Concept 4 public kn m tec _2009


Published on

Concept paper for the promotion of Knowledge Management application in Botswana Public Sector to improve readiness for global knowledge society.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Concept 4 public kn m tec _2009

  1. 1. TERTIARY EDUCATION COUNCIL____________________________________________________________ Transforming Tertiary Education in Botswana Concept Paper Application of Knowledge Management to public sector service providers with special emphasis on Tertiary Education in Botswana Dr. Reinhart J. Dreves Advisor Financial & Institutional Development Directorate of Knowledge Management Tertiary Education Council Botswana 15/10/2009
  2. 2. Tertiary Education CouncilFairgrounds Office ParkTholo Building, Plot 50369GaboroneBotswanaTel: + 267 390 1481Fax: + 267 390 0679Web: www. -2-|Page
  3. 3. Glossary:NDP: National Development PlanKPA: Key Performance AreaKPI: Key Performance IndicatorM&E: Monitoring & EvaluationRbM: Results based ManagementMDRF: Macro Development Results FrameworkIDP: Integrated Development PlanningPBRS: Performance based Reward SystemIMS: Integrated Management Information SystemMFDP: Ministry of Finance and Development PlanningTEC: Tertiary Education CouncilGICO: Government Implementation Coordination OfficePSRU: Public Sector Reform UnitBEAC: Economic Advisory CouncilTEP: Tertiary Education PolicyNHRDS: National Human Resource Development StrategyCSO: Central Statistical Office of BotswanaNGO: Non Governmental OrganizationMDGs: Millennium Development GoalsIMF: International Monetary FundsOECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentICT: Information and Communication TechnologyKEI: Knowledge Economy IndexKI: Knowledge IndexNRI: Network Readiness IndexMOESD: Ministry of Education and Skills DevelopmentMCST: Ministry of Communication, Science and TechnologyNCE: National Commission on EducationRNPE: Revised National Policy on EducationTEMIS: Tertiary Education Management Information SystemGDP: Gross Domestic ProductKM: Knowledge ManagementR&D: Research and DevelopmentDOKB: Distributed Organizational Knowledge BaseKLC: Knowledge Life CircleKMCI: Knowledge Management Consortium InternationalSNA: Social Network Analysis -3-|Page
  4. 4. Abstract:Botswana stands at the threshold of a very challenging transition period. Thesuccessful switch from a top-down planned development path based on reve-nues from the export of primary goods, especially diamonds, to a sustainablebottom-up accumulation and growth process based on the employment ofskilled and knowledgeable local human resources is the daunting task.The situation is quite serious. Around 40% of government revenues and 70%of exports is derived from mining activities, while the manufacturing sectorhas been contributing with not more than 5% to the GDP. The second largesteconomic sector is government itself with its dependency on export reve-nues, followed by services (financial & business) and tourism & trade. Dueto the high capital intensity of the mining sector, employment effects had re-mained constantly limited, while unemployment ranges between 17% to35%. But now mining production has stagnated and is unlikely to furthercontribute significantly to economic growth. General trends of growth ratesshow a declining direction.Since the middle of the last decade government has therefore focused on anexport-led economic diversification process primarily based on special incen-tives in favour of the manufacturing sector. The results, however, remain un-satisfactory and the approach lacks evidence of significant success. In effectthe broad idea of export-led diversification is now identified as growth froma wider range of economic activities that can take the country beyond dia-mond dependency. Indeed Botswana has no choice but to carry out a form ofdiversification that is export-led and not only regional but increasingly inte-grated into the whole globalization process especially given the small domes-tic market.Due to the weakness of the local private sector, the policy framework latelyalso involves a central role for Foreign Direct Investments, improving com-petitiveness and productivity, and boosting institutional efficiency. Interna-tional competitiveness partly based on and supported by foreign capital in-vestment calls for highly skilled human capital and top-level institutionalservice effectiveness. Hence human capital represents the most critical pro-duction factor in the modern knowledge based global economy.In the foregoing context of Botswana’s development challenges, education ingeneral, but tertiary education in particular and capacity building and trainingas well as dissemination of information and sharing knowledge to sustaineconomic growth and encourage innovation plays a determining role for thefuture success of the whole development process.The purpose of this paper is to initiate discussion and conceptualizing of theapplication of knowledge management to public service providers in Bot-swana in general and to the Tertiary Education sector in particular. -4-|Page
