The SDC network Democratization, Decentralization and Local Governance: lively, dynamic, innovative and planting seeds for action
Connecting to peers, being exposed to new thinking and exchanging experiences are most valuable to members of the Democratization, Decentralization and Local Governance network (DLGN). Storytelling on knowledge sharing and learning within the DLGN network suggests that this networking translates into concrete innovations in the field. (more…)
In the perspective of the Swiss Cooperation Office Southern Africa the networks did arrive. Reto Wieser, Director of Cooperation summarizes how networks make a difference for his team. And he points out some suggestions how networked learning and collaboration can be further strengthened trough the active implication of the Directors of Cooperation and the members. (more…)
Are you planning a face-face meeting to explore key issues and design action plans? The Open Space methodology would definitively be an option.
Read how the key elements of Open Space – the circle, the joint agenda setting, and the free discussion space – could create momentum to advance important issues. (more…)
The importance of knowledge brokers for learning in SDC or why “Manejo Integrado de Plagas” (in engl. Integrated Pest Management) was the most downloaded document of SDC websites. (more…)
By Nadia von Holzen, SDC
A blog is conversation. We want to make the reading as well as the writing of the SDC Learning & Networking Blog faster to have time for the conversation.
Comic about the blogger and the christmas post:
For you as development professionals change is your daily basis. You aim for, provoke and witness change processes. You steer projects and manage programmes. You take care that you partner organisations are strengthened. You are part of changing teams. Have you ever thought about what change is for you? And what it needs to effectively support change? (more…)
Horizontal learning enables communities to share best practices within and across communities. In this blog post Tommaso Tabet, SDC agency in Dhaka, in collaboration with engaged HLP Friends, explain that it is a tool for sharing good practices, replicating and liking them, and therefore has much in common with the world’s most popular social media. (more…)
The NCCR North-South will end mid 2013 and the first call of the new “R4D” fund is launched. There are lessons to be learnt from the NCCR in how best research, policy and practice can continuously and increasingly exchange and be effective. (more…)
The SDC’s Learning and Networking section could inspire itself from the monolith set in the lake of Murten during Expo’02. Ernst Bolliger from AGRIDEA extracts the symbolic weight of this landart installation and further reflects it on the values and work of networks. (more…)
Social Reporting on and from face-to-face meetings of SDC’s networks became a trendy practice. This blog post looks behind the scenes and reflects on three questions: What is actually Social Reporting? What makes it social? And is it worth the effort? (more…)
Manuel Flury reflects the Seminar of the Coordinators from a learning perspective and comes to the conclusion that the Seminar was not a learning event and had no learning agenda; nevertheless important learning happened as the most important side event. (more…)
Make implicit knowledge explicit und thus accessible to everybody! This is a request I often come across dealing with knowledge management issues. In how far is this possible? Kitchen recipes make it clear: Basic knowledge and skills can be described, but what about mastery skills? There are limits in transforming implicit into explicit knowledge. (more…)
Involved in a rethinking process on its institutional learning mechanisms the Swiss Cooperation Office in Chisinau made use of the Knowledge Management workshop for SDC field staff and local partners. This training on demand offered by the SDC Knowledge and Learning Processes Division aims at sharing and raising awareness for SDC’s Knowledge Management practices. In today’s blog post the staff of the SCO Chisinau offers insights gained in this two-day training. (more…)
In our interview series “6 questions to…” we ask people from in and around SDC and the KM world the same 6 questions. Our goal is to offer insights into different working methods, different ways of looking at individual and institutional learning, and different ideas and opinions on how to make organizations more efficient… And, along the way, to hear interesting stories and experiences our interviewees have in store! (more…)
During the 2nd day of its face to face the SDC network Migration and Development left the meeting room to visit activities in relation to migration in Dhaka. This blog post outlines why and how the “dive” into the context and confrontation with different perspectives can accelerate and nurture the network’s conversation (deliberations, dialogue). (more…)
