Impact Practitioners

Resource pool of knowledge management indicators and best practices for using them

By 18/05/2023

This 27-page workshop report by Walter Mansfield and Philipp Grunewald presents a resource pool of 100 indicators for knowledge management and knowledge brokering and summarises the findings of a workshop held at the Institute for Development Studies. This workshop brought together 30 practitioners from across the international development sector to share indicators in current practice, explore common issues and challenges, and collaborate to improve knowledge management (KM) and knowledge brokering (KB) indicators.

The main outcome of the workshop is the resource pool of 100 indicators grouped into categories. You can for example find indicators for a website or blog activity/participation, indicators for knowledge services, examples of knowledge activities/success cases, and many others. The resource pool is a great starting point if you wish to monitor and evaluate your knowledge management and brokering activities. 

The report also gives tips on best practices when it comes to using and developing the indicators. Ideally, your indicators should be:

  1. Robust (able to stand up to interrogation) 
  2. Clear/explicit in intent and language 
  3. Contextualised (suited to the context in which they are being used)
  4. Meaningful (there is a reason for measuring it and the information is useful) 
  5. Quick and simple to measure
  6. Useable (linked to accessible data you know how to find) 
  7. Valid (it measures what it claims to measure) 
  8. Coherent (linked to the original problem and objectives/outcomes) 
  9. Used alongside other indicators for an indicator set or ‘basket’ 
  10. Durable (able to compare results over time) 
  11. Described in terms that are themselves defined 
  12. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound)

The report advises using a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators, tying it to a Theory of Change and always thinking about which indicator is best suited for the given situation. Additionally, the document recommends using the indicators together in a ‘basket’, which links multiple indicators together within your monitoring and evaluation framework.

In conclusion, indicators are a fantastic tool for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). They are often cheaper and quicker than other M&E methods and allow you to make comparisons between various projects, organisations, and timelines. To make the most out of them, make sure that you tailor the indicators to your context, define them in clear, specific terms and ensure they are connected to your Theory of Change.

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.

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