Mailing List Environment

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Mailing List Orientation

Knowledge Management for Development (KM4Dev)

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. This wiki and other side channels are always available for "side" conversations. We encourage leaders of side conversations to share a summary back to the full group on the mailing list.

Types of messages on the mailing list

The primary purpose of the list is to promote dialogue. Community members are also welcome to post short messages pertaining to:

  • KM events they are organizing or suggesting, including those with fees
  • KM URLs, books or articles written by members or others
  • KM for development job announcements or job ads (please put the word JOB in the subject line of your posting)

The KM4Dev home page [1] also contains a News section, which members can use to post longer announcements about books they have written and events that they are organizing. Jobs ads can also be posted in the Jobs Centre section of the KM4Dev website [2].

The following postings are discouraged on KM4Dev:

  • Postings that are outside the scope of knowledge management and international development
  • Postings of a purely commercial nature (e.g. ads for commercial software or systems)
  • Postings containing political messages. KM4Dev is not to be used as a political platform or to transmit political messages
  • Messages asking for assistance or donations, even if for very worthy causes such as humanitarian disasters
  • Spam or repeat postings of the same content over a short period of time
  • Service adverts or job requests. The Jobs Centre section of the KM4Dev website [3] should be used for this purpose
  • Jobs announcements that are not KM4dev-related. Here are two very good websites for all types of other development jobs: DevNetJobs [4] and Cinfo [5].

Copyrighted material

As a general rule, we try to discourage posting copyrighted material without the usual disclaimer that it is re-published with permission from authors, or without a link to the original source on the web.

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 and encouraged. We are more likely to learn from people who disagree with us than from other people but friendly dialogue about disagreements is an art we all need to cultivate.
  • Support your ideas with data and examples.
  • 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 but the postings are unmoderated. The facilitator manually approves new subscribers simply 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 the intent of encouraging dialogue on the list itself, rather then having private, bilateral exchanges between just two members.


The KM4Dev Core Group and Facilitator

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:

Facilitator: Volunteer facilitators rotate each month. For any questions, issues or to provide private feedback on KM4Dev discussions, please contact

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 facilitator addressing your concern

Emails sent to the list facilitator 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 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