Today knowledge exchange is based to a great extent on written communication. Sometimes it seems that the ability to visualize ideas, to tell stories through pictures has been lost. Simultaneously we are exposed more than ever to non-verbal modes of communication, especially through photography and film. This post takes the tension between a widespread availability of easy-to-handle visualization tools and their comparatively poor integration into daily work processes as a starting point. In a video interview Anandsaikhan Nyamdavaa, National Programme Officer for SDC in Mongolia, shares with us experiences made by the Cooperation Office when trying to incorporate visual methods into different steps of the project cycle – from the kick-off event through to the report writing. (more…)
In her blog post Nadia von Holzen reflects on the nature of networks, on their constitution, texture and driving force. Networks shouldn’t be taken as rigid entities, they are driven by people and their engagement and are thus propelled by an inner dynamic. Networks grow, evolve and move and it is the network’s members who breathe life into this loose conglomerate transforming it into something similar to a living organism. Therefore networks are pivotal to a learning organization as they comprise essential qualities to manage, transform and generate knowledge. (more…)
Knowledge is Power – In today’s blog post Manuel Etter follows the historical traces of this saying emphasizing an action-oriented quality of knowledge rather than its power maintaining virtue. In a second step he links this historical meaning of knowledge with the future of development cooperation. He questions the conditions and determinants that permit to find adequate answers to the issues of the future. He asks how development cooperation and above all knowledge management and exchange should be organized in order to meet increasingly global challenges. (more…)
Interview by Carsten Schulz, Agridea
“If many people from different hierarchies and countries come together there are always those who think they know less about a subject and participate less in the discussion. They may be afraid to say something wrong. To start with personal stories demonstrates that everyone has a valuable experience to share and we can share it in the language we feel comfortable” (reflection of SDC gender team member on using stories in a workshop context, SDC Story Guide, p. 30).
Conscious engagement with storytelling for knowledge sharing and learning began almost 10 years ago within SDC and was pursued with some energy, especially in the first years. (more…)
by Corinne Sprecher, AGRIDEA / Team International
In 2007 and 2008 SDC’s former Knowledge and Research Team collected and documented tools and methods for planning and reflection of own activities, for drawing lessons and for sharing insights and applying them. This work resulted in the publication of the SDC Knowledge Management Toolkit on the Learning & Networking website and in print. However, km-tools are only of use if applied consciously. And they are only applied if they promise to better reach a certain goal. They must be well applied to be effective. We have been looking for champions who consciously apply tools in their work and who find them helpful. In this post, they share with us some of their experiences and their lessons – practical examples for illustrating the toolkit. Use it as inspiration to try them out by yourself! (more…)
“What is your job about? Knowledge management!?
Oh God, what’s this?”
… After some explanation it is getting easier to understand…
“Ok, I see, you talk to people about the way they share what they know and what they have experienced. Knowledge management is about clever and bright people who know everything and about the less bright ones that know almost nothing … and how to connect them. About information and knowledge the bright people like to share and their motivation to do so.”
Checking recent contributions on this blog I tend to believe that knowledge management is highly complex and an affair for specialists. That’s right; there are lot of situations that need complex approaches to address issues of knowledge management in a correct way. But daily life offers lots of situations where simple forms of knowledge management – or let’s say mutual learning and networking – produces encouraging results.
So, what makes mutual learning and networking successful? How can we make the highly complex affair “knowledge management” accessible to everybody? How to make it a normal daily business?
There is one short answer: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
“Crossroads of Knowledge” labels a set of activities designed for knowledge sharing and -transfer across organisational units and functions. Valorising the knowledge and experience that a collaborator has gained over his/her lifetime and making it accessible for younger collegues contributes to securing intellectual capital through intergenerational learning. While the offer is appreciated by the participants, their number remains limited. Lack of interest?… time? …incentives? In search of answers. (more…)