The third get-together of the group was held for the first time at the SNV office and brought together 12 participants, including two new members.

A short introduction of the participants, the agenda of the get-together and a presentation of the network (now available on Slideshare) helped level understanding of who we are and what we do.

We proceeded with two sessions:

A)      Follow up on mapping of ICT/KM projects

This activity concerns an inventory of projects that have interesting information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) or KM approaches methods and tools. These projects are currently functional across the country and the idea is to share lessons across projects, identify interesting products and services that could be used in other initiatives and hopefully collaborate to avoid duplication of efforts.

Metadel Lemma (IICD) and the little task force had updated the presentation given by Metadel in the second gathering. Since the last get-together, the task force (Metadel, Fanos, Hermella, Fitsum, Elias, Addis and Ewen) decided to focus on agricultural projects and set up a Google document listing all these projects and interesting insights.

The group was kindly asked to brainstorm in small groups and suggest:

  • Additional projects that should be listed and documented: ESMAD, NLMIS/LINKS, ECX, Digital Green. These projects will be documented on the Google document by the persons who suggested them.
  • Unique Selling Points (USPs) e.g. very interesting products, services or approaches that could be used in other projects: a) Digital Green’s participatory video work, b) ECX’s approach and c) the ICAAP portal… Zerihun and Ewen will try and get Rikin Gandhi (Digital Green director) to join this meeting at his next visit in Ethiopia and Addis will try and get someone from ECX to present their approach and perhaps prepare sthg about the ICAAP portal.
  • Interesting insights from the projects listed which would be worth discussing at the next get-together: How to communicate with and engage farmers in our work? This will be one of the discussion topics at the next get-together. Another point was the difference between information and knowledge management. Since we had a small discussion about that in the second get-together, that discussion will take place on the Facebook group instead. Gashaw might prepare a short update about literature pointers for the next get-together.

The task force will organise the next steps of the project mapping initiative and keep all members posted on the group’s page.


B) Presentation of IFPRI’s approach to knowledge management

Addis Tigabu gave a short presentation about the KM approach of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

At IFPRI, KM is about ‘getting the right information to the right people at the right time using the right tools’. These tools encompass intranet, website, IFPRI Info (a website that syndicates content coming from all other sources e.g. regional offices, project work etc.), use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare).

The dissemination of information happens through hard copy, soft copy, events, workshops, TGIF (thank God it’s Friday) sessions, launch events etc.


Questions and answers:

Q: What is the difference between the and IFPRI.Info website?

A: In the future we will direct everything to Right now the website contains just the highlights. More details are found on

Q: You have an intranet and a website, how is it different from one to the next? Is it integrated, do you put information in twice?

A: My colleagues are putting the information twice on intranet and website.

Q: How does IFPRI manage publications and other resources etc.?

A: We have a Slideshare account for presentations, videos etc.

Q:, is that a permanent repository? Can we find all docs there all the time?

A: works as permanent repository.

Q: How do people learn and share information together? What efforts are made to improve this? 

A: Researchers don’t have time to go to the website but comms folks do a lot of work e.g. handle different publications to send info in soft/hard copy. Some people still don’t try to open these publications.

Q: How was your KM work brought about at IFPRI? How did you find out about it?

A: Nobody told me what KM is so I try to find out on a daily basis. IFPRI focuses a lot on communication etc. so they have a large, established, comms division with various sub-divisions. KM has always been part of this.

Q: What you present is typically about library services etc. but is there anything that is typically associated with KM e.g. bring researchers to discuss, knowledge sharing mechanisms?

A: My boss goes to different workshops (as part of KM) and travelling to places where policy-makers etc. are gathering. This office is smaller but in DC they have these knowledge-sharing platforms… It happens almost every day. In IFPRI regional offices it also happens.

Q: Do you discuss the process of how you get things done or is just about research outputs and outcomes?

A: A bit of both.

Q: You have a Facebook and Twitter account, are they managed by dedicated persons posting regularly?

A: Yes, there is an assigned person for this kind of information.

Q: What do you see as the main challenge or the next big thing for IFPRI’s KM efforts?

A: KM is only understood by the big boss (DG) and my boss here. Most staff members (researchers) do not know about it. They research information and bring it to us and tell us to find a way to transport information. They expect us to print their research. The challenge would be to convince those people to understand KM. My local boss has already been talking about comms. But I’m still struggling to get colleagues to do something about KM/Comms.We agreed that this latter point would be a great peer assist case for the next get-together.


There was not enough time (we started late) to do any peer assist or proceed with the Slideshare presentation but we agreed that next time we would start with some hands-on/tool sessions to prevent it from being squeezed out once again.


Review of the meeting

We did a short after action review about the meeting and agreed that:

  • The introduction of the network was helpful but not every time, it should be available from the group page (now done);
  • The follow-up of the ICT/KM project mapping initiative would be good to share with all at the next get-together, provided there is interesting progress to share;
  • The organisational case studies are useful – next time Dawit Dagnew will introduce GIZ’s KM approach.
  • The tool sessions are useful, will be prioritised next time around with parallel sessions to hear about blogs, Slideshare and Yammer.
  • The peer assist mechanism would be good to try out and Addis’s case will be addressed next time (there’s space for another parallel peer assist).

The members are quite happy with this group and we hope the group will keep growing.


The next get-together

The next get-together is tentatively scheduled for 21 September and will take place at the ILRI campus (and perhaps the time after at the UN compound).

Topics suggested:

  • A tool/hands-on session on blogs, Slideshare and Yammer (Tsehay/Zerihun);
  • Follow up on the ICT-KM project overview (Meti/Fanos/task force);
  • A peer-assist case from Addis on how to get researcher colleagues to do something about KM (will be prepared and communicated in due time) – there is space for 1 or 2 other cases in parallel; One of these cases could be the one presented below as ‘sharing insights’ (Addis);
  • ‘Sharing insights’: how to engage farmers and communicate with them effectively?
  • ‘KM at GIZ’: Dawit to present their KM/social media work (Dawit);
  • Possibly: presentation of Digital Green (Zerihun/Ewen) and/or of ECX (Addis);
  • (Possibly: short update on information vs. knowledge management (Gashaw)

Considering the growing agenda, that 4th get-together will definitely have parallel sessions, for participants to choose.


Please spread the word and bring colleagues that might be interested next time around!

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear KM4Dev groups,

Good job. I supposed to attend the get-together, but i couldn't manage to do so. coz i was not feeling well inside. Hope we will meet in the next get-together

sorry for missing

Thanks Ewen,

Very valuable updates.

Looking forward to the next session.


Well captured minutes Thanks Ewen!!!!   ESMAD, NLMIS/LINKS, ECX, Digital Green... all look very  useful for or KM/ICT mapping. Hope to read more on them.



The next get-together is on 21 September and will take place on the ILRI Ethiopia premises.


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