Thursday, 20 November 2008

Review of KM Workshop with ENRAP/IFAD in Bangkok

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a KM workshop in Bangkok hosted by ENRAP (Knowledge Networking for Rural Development in Asia/Pacific Region), which is a collaboration of IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and IDRC (International Development Research Center in Canada). The workshop was facilitated by Lucie Lamoureux and Allision Hewitt which I knew from the KM4Dev network.

It was very interesting to see how they managed to make the workshop very participatory and interactive (and this is said by me who actually doesn't like to be forced into group discussion on a topic which I couldn't choose myself). I particulary liked the way they consistently mainstreamed the use of Web 2.0 tool as natural mechanism for documenting workshop content in Wordpress, PBwiki, Flickr, YouTube and SlideShare (so "when the workshop's done, the documenting is done"). The good thing was that these tools were not just set up for use during the workshop, but the facilitators organized a scavenger hunt in which participant teams had to complete a list of tasks in each of these tools. A very energizing and funny way to introduce newcomers to Web 2.0!

Even more so, the different non-IT approaches to facilitate and organize knowledge sharing, discussion and capture were delivered very effectively. I particularly liked the chat show, in which a moderator sets up a TV-show like environment, introducing his guests and asking them intriguing questions. But also tools like After Action Reviews, Speed Rounds or Peer Assists where introduced very well. I also liked the way in which reference was made to valuable outside resources such as the CGIAR KS Toolkit. After all it's not like any KM facilitor would need to pretend they have developed all the knowledge by themselfs. It's good to acknowledge that we are all a large learning community.

All in all, time well spent, even though and I was not able to attend all the sessions. Downsides where only the painful leaks in the internet connection and a bit too many organized group discussion for my taste. But you can see from the After Action Review done for the workshop itself, that this can be a workshop approach worth replicating.

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