Use peer assists and/or peer learning support: face to face/online
M&E should be integrated into the process of network formation to capture suggestions and continuous thorough needs assessment from project stakeholders. Continue M&E after formation to monitor progress and continuing relevance. (please define M&E)
The Human Factor is predominant, so maintain a people-based emphasis rather than on Information Systems.
Dedicated facilitation is necessary for a successful CoP to do jobs like member recruitment, event coordination, administrative tasks, etc. (e.g. the Open Knowledge Network (OKN), where a full-time moderator is active).
A CoP for CoP-construction may help to support the work of organizers of CoP and CoP facilitators
Include advisory services to enable access to expertise: CoPs as advisory services or as intermediary to information (“reinvention of library function”)
Quick wins or slow comprehensive approach? Balance between those two depends on situation.
Bring the lab to the field: CoPs can help bring ‘academia’ to practitioners, which benefits both parties (farmer-scientist network example). It can bring practitioners to academia.
CoPs can provide an inclusive KM strategy: a) Access to people & inclusion of stakeholders; b) break through isolation in bringing experts together; c) bundling financial resources for supporting high impact but cost-intensive practices beneficial to the stakeholders (such as workshops, e-platforms, etc).
Use incentives – both formal (as part of staff appraisal) and informal (enhanced visibility) to enhance and promote participation.
Acknowledge member participation by reinforcement, encouragement and interaction.
Harvest learning out of informal interactions, such as chat sessions, phone conversations and lunches.
Make sure sufficient human resources are available to ensure staff has the time to participate in CoPs and KM initiatives.