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Take a course on knowledge management for agricultural and rural development

The capacity of ACP institutions to tackle agriculture and rural development challenges largely depends on their ability to mobilise and use the knowledge and experiences of different development actors within and outside of the ACP regions.

Sound knowledge management (KM), which is at the core of ensuring effective exchange and empowerment of ACP actors in agriculture and rural development, comprises people, processes and technology. Approaches to improving the exchange of knowledge need to build on sound communication strategies, learning approaches and good information management practices.

Research conducted by CTA has indicated that there is a need to strengthen knowledge management processes within organisations and collaborative networks in order to facilitate agriculture and rural development. While a number of learning resources dealing with aspects of knowledge management already exist, there is a lack of guidance material or a structured course on how best to integrate these learning resources to optimise knowledge management for agriculture and rural development.

A new course in KM

Combining its expertise in KM and capacity building, CTA is working with partners to develop a 5-day course as an introduction to KM for agriculture and rural development. This would be a repeatable practical course that can be widely offered in the ACP regions. It would, however, have to fit within a larger scope of training courses that are accessible to KM practitioners in agriculture and rural development. Therefore, from 9-11 September 2013, CTA is hosting an expert consultation with partners involved in capacity building on KM, to discuss a range of curricula that would be required to support KM practitioners in agriculture and rural development and to plan the process of developing these curricula in a collaborative manner.

Experts will be gather in Wageningen to brainstorm and agree on:

  • A detailed outline of a 5-day face-to-face introductory course on KM for agriculture and rural development, which CTA will consider developing in collaboration with partners
  • A proposed outline of an intermediary level course that runs over several weeks that can be held within an organisation, network or community of practice
  • A proposed outline of a course that can be offered as a Master Class or be turned into a formal course to be offered for credit at University level

The overall goal and approach of this initiative is to enable collaboration among partners to generate the curricula and to make such contents open for all partners to use.

Target audience

The target group comprises of KM practitioners at the level of organisations - who have a role in either organizational KM and/or in KS with a network of stakeholders. CTAs specific target are staff of agricultural and rural development organisations in the ACP countries, regional and international agricultural and rural development organisations.

KM practitioners include:

  • Information, Communication and Knowledge Management assistants, specialists, officers, and managers (who not only see their role as disseminating or sharing information, but contextualizing it for ready application);
  • Monitoring and Evaluation officers (who are interested in deriving lessons learnt from own M&E experiences and of others),
  • Planning officers or Coordinators (who are in a position to close the feedback loop from project evaluation to project implementation)
  • Managerial staff of organisations - (who need to be sensitised on KM processes)

Format of the proposed curricula

The 5-day course proposes to be a repeatable process at national and institutional level that can take place following initial Training of Trainers sessions, and target staff involved in KM

The "Intermediate" course is of a longer duration (multiple sessions spread over several weeks) which requires more investment in terms of time and commitment from the organisation - targeting the same staff but for longer lasting impact at organisational level (a certificate would be awarded)

The "advanced" course or "Master Class" would be for anyone who is interested in acquiring competencies and practical skills in applying KM in ARD, with formal recognition of such competencies

More information on the proposed curricula will be provided in due course. For more information contact Krishan Bheenick, Senior Programme Coordinator for Knowledge Management (Bheenick@cta.int).

If you are interested to learn more about knowledge management why not browse some of the publications CTA has on offer on the topic such as iMARK Knowledge Sharing for Development or Information and communication strategy management development.