Following a good gathering, this one featured very good and action-oriented conversations, despite a low turnout (6 people).

We didn't start with an agenda but generated it on the spot using 'Lean Coffee'.

Lean Coffee led to 3 different topics:

  • How to make this network stronger?
  • How we should promote this network?
  • What is the value of one-stop-shops vs. various social media?

How to make this network stronger?

There used to be more presentations and interactions etc.

One way to find out why people may not be coming is to make an assessment – Survey Monkey etc. (more creative ideas to make this stronger) to give us come background to start… We should find out through the survey why they’re not coming and what value they would like to see from this? The survey could look into a) why they lost interest and b) what would make them come back?

Since we have many new members on NING, FB etc. it would be nice to see them as new members and give an introduction to explain to them why they can benefit etc.

The date and time and gathering might be an issue? People are drawn into a lot of commitments. Should we think about this on Saturday/Sunday? But lots of people have commitments over the weekend… Perhaps we could do it on Monday or some other day earlier in the week? On the other hand, Friday is a day off for UN agencies and others… that was the reason why we chose this time slot.

This network needs to be institutionalised – we need to talk to supervisors to get them to buy into this.

We can put that into the survey (preferred day/time).

Can we identify membership per organisation? As we grow can we think about certifying KM for the organisations that send people to participate on a regular basis

How much awareness is there about this network?

In the long term we can think of having an association. But talking about having a legal entity etc. has to follow having a strong group first

We could collect some testimonies of why people benefit from this.

Make active members ambassadors? Going to meetings, workshops. Emphasise the links etc.

It would be good to ask questions and share docs and conversations that are happening here and there (e.g. on the global KM4Dev discussion group).

Maybe we can also organise virtual meetings – Good to try it out… Every time or one quarter in the year?

What we can do before the next KM4Dev event:

  • Draft survey – ZS to start asking questions on FB (to feed into SurveyMonkey)
  • Set up SurveyMonkey for this (TG to check if we can use the ILRI one)
  • Post interesting conversations from KM4Dev onto the Ethiopia one – ELB
  • Ask on FB what people are benefitting from this CoP – Ask Dawit to post that question…
  • Anyone of us to post questions on FB

 Elements of the survey:

  • Preferred day/time?
  • Preferred frequency?
  • Why they left?
  • What’s the value they have?
  • Idea of having a virtual meeting?

How should we promote this group?

Identify who’s interested – people working in development. Where do we find these people interested in KM? On LinkedIn, among our partners... Perhaps check organisations that could be interested? (e.g. DfID, USAID, CARE, World Vision, Haramaya University). E.g. USAID have some projects working solely on KM. They tend to have KM advisors (at program level), Ministries, IOM, CDKN, ATA.

From the people that were previously in the network, we could informally ask them why they’re not coming (and answering the survey).

Practical ways forward:

  • SY has contacts for USAID.
  • ZS to contact UN comms group.
  • SY, ELB to contact individual contacts from CGIAR (ZL/DT for SY, AW and GM), EN to contact AU folks + ask Gashaw to help with AU.
  • Each of us to try to bring 1-2 people to come next time.


Value of one-stop-shops vs. various social media?

At ILRI we use a lot of different platforms/media/channels to do different things but some colleagues are questioning this model, which is interesting to consider: What are arguments in favour of having integrated systems vs. a myriad of (social media) platforms.

Yammer will be integrated with Office 365. Sharepoint is not integrated with a number of platforms. 

The capacity of the tool has not been tested. We have tools for different purposes etc.


What’s the need for a one-stop-shop platform?

We don’t have dis-integrated platforms so we can still subscribe to things using our emails. 

We are arguing a lot with our researchers. The website is a one-stop-shop for us. E.g. people are wondering why we use e.g. CG Space as opposed to having all docs on the website as many others.

Our people say they don’t have time to go to all tools. As comms folks we need to find ways to communicate through different means.


It may be an opportunity with Office 365 because it’s integrated with Windows, there is MS Office and you can use docs online. Right now at UNICEF we put all documents online and they are accessible everywhere using SharePoint and we use one login. With e.g. Yammer you have one login just for that.

At UNICEF we’ll have one blogging platform on Wordpress and all blogs/sub-sites will be under that. We have an office in each country so we can expect lots of demand for that. It’s going to be a huge functionality.

Every platform has its added value – so some can be compromised etc.

In the IPSS case is that we try to bring user cases around email marketing e.g. certain type of uses from certain platforms and trying to track them through Google Analytics. There are services that you can subscribe to and we know that some people should get information from the different platforms into one newsletter that is delivered at a precise time – consistently for certain groups. This works for people who don’t like distraction (from e.g. using different social media).

We use ‘Campaign Monitor’ linked with Google Analytics. We can play videos inside the newsletter. There’s another product called ‘Eye Contact’.

One concern is that you might end up with a very limited group of people because they expect this email and may delete it automatically…

We have done 8 editions so far at ISSP and most people are external (it’s part of external comms). We’ve started to experiment and we lead off an editorial about what’s happening in the sector that is not relevant for our audience. We’re not yet confident to say we are successful with it.

Your personal take on news that is outside of your organization is good.

Shareability is key in this also and finally it increases the key communication metrics that allow you to obtain support from other units.


This whole conversation is about summarising everything into one place for project/program people e.g. emails + website.


Next gathering Friday 2 October 2-5pm at the ILRI info centre.

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