Knowledge sharingJaap Pels - Friday 19 May 2006
Hi all, Jaap Pels from IRC in the Netherlands.
I work with the HIP team on task 6 - Knowledge Management. For 20 years I worked for the Dutch consumers organisation and I was happily surprised to see references to Rogers and Kotler; authors often mentionad in respect to consumerism. Together with my education in natural sciences, it made me more comfortable to understand the discussions ranging from consumer preferences up to filtration and disinfection.
IRC provided the technical architecture for this E-conference; I operated behind the scenes and I am to blame for info-glut and (almost) all glitches :-). Frankly, I was a bit anxious when we invited over 500 people to participate in this E-discussions. What would happen if all participated and contributed 2 postings? Certainly some mailboxes would have been swamped. Also I am aware of the limitations of E-conferences; a wealth of knowledge is not easy translatable into text. Basic to knowledge sharing is 'trust', which is not easy without face to face contact.
I have read contributions by the complete spectrum of professionals; from on the ground practitioners, suppliers / producers / inventors, networks up to academics and decision makers. A wide variety of topics was covered; from financing, (social) marketing, consumers choice, partnerships, networks, behaviour change, community management, appropriate technologies up to 'at scale', multiple use systems, household productive use and 'scaling up' approaches. Technology, approach and people-wise this is a Xanadu for knowledge sharing! Initiatives like the WHO HWTS network and the HIP 'At scale' approach build upon such notions.
What boggles my mind is how to convince donors, governments and the private sector to finance opportunities for knowledge sharing and what approaches would work better on top of this E-conference. I expect no silver bullets but love to hear stories and hints.