat postings of the same content over a short period of time will be considered as spam. Members will be asked to refrain from doing so.

Contributions in Languages other than English

Postings can be submitted in languages other than English but translations will not be systematically offered. A few community members volunteer their linguistic abilities to assist in translation but we cannot guarantee that it can be done for each message and each language.

Ways to Promote Dialogue: Message Tone & Personal References


  • Keep your messages collegial and non-aggressive. This is not to discourage critical thinking or disagreement. Diverse perspectives are welcomed.
  • Use questions and active, careful reading which can be useful in gaining understanding in a text based environment.
  • Pay attention so that discussions that could turn into disagreements do not veer into making the debate a personal one (i.e. where members personalize the disagreement). If you see this happening, try and help focus on the content, not the person. Otherwise, the members will be ask to take their disagreement off-list.
  • Don't flame (name calling). Be sensitive to the fact that our diversity may also mean we have different levels of sensitivity.
  • Because we are a global community, consider how your words might be interpreted by people from any corner of the globe.


The KM4Dev list is facilitated and the postings are moderated for relevance. The facilitator manually approves new subscribers in order to keep spammers off the list.

Reply to All

The list has been set to “Reply to all” when using the Reply button; this reflects the preoccupation of encouraging dialogue on the list itself, rather then having bilateral exchanges.

Support: The KM4Dev Core Group and Facilitators

Core Group: A core group of community members act - in a voluntary capacity - as a steering committee for KM4Dev and make decisions related to the welfare of the community, in collaboration with the facilitator. Core group members contribute their time and energy towards supporting the needs of KM4Dev members and building the community. If you are interested in joining the core group, or would like to contact the group, they can be reached at:

Facilitators: Monthly facilitators rotate in order to keep the discussions going. You can contact them here:

Concerns and/or Issues

  • About other Members:

If you have concerns related to the behaviour of a member, you are invited to do one of the following:

1. Raise the issues/concern with the member and work towards a solution 2. Send an email to the facilitators addressing your concern

Emails sent to the list facilitators re. the behaviour of a member will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The approach is one in which the member will be asked for a change in conduct. Three (3) individual notices to the same member, without any change in conduct can – after consultation with the KM4Dev Core group – lead to removal from the list.

Technical Issues

If you have any questions or technical problems with your membership, please contact the list administrators at:

  • To Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the list

To subscribe to the list send an email to To leave the list, send email to