Knowledge Sharing: Getting Together to Do it Better

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Knowledge Sharing: Getting Together to Do it Better

A joint KM4Dev Rome/Share Fair event

Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 8.30 to 18.30

Venue: IDLO, Viale Vaticano, Rome


On October 29, the KM4DEV Rome group is organizing a one-day event, hosted in IDLO in town, called ‘Knowledge Sharing: Getting Together to Do it Better’. There will be sessions on common issues related to Knowledge Management and Knowledge Sharing in international organizations, in this case, the Rome-based ones. Indeed, colleagues from CGIAR, FAO, IDLO, IFAD and WFP will be participating to the event.

This will be day of brainstorming, problem solving and creative thinking sessions to address specific challenges we've come across in our knowledge management projects:

  • how can we grow a community of practice?
  • how do we get colleagues on board of innovative ways of working?
  • how do we communicate the benefits to our prospective stakeholders (participants, adopters, beneficiaries, users)?
  • are the tools we are using the right ones for the job at hand?

Why this event?

  • to reflect and find creative solutions to specific issues we encounter in our KM/KS projects, and particularly in the areas of:
    • fostering collaboration
    • nurturing communities of practice
    • spreading a culture of participation and sharing
    • selecting effective and efficient tools for geographically-distributed working groups
    • ensuring buy-in and adoption.
  • to practice knowledge sharing among the Rome-based international organizations,
  • to mobilize attention towards innovative and efficient ways of working.

The goal of the sessions is to leverage the group's experience to speed up the identification of effective solutions and approaches to the issues presented.

Why a joint KM4DEV/Share Fair Event?

In the spirit of KM4Dev and the Share Fair, we get together to share and learn from each other's experience with the goal of improving the impact of our work within our organizations.

KM4DEV is a community of international development practitioners who are interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing issues and approaches. From this international community, a local group has been created known as KM4DEV Rome. The Share Fair event took place in January 2009 in FAO and aimed to be an interactive event, providing the possibility for people to showcase their experiences in knowledge sharing and, at the same, time learning from each other.

Who are the participants?

Organizers and participants are: practitioners, information managers, project managers, facilitators and everybody involved in projects with knowledge management and knowledge sharing components, from the:

  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
  • International Development Law Organization (IDLO),
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and
  • World Food Programme (WFP).

For further information

CGIAR – Antonella Pastore [1]

FAO – Gauri Salokhe [2] or Nadejda Loumdeva [3]

IDLO – Samir Bejaoui [4]

IFAD – Roxanna Samii [5]

WFP – Peter Casier


  1. CGIAR CGXchange 2.0
  2. IDLO Strategic Networks
  3. IFAD Livestock CoP
  4. FAO Knowledge Café
  5. WFP Logistics: Truck Drivers and Social Media - this session did not take place due to time constraints.

Survey Results

In Summary, everyone's experience was positive and encouraging. Apart from learning about knowledge sharing methods and tools, and knowledge sharing in our organizations, we broadened our networks, met likeminded people and felt inspired to do positive change in our work. We thought there is a great value and potential behind the Rome KM4Dev community, as well as a need for regular Rome KM4Dev events and gatherings.

Some key lessons to take ahead for next KM4Dev-Rome meet-up:

  • If a peer assist is organized, make sure the questions are well developed ahead of time.
  • Ensure that the agenda is not so packed and the case studies represent issues rather than organizations.
  • Give time for hosts to digest information coming out of sessions so that they can give a more meaningful summary.

Democracy Wall Thoughts Shared at the Event


  • They say they want it, but they do not use it
  • Deflated tyre experience
  • A community in Rome - yeah!
  • KM4Dev Rome rocks!
  • The group is visionary and knowledgeable
  • ICT Department has now lost monopoly
  • Users are expected to use it
  • We have similar problems and experiences

Points of learning:

  • So called 'agile methodologies' are useful is a broader area than just software development
  • Make tools part of new staff orientation
  • KS is not about feeling good, i.e., it is not about charity
  • Sharing of knowledge should be mistaken for 'donation of knowledge' - sharing is freely available vs a free lunch
  • Ask not ... but what you can do for the community
  • Remember to respond to what's in it for me
  • No matter how far technology goes, we will always need face to face interaction ... and this is good news
  • Easier to give advice to others than give to and apply that same advice oneself!
  • Knowledge sharing must be aligned with work goals

Related Blogposts

Back to the KM4DEV Rome wiki page