Workshop on the Management of International Networks for Knowledge Sharing

Prague

A brief report on the workshop I just attended in Switzerland, St. Gallen
A brief report on the workshop I just attended in Switzerland (Workshop on the Management of International Networks for Knowledge Sharing, 25th – 28th April 2006, St. Gallen)

There
were about 40 participants, mostly "networkers", people
focused on knowledge sharing etc. Quite a few of them work in
sanitation and water management and health issues. Besides, there is
an interesting group of (mainly Swiss) participants who work in such
fields as building suspension bridges in Nepal, construction of local
hydro power plants, disposal of e-waste etc (it is good to hear about
different non-ict development initiatives and fantasize about
possible overlaps with what we are doing...).

Several people
know APC or some members (there are some London-based participants
who know GreenNet, and Ndala Duma from South African Water
Information System is familiar with SangoNet). Not only NGO
initiatives were represented, though. Some participants came from
funder organizations and several development agencies, one from World
Bank, one from ASEAN etc...

Alison
Hewlitt and Jackie Nnam from Bellanet were at the workshop and gave a
presentation on Harambee Project in which APC Africa Women group is
involved.

Issues discussed which I found most interesting were:

  • diasporas
    playing major role in funding development projects in their home
    countries
  • preserving accumulated knowledge after project's
    funding (unexpectedly) ends and most of the people who worked on it
    lose their jobs

The conclusions should be available on Skat's
website
shortly

Otherwise, a
lot of discussion topics (which were raised through open space methodology and discussed in working
groups where I was present) have been spinning around rather general
questions, such as "what is a network, what kinds of networks
are there, should it live forever" etc...

One project that might be particularly interesting for APC members is a
knowledge sharing project on public health issues. It is being
currently developed by one of the participants, Alena
Petrakovafrom WHO (Technical Officer of Knowledge Management).

Over the
years, WHO has accumulated a large amount of knowledge and information materials on public
health issues and they are looking for ways how to get it out to
health workers and make the best use of it possible. In collaboration
with the University of Iowa (College of Public Health) they started testing Elluminated
training/knowledge sharing platform for distant training. WHO is testing this on-line communication approach
on training public health professionals in number of countries, and they are looking for more local
partners who are skilled in using Source: APC">ICT

's and who work with local
communities, possible beneficiaries of mentioned database.

I
will be kept updated on the development of this project.

Ambitions of
the project team are obviously high, both in terms of volume and
quality of resources shared trough distant learning, as well as in
terms of numbers of target groups reached through the project.
Perhaps there might be some opportunities for APC members to become
involved in the project in future.


SKAT Foundation (workshop organizer)
Information on WHO's initiative

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