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 Claudia Michel on March 22, 2012 at 9:10am

Great if you can moderate our talk, Melissa, many thanks. I would suggest that we start the discussion in a week (29/03) to give us (me!) a bit of time to read the article and then have a discussion until 12/04. If we start right now, some people might not be able to join. Looking forward to this!

Comment by Lawrence E. Hiner, III on March 21, 2012 at 6:12pm

Does this comment wall allow multiple threads, or will it all get jumbled together?  If the latter, then the conversation about the article might be better had on that page.

Comment by Lawrence E. Hiner, III on March 21, 2012 at 6:10pm

I would suggest the threaded conversation take place as "close" to the virtual document as possible, whether that be through the tool there or a link to the document here.

Comment by Melissa Bator on March 21, 2012 at 5:53pm

Ok, so 2 weeks from today is Wednesday, April 4.  Can we set that as our official conversation start date? I am just throwing this out there, as my initial attempt at volunteering to moderate this conversation. I could post an initial question or starter thought that day to get the conversation rolling.

Logistically, I noticed that when you click on the article title in the resources section (above) you are brought to a different page (where the article is posted) and a different space for a conversation thread. Where should we host this conversation--this page, or the comment wall where the article is posted?

Comment by Lawrence E. Hiner, III on March 21, 2012 at 1:54pm

Two weeks seems reasonable; urgent without being critical...

Comment by Regi Adams on March 21, 2012 at 12:40pm

I think two weeks is a good period of time.

Comment by Peter J. Bury on March 21, 2012 at 10:01am

Dear Regi and Lawrence, so what would seem a reasonable conversation period after the have read date ?

One week? Two weeks?

I'd go for two weeks, but I'm flexible, Peter

Comment by Lawrence E. Hiner, III on March 21, 2012 at 9:53am

Like Regi, I agree that a date frame for comments is good - beginning and ending.  So, if there is a "window" for comments from the date of issue/posting until the next issue (or something like that), there is a sense of urgency for the discussion and keeps it from dragging. Not that someone could not comment or read the posts after the "closing" date; but the discussion could stay time-focused and more likely to elicit participation.

Comment by Regi Adams on March 21, 2012 at 8:08am

I think a target date is good. It can mark the commencement of conversation regarding the journal article. Discussing the article within the indivdiual article entry would be convenient.

Comment by Nancy White on March 21, 2012 at 7:51am

I will be traveling, so I can't take a lead on this Sarah. And Peter, I think your suggestion of a date is terrific, but I'm not sure, however, everyone who expressed interest from the DGroups list has 'arrived' yet, so if you all finalize a start date, please post it to that list. This first time it make take a bit of support and encouragement for those not yet on Ning.

 For this round, I leave it to y'all! I'll be mostly offline through April 4 (and yes, this is my evil way to encourage other members to take up bits of leadership here and there and move outwards from core group dependence! :-)  )


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