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ICM and KSS in IWM as evidence-based DSS to inform Policy and Investment decisions - Prof. Bancy M. Mati
ICM and KSS in IWM as evidence-based
DSS to inform Policy and Investment decisions
Prof. Bancy M. Mati
Presented at the:
CTA Annual Seminar:
Closing the Knowledge Gap: Integrated Water
Management for Sustainable Agriculture
Johannesburg, South Africa
Basic Terms /acronyms
• ICM – Information, Communication & Management
• KSS – Knowledge Support Systems
• DSS – Decision Support Systems
• ICT – Information and Communication Technologies
• IWM – Integrated Water Management
• IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
1. Status of knowledge share & ICM for IWM in Africa
2. Typologies of Decision Support Systems
3. Knowledge needs for Policy & Investment support
4. Components of ICM
5. Simple KM technologies
6. DSS tools to inform policy on IWM & Agric
7. Schematic presentation of the IWM Process
8. Upgrading IWM through KSS & ICM
Status of knowledge share & DSS in Africa
• Africa is a continent fragmented by national boundaries,
languages and cultural barriers
• Technologies and practices for IWM exist but in localized
• Researchers chase to publish papers in foreign
• Policy makers rarely consult local scientists and/or farmers
• Research agenda rarely emanates from local needs
• Even with the internet, knowledge flow intra-Africa is weak
• Capacity has been growing among Africans.....
Why sit on
As a result…..
Knowledge Gaps in Policy & Investment decisions
Knowledge and experiences from decades of
research and project implementation
are not filtering up-wards to influence
are poorly infiltrating downwards to
impact on poverty among smallholder
are not spreading outwards rapidly
enough to reach many people quickly.
Information and Knowledge
• Information is data that is organized so as to
• Data is numerical or at least quantifiable
• Knowledge is “information that is relevant,
actionable, and based at least partially on
• ICT consists of information processing and
Typologies of Decision Support Systems (DSS)
Origins of computer aided DSS is fairly recent - 1967 (Morton’s
dissertation in Harvard).
Can Distinguish six types of DSS
1. Model-driven DSS - use limited data and parameters
provided by decision makers
2. Data-driven DSS – use large quantities of data
3. Communications-driven DSS – utilize ICTs
4. Document-driven DSS e.g. uses computer storage and
processing for info retrieval and analysis
5. Knowledge-driven DSS : are person-computer systems
with specialized problem-solving expertise
6. Web-based DSS – e.g. Imagine life without Google?
Typical target Stakeholders for ICM. For example
1. International Institutions – e.g. UN, WB, IFAD,
2. Regional Institutions - COMESA, SADC, AMCOW
3. National Institutions – Ministries of Water, Agriculture
4. National Knowledge Institutions – e.g. universities,
5. Para-governmental Orgs e.g. RBAs, parastatals
6. Private Sector – banks, equipment manufacturers
7. Funded Programmes & Projects -
8. NGOs, WUAs, SHGs, CBOs
9. Farmers, fishers, pastoralists and other land users.
Knowledge needs for Policy &
• Determine what information needs to be
• Be sensitive to the needs of Policy makers
• Determine the medium of communication.
• Determine who will be sending out this
communication & who is receipient.
• Identify the purpose of the communication
• Demand driven or push it?
• Determine the frequency of communication
B.Mati 10 01/29/15
IWM interventions having simple
improvements which yield visible impacts
B.Mati 11 01/29/151101/29/15
Knowledge about inputs, not just costs …
B.Mati 12 01/29/15
Community mobilization and participation
in development programmess
B.Mati 13 01/29/15
Advice on “quick wins” that utilize local materials
Photo by B. Mati
Sand-filled bags for dam embankment in Nyando, Kenya Zai pits for maize crop in Mbeere, Kenya
Available DSS tools to inform policy & Investment
• National & regional IWM research information systems
• Indigenous knowledge systems before they disappear.
• Developing information systems of matured /tested
technologies that have proven successful (farmer K)
• Case studies and success stories (local, borrowed)
• Audio-visual knowledge capture e.g. photos, broadcasts,
• GIS supported information bases
• Websites and blogs
• Equip institutions with ICT hardware& software.
