Collaborative Research

This group is intended as a discussion space for collaborative research projects where people in different contexts work together to address issues they are interested in.

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Latest Activity: Feb 15, 2022

Introduction to participatory action research (for complex adaptive problems)


PAR in the WASH sector 1 Reply

Here a link to PAR work initiated by IRC International Water and…Continue


Started by Peter J. Bury. Last reply by Philipp Grunewald Feb 10, 2014.

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Comment by Nancy White on December 11, 2013 at 8:38pm

Create the eighth day of the week!

Comment by Philipp Grunewald on December 11, 2013 at 5:27pm

Thanks Nancy, as I stated in the online conversation I posted below, this is an experiment about how collaborative resaearch (actually: PAR) with a CoP can be carried out. I thought KM4Dev was a good community to try this out with since, overall, it is fairly collaboartive and engaged anyways. However, some cords have not be tuned to the right notes as yet (or maybe never will) and I am grappling with the question about how to continue. Any ideas of yours would be highly appreciated!

Comment by Nancy White on December 9, 2013 at 2:29am

Philipp, I just want to say, I"m drowning in my own work and research now and can't lend a hand. But I wanted to also say "I hear you" because I'm frustrated when I post someplace and no one answers....

Comment by Philipp Grunewald on December 4, 2013 at 10:39am

Dear all,

I am making progress on deciding how to continue with this. I had an interesting discussion with some people last week with whom I 'walked around the problem' regarding this collaboration. 

This is a method that John is involved with and in a discussion of two cases various facilitator tried to trigger ideas and potential avenues forward in the minds of the people they were trying to help. I was one of them and the recordings and notes from the meeting can be found here: 

Any thoughts, comments, ideas?

Best wishes,


Comment by Philipp Grunewald on November 19, 2013 at 9:54am

Dear all,

I just wanted to get in touch letting you know what I am up to (I have offered the resources and I intend to be transparent and accountable).

At the moment I am spending my time on deciding how to take this forward. Particularly, how much of the work I do on my own and how heavily I "touch base" with the group/and through which medium.

I think that as it currently stands it is not ideal and I have planned a few activities that will help me think about how to proceed. 

As always, if you have any thoughts on the matter please let me know.

Otherwise, I will be in touch next week.

Best wishes,


Comment by Philipp Grunewald on November 6, 2013 at 10:20am

Hello Tina,

you make  some very important points there. The connections you see between the daily workings in international organisations and the strategic decisions made (with impacts on KM) are indeed crucial. 

Someone on twitter (cannot remember who) quoted Peter Drucker yesterday: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast". I could not agree any more with this. Working with culture is something that cannot be addressed appropriately by writing strategies, policies and procedures. Cultural change is a gradual process of framing and sense making, probing and testing, etc. And since we cannot start from scratch highly depended on the individual situation and context one tries to address and work with.

Finding replicable lessons in this area has thus limited feasibility and is maybe not the most effective thing to do? What becomes important is that the right people have the right sort of knowledge and skills (and maybe mindset; since you refer to it) to nudge things into a desirable state whenever the possibility comes along their way. At a strategic level that would mean that the people making those decisions have internalised the values and importance of KM and live their career in that spirit. Creating that awareness, again, is in my eyes not a fact of writing down why KM is (strategically) important but for those people to experience (and being aware of) how knowledge makes a difference in their strategic decision making. Crucial to this is understanding the status quo in the organisation because only this can bring to light the workings of the organisation and create the knowledge necessary to be able to work in a way that fosters welcome developments and hinders unwelcome ones.

However, many would argue that this is what strategic mgmt is all about. Arguing for strategic KM is maybe not as effective as underlining how strategic management is all about having a holistic understanding of an organisation. On a strategic level, KM is not a separate thing.

Does this sound related to what you are talking about? Is this the sort of thing you mean? Would that help with what you understand as strategic KM4Dev? Is this an avenue to pursue in your eyes?

Best wishes,


Comment by Philipp Grunewald on November 6, 2013 at 9:45am

Martina Hetzel wrote this in the mailing list:

Hello Phillip,

I am especially interested in the topic: 

Strategic KM4Dev – examples, analysis, orientation

because I feel I need other strategies than the ones I know so far. 

Lets keep exchanging.


One recomendation: please consider in your work other topics which influence a lot the daily work of development agencies, local organizations and their projects. May be its even an entry point for you to reflect about the strategic KM4Dev we need.

I give you two examples:

- Indicators: In organizations where indicators are very strong and there is a rather "conservative" indicator management (formulating indicators before process starts, managing indicators like a control instrument etc.), the indicators can prohibit open learning processes (result is more public relations).

- intern team work organization: in organizations where colaboration between north and south headquarters are managed by work process systems calculating per hours and "tangible" results it can also prohibit open exchange processes and cultures.  


So you see: the topic for me is not only the strategic KM4Dev paper - the topic is where are the elements in the organizational model which restrain a KM4Dev culture. It would be a good step if those who decide about such systems at least know what the decision means for the KM culture in their organization.


Many times I heared that KM4Dev is thinking about the "outside world" of an international organization (e.g. their results with target groups). Its right, but who doesnt practice KM in an intern sphere, wont know how to do it externally. 


Saludos! Tina

Comment by John Smith on October 23, 2013 at 9:22pm

Here are 2 blog posts about the All our Ideas tool exploring how to use it and what some possible applications might be:

Comment by Philipp Grunewald on October 23, 2013 at 4:59pm

Hello Patricia,


I see. I am not sure. I think that the tool is only suited to exploring the context of the original question (the one that stays at the top at all times). I do not think that it is suitable for exploring the context of the actual ideas.


Other methods, tools, etc. would be necessary for that I feel.

I hope this helps.


Best wishes,


Comment by Patricia Arana Tagle on October 23, 2013 at 4:38pm

Hello Philipp and John,

Excuse my ignorance. It was just a question on the methodology, I ll go back to John's paper but I was just wondering where you place the context in the results that you get from the survey?.

Disregard if my question is already answered in John's paper.

Best wishes,



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