Capacity building of knowledge management among research institutes: reflections from the GDNET experience
Sherine Ghoneim and Cheryl Brown, Global Development Network, Egypt
Abstract: As the knowledge management and research communications arm of the Global Development Network, GDNet builds the capacity of researchers from developing and transition countries to inform global development research and policy. In its early years, GDNet focused on information and knowledge management staff in developing country research institutes, recognising the importance of this group in moving locally generated research into policy. From 2005 onwards, GDNet piloted a series of knowledge management workshops in Africa, and in 2007, organised a two-day conference in Cairo, in partnership with the ACBF and the World Bank Institute, to share and examine its findings with others. Called “Knowledge Management as an Enabler of Change and Innovation in Africa”, the conference brought together the experiences and lessons learned from efforts to build knowledge management capacity from across the African continent. In 2007, the discussion centered on two key themes: the need to create an enabling environment for the adoption of knowledge management practices in Africa and the importance of indigenous knowledge assets as inputs to poverty alleviation strategies. In exploring these themes, speakers highlighted several key challenges in “efforts towards building effective communication strategies and building a ‘knowledge friendly culture’ in the continent” (GDN, 2007). The 20th anniversary of ACBF is a timely opportunity to revisit the discussions of 2007, to question progress made towards meeting these challenges and share with delegates how GDNet’s capacity building activities have evolved in the light of the conference findings.
Keywords: Knowledge Management, Research Communication, Research Institutes, GDNet, GDN.