knowledge management for development


KM4D Journal

This is a place where latest news of the KM4D Journal is available but also where we also have discussions of articles.

In addition to the journal website (where you find current and archived issues) you can get more information about the journal on the KM4Dev wiki: - a.o. to see the overview of upcoming issues.

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Latest Activity: Mar 9

New call for papers: Facilitation for development. Concepts, practices and approaches to share, learn and improve outcomes for societal development, based in the experience of knowledge management for development practitioners.

The Knowledge Management for Development Journal (KM4D Journal) is a peer-reviewed community-based journal on knowledge management for development – for and by development practitioners, researchers and policymakers. The journal is closely related to the KM4Dev community of practice (


Volume 11, Issue No. 1 is slated to be published May 2015.  Guest editors include:

Blane Harvey, Camilo Villa, Endro Catur, Ewen Le Borgne, Hannah Jasmin Suministrado, Linda Morris, Lucie Lamoureux, Pete Cranston, Philipp Grunewald, Rituu Nanda, Simone Staiger.


Facilitation for development

Development in urban and rural communities and in society as a whole deals with incredibly complex issues and wicked problems. Dealing with those requires people to understand, think and act together. It relies increasingly on people that are capable to connect and empathise with each other, learn and innovate together, apply solutions and assess the results to determine future actions.  


Knowledge management for development practitioners have been emphasizing the need to deal with complexity and have explored how best to facilitate the interaction of people engaged in complex processes. As facilitators they help to bring about outcomes, such as learning, co-production, or communication, by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision.

Facilitating societal development, in this sense, calls for a practice that engages participants of a development process and supports the achievements of their vision, desired results and impact. Therefore, facilitation is increasingly focused on longer term, multi-stakeholder and multi-channel processes. These are likely to have a deeper influence on the groups of people that are brought together in such facilitated initiatives and, hopefully, a greater impact on the desired outcomes.


Facilitation deals with collective reflection and participatory decision-making and learning, processes that are key to securing the impact, sustainability and growth of an initiative. In a sense, facilitators are like alchemists. They create the appropriate blend of tools, choreography, learning triggers and focus to create opportunities for rich learning experiences and robust project outcomes. One challenge of the increasing demand for facilitation “services” (whether provided in-house or by external consultants) is to design group processes that serve all participants, and that lead to decisions that can be accepted and followed upon by all.


Facilitation means connecting face-to-face and virtually, as we grow increasingly wary of our carbon footprints. It means looking at ways to bring conversations to ever-wider audiences, and to enable joined-up thinking online. The capacity to ‘facilitate’ learning and knowledge management, both at the individual and group level, offline and online, is changing from the traditional era of long face-to-face training workshops. In this sense, facilitation has become much more central as the participants’ demands and needs (pull) have become more important than pushing information down. Engagement, interaction, collective (even social) learning are becoming the new grail of networked societies.


This Special Issue

Facilitation is central to achieving development outcomes. Practitioners continue to adapt processes and practices as they pursue those outcomes.  This special issue of the KM4D Journal builds on the December 2013 issue  (‘Facilitating multi-stakeholder processes: balancing internal dynamics and institutional politics’) although it focuses less on multi-stakeholder processes specifically. Explicitly, this special issue will highlight how facilitating KM and learning in development work is changing, looking at issues such as:

  • The conceptual foundations of traditional event facilitation and how these foundations are evolving as the practices and needs have evolved;
  • The transitions from face-to-face to blended and purely virtual facilitation;
  • How the methodologies, approaches and tools of facilitation are evolving to cater to the increased need for engagement, interaction, learning, and shared decision-making both face-to-face and online;
  • The new dynamics of facilitation from single event ‘islands’ to ongoing learning journeys, and the work that this entails ‘between the meetings’;
  • How event facilitation is therefore increasingly meshing in with process facilitation and the facilitation of multiple stakeholders (although as explained above we will not focus on the latter);
  • How facilitation capacity is increasingly distributed among participants occupying different, new roles, for example, social reporting, and how development processes are being re-shaped with those new forms of contribution to group thinking;
  • How to develop such capacities in this period when there is, arguably, less money available for development work and that available time is also getting scarcer (i.e. people have less time to train/coach and get trained/coached). An important element of this topic will be alternative approaches to building such capacities, for example MOOCs or on-the-job peer assists; and
  • Where facilitation is likely to lead and what trends one can anticipate in this field.


