A practice is a replicable action that you can use in your own work environment. Good practices are results that are replicable, from which we can learn and has benefits (operated in a value system and without harm to a community). A good practice can be identified by the community itself and/or an expert panel (could involve different stakeholders). The expert panel could also be involved in designing guidelines for identification/capture, etc.
The target audiences (users/beneficiaries) for good practices can be identified on a case by case basis. In the first discussion, they were identified as basically everyone ranging from decision makers to programme designers and from operational staff to academia/researchers. What we need to look at is our sharing demand or supply driven – what do which users want? If sharing is demand-driven, we need to make sure that the beneficiaries know about the knowledge we can provide to them. In relation to this, one participant asked if we need to advocate and create demand ourselves. Our own organizations were also identified as users of good practices – taking examples of what worked in a country/project and applying it to a similar problem.
As the participants were from UN organizations, they identified the following roles for the organization as:
- facilitate the identification, analysis, capture, coding, storage, sharing/diffusion and ensuring good practices are converted into policy implementation of good practices
- assess demand and raise awareness about the availability of the knowledge and ensure local experiences are shared globally
- know where to replicate what at the right time, supporting south-south collaboration
- provide normative support – in terms of definition and guidelines – around good practices
- provide technical assistance and, where appropriate, support capacity building in all or most of the above activities so that stakeholders and partners also learn about the importance of and methods for capture, sharing and reuse of good practices
Given that we have identified a good practice, the participants identified the following mechanisms and formats for sharing them.
- Roster of experts
- Events - knowledge fairs, trainings, workshops, study tours, farmer-fields schools, etc.
- communities and networks
- publications – reports, briefs, posters, magazines, etc.
- Multimedia – photos, videos, audios
- mapping/sharing within UN/our own organizations what we know
- creating knowledge sharing culture in the organization and highlighting success stories
- Media – TV, Radio, etc.
- Share/embed them through educational curricula – schools, universities, etc.
- there are many challenges in the actual identification and capture of good practices, some of which were noted as:
- how we match the demand to supply
- identification and codification
- loss of context
- knowledge loss when short-term staff complete projects
- trickling up of good ideas and examples
- language coverage and translation
- technical language of the content
- identification of potential beneficiaries and challenges to reach them (ex. putting info on the net for decisions makers who don’t use internet is not a correct approach)
- not correct format/package – we need to ensure that we have right format for right person
- political will and support
- document lessons learned from application of good practices so that they can be improved and become live
- NIH – not invented here syndrome
- first hand knowledge of those who share is missing for those who apply
- bandwidth and access of online information issue
- feedback mechanism to see who is using a good practice, how and if they have new lessons learned
- institutional arrangements to share knowledge and adapt good practices
- lack of follow-up/feedback strategy from pockets of innovation to the users of good practices
- use multiple channels for innovation and adoption (which costs resources)
- provide incentives to adopt
- focus resources on early adopters
- form peer group – networking/communication