Talk:CoPs based in the Pacific and cultural barriers to participating in virtual CoPs

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Jessica Robbins, 2009/03/10

Bula colleagues,

To briefly introduce myself, I am working with the UNDP Pacific Centre as a Knowledge Management Officer. Part of my responsibilities include facilitating the establishment of communities of practice at a regional level.

I would greatly appreciate any research, experiences and details into the following:

  1. Awareness of any existing Communities of Practice based in the Pacific? Particularly in the areas of Poverty Reduction & MDGs, Democratic Governance, Crisis Prevention and Recovery and/or Financial Inclusion
  2. Research relating to cultural barriers in establishing Communities of Practice in the Pacific/Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and/or overcoming resistance to uptake of web tools

I look forward to hearing from you.

Daan Boom, 2009/03/10

Dear Jessica,

Welcome to the KM4Dev. You may wish to orient yourself within UNDP as they have quite a number of Communities of practice. Guess their experience can be reused/ applied.

1) Solution Exchange

Tam Pham, 2009/03/12

Thanks Gopi for your suggestion.

I am no longer at the UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo but I'd be happy to provide you with some of my thoughts on the questions you raised, Jessica. Feel free to email me directly.

For this space, let me just suggest that you get in touch with Kevin Coffey, who is the facilitator for the regional MDP CoP is Asia (and to some extent the Pacific). It is (or at the time I was there it was) a tripartite partnership initiative involving UNDP, ADB and UNESCAP. I am not sure how active the CoP is now but it might be a good vehicle to connect to, depending on what you have in mind and what the needs are, and I do underscore "needs."

P Clint Rogers, 2009/03/10

Dear Jessica,

We recently published a paper which perhaps may be useful?

  • Rogers*, P. C., Tinney, M.V., & Gibbons, A. S. (2008). Cross-Cultural Knowledge Communication in Online Communities of Practice.
  • TheInternational Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC),* 4(4), pp. 459-475.

Let me know if it interests you and If you can't find it online - which I think you probably should be able to.

Project Coordinator, Technological Innovations, Synergistic Cross-Cultural Collaboration.

Hege Hermansen, 2009/03/10

Hi Jessica,

You might find on KM in Asia useful, which was shared with me by Robert Juhkam at the UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok (I think he might not be there anymore). I assume you are in touch with them already, but the RCB are really at the forefront of KM within UNDP. Also, check on the intranet

  • CLINT* I would really like to read your paper, but can't find a downloadable version online - is this a document you can share with the


Gopi Pradhan, 2009/03/11

Dear Jessica

In addition what Hege suggested and if its true that Robert is no more in UNDP RCB, you should try to contact Tam Pham in the Colombo Regional Center, who is Knowledge Manager for UNDP's other half regional office.

Christel Steinvorth, 2009/03/12

Thanks for sharing this Hege, very interesting!

I work at the Inter-American Development Bank and wonder how many of these cultural barriers are also shared by nationals from, at least, some of the Spanish speaking Latin American countries. I say "some", as Hofstaade had already established a great variance among Latin American countries: between Costa Ricans and Argentineans, for example, among others.

Anyway, you have picqued my interest and I intend to explore this issue further with my colleagues. I will be happy to share future insights on this topic.

Knowledge Management Division, Inter-American Development Bank.

Hege Hermansen, 2009/03/11

Hi Christel,

I am glad you found it useful! I think absolutely everyone comes with cultural barriers. I have my own, you have your own, Ghanaians, Palestinians, British, Colombians, French etc have theirs. But rather than perceiving them as barriers, I think they are just different 'modus operandi' formed by the interaction of cognition and culture/society, that we need to acknowledge and take seriously, just like we take the physical environment in which we work (bandwidth levels, mobile phone coverage etc.) seriously. And as you say, we need to beware of homogenising - labels like "Asian", "European", etc only take us so far, and give us a very partial picture. I think it is an extremely interesting area of inquiry, and would love to hear where your discussions at IADB will take you.

Nancy White, 2009/03/12

Tam, I'd love to hear more about how you worked with a CoP that was a tripartate effort. What tips and lessons did you discover working across the three organizations?

Thanks in advance

Lawrence Wasserman, 2009/03/11

Dear KM4DEv:

I thought all would be interested in an assignment that I completed in 2008 for a contractor to USAID.

I looked at KM KS donors and Private sector and those KM initiatives at USAID. This was for African initiative at USID program.

For those who may be interested in knowing I am KM Certified Manager USA KM associations and designed and developed KM and CoP training.

While working in Asia I presented my course or should I say 1-5 day work seminar to several entities in 5 countries. RESPONSE was KM is rather not going anywhere and lack of interest. In Singapore the Management Institute cancelled all the KM courses.

With the economic crises KM will wilter as a non ROI for many entities as institutions cut back on overhead operations.

I am committed KM and now looking at mKM the new KM m = mobile KM the in word.