Your contribution

This Special Issue will include articles, case studies and other contributions (see author guidelines for a full list of possible contributions). Both conceptual and empirical papers are welcome in the Special Issue. The Guest Editors would like to encourage contributions using a broad range of perspectives, and methods.


We particularly seek contributions that look at the following elements:

  • The HOW of facilitation - what facilitation approach was adopted, or what was the role of the facilitator(s)/facilitation.
  • How facilitation accommodated/embraced/dealt with complexity, change, uncertainty, diversity, emergence.

Contributions can further focus on any level (from grassroots to international) and on any geographical location within developing countries. We invite practitioners and academics to submit, in the first instance, an abstract of their proposed contribution.


Submission of abstracts and papers

We welcome articles, case studies, thought pieces, publication reviews, short stories, KM4Dev Community Notes, life stories, debates, letters and annotated bibliographies from both academics and practitioners.


The schedule of the submission and review process leading to publication is below. If you would like to submit a paper, or be actively involved in this initiative in any other way, please submit your abstract (minimum one paragraph – maximum one page) online on the Knowledge Management for Development Journal site.


If you have any question about this specific call for papers please send an email to (please include “Facilitation Issue” in the title of your email).


For further information about the journal, kindly consult the journal website at:


Guidelines for authors are available on the journal’s website:


Submission deadline for the title and abstract


Acceptance of paper proposal


Submission of paper


Peer-review completed


Final version of paper submitted


Publication date

May 2015


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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of KM4D Journal to add comments!

Comment by Peter J. Bury on March 21, 2012 at 6:53am

Okay, so we start with the starter article (in the resources section | just scroll up here on this page till you see the resources block above)  ''Making innovation systems work in practice"

I could have read it say by Saturday evening (CET).

Where will we chat? Here? Or rather following the link of the article above and then in the chat box below the article? Seems to make more sense to me! 

Comment by Peter J. Bury on March 21, 2012 at 6:47am

I see that I cannot edit an earlier post :-( Feels primitive after having become used to Google+ ! One day we will switch over ;-)

I meant to refer to Ewen's post of last friday (not dated yet, another weird characteristic of Ning chat.

Comment by Peter J. Bury on March 21, 2012 at 6:45am

To respond to Ewen (his post dated 20120315 below).

Today I can see 

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2011


I can also see 

What about you?

Ik keep finding the sites (why two  different ones?) pretty confusing, never knowing if I see the latest issue or not. Never clear if I should login or not.

Actually on the I seem not to be able to login!?

On one doesn't seem to have to login.

Can someone explain this? And update our wiki pages with a roadmap on using the websites of the KM4Dev journal? Thanks! 

Comment by SarahCummings on March 20, 2012 at 10:32am

The starter article is the resource above ''Making innovation systems work in practice". I think a ''please be ready'' date is a good idea. When would you suggest, Nancy? This article was your suggestion, Melissa, how would you like to go about this?

Comment by Nancy White on March 20, 2012 at 9:01am

Excellent. For those reading and not fully awake (like me) just look above this discussion post to the resources. There are two articles, Sarah, which one is the starterd?

Do we want to set a "please ready by" date?

We might also want to post a reminder on the DGroups list to encourage others over here. It is not always that obvious! Thanks Sarah and Ewen!

Comment by SarahCummings on March 20, 2012 at 8:50am

Hi Nancy, I've already posted the article suggested by Melissa under resources. There are also other articles appearing on the wiki (we're still not up to date) but I think there is no problem for individual articles.

Comment by Nancy White on March 20, 2012 at 8:25am

So people are starting to show up here... terrific. We'll need to resolve the issue of getting an article easily shared. Sarah, any ideas on that?

Comment by Claudia Michel on March 20, 2012 at 5:19am

Hi Ewen and Nancy

YES, I would love to join the journal club (not as facilitator but as interested reader and commenter), thanks for your initiative.

NO I do not have access to the journal (T&F will be happy).

Cheers, Claudia

Comment by Nancy White on March 16, 2012 at 9:37am

A few people have asked how to join this group. You need to join the KM4Deve NING site first, and then this group. Here are three screen shots to walk you through the process. The first is from -- the home page. The second is from the registration page you go to when you click "join" and the third is this Journal page where, in the upper right hand corner, you can join this group. Holler if you have any questions.


Comment by Regi Adams on March 16, 2012 at 8:51am

Hi Ewen,


I have access to volumes 5-7. I would be interested in a monthly article chat. Look forward to hearing more about this.


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