2009 - Training programme

Welcome to the Share Fair 2009 wiki!!

On this wiki we can gather notes from sessions, create any additional resources (by and for the participants) and generally offer a place where anyone can contribute to our shared learning from the 2009 Share Fair. You can read all about the Fair here. In addition. let's work out how to take advanatge of the fair!

Please feel free to create a page for sessions notes and then leave a link on this page as our "Table of Contents!"

Day 1

Session on Working Across Geographically Distributed Environments, 20 January 13.45 - 15.00 in Flag Room.

Comments by Cristina Sette

Jamie Watts and Cristina Sette presented an activity that the Institutional Learning Change Initiative has implemented, called Laboratory for Learning: new approaches for facilitating innovation for poverty reduction. The laboratory was formed by a group of professionals (manly from the CGIAR) who knew each other and have been working with collaborative research. The group members are located in several parts of the world and is composed of 7 cases and those cases are linked with numerous other networks. Each case/project has their own funds and research agenda or workplan. The knowledge activities happening within the group, promoted by ILAC, are as following:
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Participatory impact pathway analysis (PIPA) to bring diverse partners together uner a common planning framework
  • Interactive website (with blogs, project pages, intranet, etc)
  • Selected and targeted online resource center
  • Training workshops
  • Publications
  • Learning oriented participatory monitoring and evaluation
  • Small grants to each project
  • Email discussions (DGroup)
The Learning Laboratory activity started with a face-to-face meeting, where trust was built. However the group has been interacting virtually, the face-to-face interaction is important and is planned for once a year, together with other opportunities for interactions during visits and training workshops.
The website was developed based on an assessment made during the first planning meeting. Cristina assessed the participants (and future users of the website) what information would be relevant for them to have available at the website, additionally their familiarity with technology and connectivity. Based on that, the more appropriate technology was chosen, web development companies contacted and the website was developed. The majority of the content for the resource center within the website came from the Learning Laboratory members themselves. The next step is to plan guiding sessions with each member of the Learning Laboratory (about 20 people) and take them through a virtual tour to the website. This activity is planned for the month of February 2009.
As part of the knowledge sharing and learning activities, ILAC plans an annual reflection exercise, where participants will be asked by a facilitator several questions to stimulate the discussion and capture the lessons learned during the first year of the initiative. The survey will be applied within the next few days.
More information about ILAC and the Learning Laboratory can be found at the ILAC website www.cgiar-ilac.org

Day 2

Training session on Content Management Systems (21 January, 13:45 - 15:00, Queen Juliana room)

Session on Demystifying Knowledge Management: The Naked Truth (facilitated by Geoff Parcell), 22 January, 2009, 9.00 to 10.15 at Iran Room.

Comments by Cristina Sette

In this session we learned the process of self assessment on knowledge management. The session had a great attendance with the room almost full. After Geoff presenting a matrix with the levels of assessment and a sample of topics to be assessed, such as KM strategy, leadership behavior, networking, etc), the participants divided themselves into groups, according to their organizations. Those without colleagues from the same organization formed a gr oup as well. The table is attached [file:KM SelfAssessment.doc]
After 30 minutes of group discussion, Geoff asked us to place our organization within the ranking of levels given, 1 to 5, indicating where staff felt they are. Additionally, Geoff asked us to indicate which level we would like to be, as an organization.
He, then, demonstrated where each organization is on the river diagram. Based on where each topic appears on the diagram, they can seek improvements with the existing knowledge within the organization (as appeared in the self assessment) or, it the topic falls 'outside the water', it is likely that the organization needs external consultants to help them improve the topic. More on self assessment is at Geoff's book 'Learning to Fly'.
According to participants, the exercise was very useful and they had an overview of the process of self assessment.
Geoff commented that this self assessment also help individuals to learn from each other and how their perceptions from KM within their organizations may change after hearing the experiences of other colleagues.

Session on Leveraging Geographically Distributed Expertise through KS, 22 January, 2009, 10.45 to noon at Gabon Room.

