Monday, May 17, 2010

Knolwedge Sharing Workshop in Ghana

This week I am in Ghana (Accra) with Lucie and Justin for a KS Workshop for FAO colleagues in Regional, West Africa and Country office.


Knowledge is one of the primary tools in FAO’s fight against hunger and poverty. The Director-General highlighted this when he introduced the concept of FAO as a Knowledge Organization in his reform proposals beginning in 2005. The subsequent Independent External Evaluation (IEE) devoted considerable attention to the role of information and knowledge in FAO’s current and future mission.
The IEE made a compelling case that FAO risks marginalization unless it fully exploits its comparative advantages as multidisciplinary integrator, convener and neutral forum to promote greater access to and flow of knowledge. FAO itself produces only a fraction of the knowledge required for sound stewardship in its areas of mandate; there are now many centers of excellence producing high-quality information and knowledge. FAO risks progressive irrelevance unless it asserts and develops its capacities for partnership and facilitation in support of access by and flow between all stakeholders.

Furthermore, FAO’s ability to perform effectively is also very much at stake. Knowledge sharing concepts, methods and tools can make a vital contribution to the broad goal of making FAO more efficient, innovative and relevant. A failure to take all possible steps towards this goal will accelerate the process of marginalization.

The FAO Office on Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension (OEK) will be offering a face-to-face workshop entitled "Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods". The workshop will introduce participants to various knowledge sharing tools and methods and how they facilitate knowledge and information exchange.

Expected results
Paricipants are expected to obtain an understanding and appreciation of the role and value of Knowledge Sharing tools and methods and undergo experiences on how to apply knowledge sharing concepts, tools and methods.

Tools Covered

  • Blogs: A blog (shortened from weblog) is an easy-to-publish web page consisting primarily of periodic articles or posts.
  • Photo Sharing: Web based photo sharing sites are Web sites where you can upload, share and access digital photos and images from projects, events, etc.
  • Video Sharing: Using video to share knowledge brings a visual aspect that can quickly convey ideas that may take much longer in text.
  • Wikis: A wiki is a web site that allows users to add, remove, and otherwise edit and change content.

Methods Covered
  • After Action Review: is a simple process used by a team to capture the lessons learned from past successes and failures, with the goal of improving future performance.
  • Chat Show: is a knowledge sharing method that encourages participants to share experiences in an informal, fun environment.
  • Communities of Practice: are groups of people who share a passion for something that they do, and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.
  • Icebreakers: Icebreakers are short group activities that allow the various people inside a new group to get to know each other; to become more comfortable with discussing the topic of group work; or to become more comfortable with expressing dissenting views.
  • Jumpstart storytelling: is a form of storytelling technique that encourages summarization of ideas and thoughts into concise and to-the-point stories.
  • Network Mapping: a tool to visualize networks and support discussion on how they can be strengthened.
  • Peer Assists: brings together a group of peers to elicit feedback on a problem, project, or activity, and draw lessons from the participants' knowledge and experience.
  • World Café: is a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue, sharing knowledge and creating possibilities for action in groups of all sizes.
We will be spending the next 2.5 days covering various KS tools and methods.

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