Monday, February 25, 2008

Knowledge Management and the UN 'Solution Exchange' for India

I was really taken aback by a passionate and highly credible presentation from Gopi N Ghosh – Assistant FAO Representative, Food & Nutrition Security Community, at the Second International Conference on Technology and Innovation for Knowledge Management in New Delhi on 13th February 2008.

What a pleasure it is to see some really excellent KM work being done in India in food and agriculture, aiming at improving literacy levels and life expectancy, as well as reducing poverty. However, despite the gains, Gopi Gosh stresses that still much remains to be accomplished in the key thematic areas under the framework of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).

With mounting enthusiasm, Gopi Ghosh described the launch of the UN knowledge sharing platform in India branded as ‘Solution Exchange’. Solution Exchange connects development professionals in similar fields from diverse organizations ranging from Government, bilateral and multilateral development partners and non-governmental organizations to academics, corporates, and the media. It is building ‘Communities of Practice’ through moderated electronic mail groups and also face-to-face interactions and a website. Solution Exchange seeks to empower practitioners by offering them “knowledge on demand” based on solutions from their peers.

Problems and challenges are put as a query and posted to all community members. Members offer advice, experience, contacts or suggestions, within a well thought out framework. A consolidated reply is prepared by the moderator team with a synopsis of original responses, additional resources and links.

True knowledge sharing!

These are available on the website

So far the group has 11 thematic Communities of Practice and 12,000 members, and growing rapidly.

This is a nice way to leverage the knowledge, experience and energies of development practitioners towards the common worthy objective of problem-solving in areas that could make a big difference.

I have never heard a speaker with such positive energy before! At one stage, Gopi was so enthusiastic that he sort of took off ! The success of his great presentation was evidenced by many people keen to exchange business cards with him immediately.

I simply had to join his Solution Exchange and I hope I can share some useful knowledge with the Community. Take a look at the website and please help if you can.

Related link: I had the privilege to be part of a KM and Innovation consulting team for the UN Agency IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) based in Rome last year, in the development of a KM Strategy, which followed on with an Innovation Strategy to assist in the eradication of global extreme rural poverty, within the context of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Free downloads of the KM and Innovation Strategies are available at links above.

Ron Young

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1 comment:

  1. Hello Ron,
    Long time! :-) Thanks for this post. Makes me feel excited about KM in non-commercial ventures...!! I've always dreamed of KM making a difference to the masses....state and country development using KM has been a thought that comes to me on and off....and yes, I've heard about KM in agriculture before as well...ITC in India has been doing something on the lines of video conferencing to put farmers in touch with agricultural experts on a regular basis....
    Take care
    Nimmy :)