Comments by Cristina Sette
The session was presented by German Escobar (IFAD - RIMISP), Tawfiq El-Zabri (IFAD - IDRC), Chase Palmeri (IFAD) and Huyen Tran (FAO).
German presented a network in Latin America which is currently in its 4th phase. The network involves the public and private sector, promotes learning and innovation, search results for problems and policy application, and value information. There is a part-time coordinator and am assistant involved in coordinating the network. The activities related to knowledge sharing and knowledge management happening at this project are the following:
  • KM analysis at National level
  • Bulletin (‘hosted’ independent from IFAD website)
  • Electronic conferences (designed with farmers and developing programs, 1-3 years)
  • Website library
  • Communication Tools (evaluate each method/tools every 3 years; qualitative indicators).
  • Field work to capture information
  • Training facilitators

Chase presented the activities she is involved in Asia and the Pacific. The KS activities going on depend highly on connectivity and the commonalities between the several projects and are as following:
  • Website
  • Email
  • Disseminate Info
  • Face to Face
  • Open to all members to participate
She mentioned the language constraints and the need to improve the network.

Huyen presented the global forum on food security which was created in October 2007. The forum is open to any user and has daily facilitated discussions (with invited subject matter specialists). It serves as a repository of information and also a way of involve people.
Some of the constraints are as following:
  • connectivity
  • involve more people (including FAO staff)
  • improve the visibility of the forum
Asked about the quality control of the information posted, the group mentioned that the moderator of the forum does the quality control, who also summarizes the discussion and translates into Spanish and French. Two full time staff are involved in moderating the forum. Recent evaluation showed that the forum is considered very useful

Tawfig presented the network called Karianet and his experience on building a regional network. The motivation of people to participate in the network are related to learning and improving performance.The way the network works focus on processes, practionaires, documenting knowledge and working with pilot projects. The lessons:
  • sustainability of the network: ownership, interest, symbolic membership fees, validate, involve private sector and rural communities.
  • in 2004 a needs assessment was carried (ownership) together with activities on capacity building targetting project managers to help them reflect. The process was supported by a knowledge facilitator and activities were carried out face to face to build trust and confidence. Participants learned about their own projects, begining a change in culture.
  • The network concentrates on themes (e.g. M&E)
  • Documents (Reports)- K products
  • Demand driven
  • Sustainability after end project: how to institutionalize?
  • Topic relevant (views on it, stakeholders, share experiences)
  • Thematic and Regional Network

Session on Video Presentations (4), 21 January 10.45 - 12 Noon in Queen Juliana Room. Comments:

1. We presented three videos which were all disimilar; only united in that they were about development issues. We had 15 participants, including the presenters. The videos were very well received.
2. We did not have enough time for videos and discussion since each video was approximately 20 minutes. Thank goodness that one of the scheduled video presenters did not show.
3. Each video was unique yet, complemented each other in terms of discussing important knowledge sharing issues. The videos were all quite excellent. One video was for the purpose of persuading African government officials on the need to pursue more vigorous water management strateiges; one video was designed to serve as a training video for a Syrian rural business incubator project; and one was to tell a story of the ethnoeducational work done in Palenque Colombia.
4. A summary of lessons learned includes the following: a) consider multipurpose videos to serve donors, local trainings, and policy makers; b) alternately, design different stand alone videos for each audience; c) consider using low cost, participatory methods with making the videos, from the producing, directing, script writing to control over the production by locals; d) videos are more powerful at telling stories that remain with a person, much better than powerpoints; e) videos can serve as a library for events that have happened; f) videos can touch the hearts better.
5. Future recommendations are to schedule fewer videos in a session since there is inevitably a series of delays in moving from one to the other and sufficient discussion is needed to get the best sharing impact.


Day 3

E-Learning Room: interesting sessions on Blogging and Wiking!

Session on Making Networks Work: Within Institutions, 23 January, 2009, 9.00 to 10.15 at Queen Juliana Room.

Comments by Cristina Sette

After three presentations (The Bluebar Group, FAO; IFAD Communities of Practice; Informal Commercialization and Agri-Business Interest Group (CABIG), a member of the audience asked presenters how senior management sees these initiatives, according to their perception.
Bluebar thinks that the informality is the success of this initiative. They don't need to interact with Senior Management for meeting once a month to interact and learn from each other. But they do need a facilitator to bring people together and carry on the interactions. IFAD is also informal but the group has a terms of reference. It is an output oriented group and their resorces are very limited as they have no funds to cover costs with face to face interactions and no time for meeting. The CABIG group is also informal group.
The difference between the Bluebar group and the others is that the first is a network related to common intersts and functions indicuduals perform in their units/departments. The others are related to a theme. Those groups are moving from an informal interaction to a formal network, however they have no funds to operate, using funds from other projects or sources.