Examples of DSS tools for IWM &
Agric to inform policy
• Early warning systems e.g. Geo-spatial data
shared by FEWSnet, WMO-EA
• IFPRI’s Strategic Analysis Knowledge Support
System" for agricultural and market analysis
• WFP/FAO’s Standardized Monitoring and
Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART)
for needs assessment
• IPPC’s Global Circulation models for climate
IMAWESA 16 01/29/15
Institutionalizing sustainability in KSS for IWM
• Devising mechanisms for self-financing
• Working with service providers
• Enhancing ICT communication
• Getting political goodwill and support
• Devising a reward system for ICM work
• Having long-term goals and objectives which are
• Creativity and innovation to capture new knowledge
and make use of it.
Example: Climate Change Decision support tools
Source: The Economics of Climate Change. Stern Review, 2007.
Source: The World Bank Group Genderstats Database of Gender Statistics (2004),
and ILO Global employment Trends Brief (2006)
• A pen and notebook -
• Writing (newspapers, magazines, report),
• Audio-visual systems (radio, TV , doc films)
• Public speaking forums,
• Electronic media e.g. telephone, fax, e-mail,
• Internet search engines e.g. Google or Yahoo
• e-learning tools, Wordpress
• Social computing tools e.g. SMS, blogs , wikis
Simple KM technologies
Example: SMS as a DSST at farmer level
• In Kenya, farmers have an easy, low risk DSST
through SMS technology & M-PESA. e.g....
• Sale & purchase of farm products
• Receipt sent via SMS to farmer’s cell phone
• Tailored farm advice messages sent directly to
farmer’s cell phone
• SMS is the new community gathering.
• SMS is the new source of information
• SMS is a means for farmers to connect with a
larger network of people.
IMAWESA 21 01/29/152101/29/15
Photos by B. Mati
Challenges: how to change age-old practices
e.g. introducing SRI (System of rice intensification)
IWM for cross-sectoral uses
Photo by B. Mati
Water for Community services Water storages for livestock
Photo by Naphtali Mbanda, Rwanda
Components of ICM
• What: Determine what knowledge is needed, its management information
structures, and objectives.
• Who: identify who to share knowledge with, e.g. networks, authorities,
individuals, practitioners, collaborators or the entire World Wide Web.
• How: Organize how the knowledge will be shared, e.g. by networking, consulting,
collaborating, sharing, researching, reflecting, developing, testing, training,
innovating, managing, or simply posting on the Internet.
• Why: e.g. activity planning, strategic planning, learning, awareness raising,
feedback, or simply for information.
• Where: Identify the sources and destinations of the knowledge e.g. strategic
positioning, planning, and coverage.
• When: Determine the timelines associated with knowledge capture, processing
and sharing, e.g. timing, pacing, planning, scheduling, context, live or recorded.
• If: Identify the utility of knowledge as a decision support tool.
Incentives for supporting ICM
• Making available increased knowledge content
• Facilitating and supporting innovation and organisational
• Acknowledging and managing intellectual capital and
• Improving communications and IT connectivity
• Leveraging the expertise through training,
• Facilitating interaction between members,.
• Solving intractable issues as soon as they arise.
Promoting policy and investment support for IWM
• Develop workable Strategies considering river basin mgt.
• Review national laws for IWM policy development.
• Facilitate participation of all stakeholders at all levels of
IWM, with special attention to gender and youth.
• Improve structures and processes for consultation at all
• Better co-ordination and institutional strengthening to
overcome fragmented responsibilities in the field of IWM.
• Resource mobilization, especially self-financing
• Increase information, awareness and communication.
• Formation of multi-stakeholder forums e.g. WUAs, AgWA
• Advocacy and generating goodwill
B.Mati 26 01/29/15
ICM to bridge the knowledge needs of a
cross-section of “Decision Makers”
Key Water &
Schematic of the IWM Process • Stakeholder Input
• Investor Input
• Public Sector Input
Upgrading IWM through KSS & ICM
• Using KSS to achieve “decisively” designed projects
and/or incorporating IWM into existing ones.
• Embedding the five capitals (N, P, H, F, S) into IWM.
• Ensuring that policy and legal instruments for IWM are in
place (at local, national & regional levels)
• Linking IWM with indigenous knowledge.
• Identifying likely barriers and opportunities (research).
• Infuse science & technology in IWM implementation
• Build capacity for IWM (school kids, farmers, scientists...)
• Making IWM understood by leaders (whose decisions
affect resource allocation for the poor).