Enhancing FAO as aKnowledge Organization – Example of Knowledge Share Fairs
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) • FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with its own independent governance • 190+ Member Countries • HQs in Rome, Offices in over 80 countries with 3600 staff.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) • Collects, analyses, interprets and disseminates information on nutrition, food and agriculture • Policy Advice • Furnishes Technical Assistance • A Neutral Forum for International Cooperation
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) • Normative vs Operational • More of one means less of the other • What is the optimum balance? • “FAO as a Knowledge Org” strived to blend the two (2005) • Now there are two Silos: DDG(Knowledge), DDG(Ops)
Our new mandate....Ensure that the world’sknowledge of food andagriculture is available tothose who need it whenthey need it and in aform which they canaccess and use.
FAO’s Independent External Evaluation The Problem: • FAO must become a more flexible Organization • FAO needs to break out of its risk-averse culture, creating greater efficiency and effectiveness. • FAO has talented staff, stifled by the fragmented structures of FAO and rigidly centralized management systems.
FAO’s Independent External Evaluation Recommendations: • Play a policy role in seeking to balance interests between knowledge generation and availability, especially for the least developed countries • Facilitate knowledge sharing • Develop a strategic vision focused on development in specific areas of knowledge access
New steps to enhancing knowledge capture and sharingwithin the organization and between FAO and its partners • Thematic Knowledge Networks • Best Practices • AskFAO • ShareFair • Knowledge Strategy • Collaborative Learning • Knowledge Sharing ToolKit
First Knowledge “Share Fair” 20 – 22 January 2009Organized by CGIAR, FAO, IFADand WFP• demonstrate how knowledgesharing improves effectiveness,efficiency and impact.• provide an opportunity to learnfrom each other• attended by over 1000+ stafffrom the Rome-based agencies•120 sessions with only 3 PPTs!
Process• A call for proposals was sent outto all staff of all Rome-basedagencies• Received submissions (160)were reviewed/evaluated and theselected ones were grouped into8 Knowledge Themes: • K for me • K stores • K for outreach • K for influence and advocacy • K for projects • K for rural communication • K for networks and communities • K for institutions and partnerships
Knowledge “Share Fair” 20 – 22 January 2009Showcase competition of goodknowledge sharing practicesFace-2-face learning eventsusing techniques such as PeerAssists, Most SignificantChange, AAR, etc.Fun ways to share knowledgesuch as Chat/Talk Shows,World Café, Fish Bowl, etc.Fun staged interactions thatengage participants (KM"diagnosis", KM theater).
Knowledge “Share Fair” 20 – 22 January 2009 Hands on technology workshops introducing tools such as Blogs, Skype, Online Collaboration Platforms, Wikis, etc. Fun technology seminars such as publishing a video on YouTube, creating a podcast, Tagging, Photo Sharing, etc. Specific session on developing a knowledge strategy. Desire to have internal network of Who’s Who to work with (K-Café)
Outcomes• The first Knowledge Share Fair was a “proof-of-concept” and led to further thematic and regional events.• Outcomes: • Internal Knowledge Sharing Portal • Virtual and Face-to-Face Trainings on KS tools/methods • Knowledge Sharing toolkit • Thematic, Regional and affiliated events
FAO Knowledge Café Internal Knowledge Sharing Portal • Who’s Who (Personal Information, Skills, Memberships in external collaborative tools) • Ask and Answer • Sharing in Action • Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods • Upcoming Events
Virtual and Face-to-Face Trainings • Trainings on Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods • participants work together in online/face-to-face collaborative workspaces and “learn while doing”. • allows participants the opportunity to learn together from geographically dispersed locations. • Some courses have a follow-up face-2-face event • Follow-up advise provided to Staff
Knowledge Sharing Toolkit - www.kstoolkit.org FAO and the CGIAR are creating and growing an online resource of knowledge sharing tools and methods. Uses a wiki - continually updated. Anyone can request to join and contribute to the resources. Tools and methods are framed in the context of international development.
Follow-up Events Regional Share Fairs • Share Fair AgKnowledge Africa at ILRI, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia 18-21 October 2010 • Foire aux Savoirs, Afrique de lOuest, EMIG, Niamey, Niger 15 - 17 juin 2010 • Share Fair Latin America and Caribbean at CIAT, Cali Colombia 25-27 May 2010
Follow-up Events Affiliated and Thematic Events • UNDG Inter-Agency Knowledge Fair, Vienna, Austria 28 - 30 September 2010 • 1st IAAH Consultation, Rome, Italy 22 - 24 June 2010 • FAO Climate Change Days Rome 21-23 June 2010 • ABDC-10, Guadalajara, Mexico 1 - 4 March 2010
Generic Outcomes1.Share and learn from each other’s goodpractices2.Experiment with tools and methodologiesfor knowledge sharing.3.Create linkages and networks for futurecollaboration between the participatingorganizations.4.Develop ideas to support and enhanceknowledge sharing within and across theparticipating organizations.
We are not yet finished, many challenges lay ahead... Establish a collective vision of knowledge management and what it means for FAO. Devise effective methods for capturing, structuring, sharing tacit knowledge. Embed knowledge management in FAO’s budgeting, programming and human resources processes Create a culture and infrastructure which improves staff skills, guarantees rewards and creates motivation.