In a recent blog post, entitled KM a dollar a day, Ian Thorpe provides an in interesting overview based on his experiences of four types of knowledge management (KM) that are relavent to development based organiations. The blog offers a useful insight into the various forms KM can take:
- Internal knowledge management – giving their staff access to knowledge in order to support them to do their jobs better or to improve organizational performance. This can include various types of tools and approaches – intranets, toolkits, databases of research or lessons learned, communities of practice, knowledge sharing events.
- Knowledge dissemination – generating knowledge and making their organizational knowledge as widely accessible, or known to the external world especially development partners. For organizations with a strong base either in research, or in practical on the ground experience a next natural step is to want to make the knowledge you have as widely available, accessible and used as possible.
- Knowledge brokering – connecting development partners to relevant knowledge and expertise wherever it comes from. Here the role is to help connect development partners with the knowledge they need, whether or not it comes from within your own organization.
- Building knowledge capacity – building the capacity of development partners to generate, acquire, share and use knowledge effectively. This is perhaps the most challenging but also most fundamental way to put knowledge at the service of development.