  5. 5. The arguments can be summarized as follows:I. Macro level background: The emerging need for modern Knowledge Management practices in Botswana. The development process of Botswana is guided by a Vision for 2016, her 50th anniversary of independence. The particular Public Sector Strategic Plan is contained in the tenth National Development Plan (NDP10) for the period 2009 – 2016. As NDP10 ends with 2016, the Plan is different from previous Plans, as it is for the first time an explicit results driven Develop- ment Plan, converting the Vision goals into Plan results. To guarantee the successful implementation of the new approach, a holistic results-based- management monitoring & evaluation framework is being developed to en- sure rigorous performance tracking and reporting. The high level vision 2016 goals were cascaded down to national and further to sector level key result areas with particular targets, indicators and baselines for all pro- grammes and projects conducted by Ministries, Departments or other im- plementing entities / parastatals. This approach requires a high level of data and information management as well as knowledge about the implementa- tion processes seeking to transform planning into reality. In addition, the Public Sector is expected to comply with procedures related to those identi- fied for a learning organization, which is definitely a question of knowledge management.II. Sector Relevance: Human Resource Development as a strategic goal. Botswana has identified the development of competitive and productive human resource as the most important key result area for its transformation into a knowledge based society. In general terms, Botswana is amongst the top performers on the African continent and at the top stage of developing and transition countries on their way to be eventual global players in a competitive world. Nevertheless Bot- swana’s productivity needs to improve substantially. With this regard, it has to be emphasized, that Botswana’s impressive progress from one of the poorest countries of the world in the 1960s to a middle-income one in less than 50 years was achieved on the basis of revenues earned from the exports of primary goods. Given the anticipated decline in mineral resources from 2021 on, future economic growth can only be expected from a human re- source-led development model. Development and growth based on human capital requires competitive and productive employment in diversified and specialised economic sectors in a relatively high performing socio-economic environment with well functioning institutional and support services. How- ever, Botswana’s potential for economic diversification remains limited: ex- actly education and innovation parameters indicate the country’s lack of means to expand into higher-valued sectors. Table of Indicators: -5-|Page
  6. 6. Latest Information on Total Rank / CommentsPerformance of Botswana Universe PositionProsperity Index (1) 104 56 Conducive political Environment for growthEconomic Fundamentals (1) 104 56 Weak in: mass education, Trade agreements, comer- cialising new ideasEntrepreneurship & Innovation 104 92 Week communication(1) Infrastructure, ICT and high- Tech Exports extremely lowEducation (1) 104 80 Short at higher levelsWEF Global Competitiveness(2) 133 66 Low readiness & usageIndex of Political Rights 193 One of Political Stabilityand Civil liberties (freedom)(3) 48 - SSA 11- SSAIndex of Globalisation (4) 72 49 Economic integration, connec tivity, political engagementIndex of Democracy(5) 167 39 Stability, judicial indepen- dence, absence of corruptionPublic Institution Index 25 1 Good governanceIndex of African Governance 48 4 Good governanceStatus Index 125 19 Democracy, Market economy Advanced categoryManagement Index 125 3 Reform activities, perfor- mance, Successful categoryEconomic Freedom (6) 183 34 Security, access to money, Regulations of credit, labour etc. ,Highest with MauritiusMDGs 189 Fairly 18 targets, 40 indicators wellUN Human Development Index 179 126 HIV/AIDS, low EducationDigital Access Index SSA Amongst Good only at African level Best 5e-Government Readiness world 118 Urgent to improveKnowledge Economy Index 134 85 Good for regimeKnowledge Index 134 93 Low educationEducation Index 134 102 Low tertiary educationInnovation Index 134 76 Low researchICT Index 134 96 Low Internet useConnectivity Index 25 10 Value Zero: Government Usage & skillsNetwork Readiness Index (NRI) 134 77 Well regard to environment, But lack of individual and business readinessNRI Africa 5 Very well for AfricaAvailability of research and 134 104 By far too little supplytraining servicesSupplier quality 134 118 Too low qualityAvailability of scientists and 134 111 Lack of research and demand -6-|Page
  7. 7. engineers For high-tech Travel & Tourism 133 79 new opportunity for Competitiveness Index (TTCI) growth  (1) Legatum Prosperity Index 2009, Dubai; (2) World Economic Forum 2009, Genève;  (3) Freedom  House,  2008, USA;  (4)AT  Kearney/Foreign  Policy (2007); (5)The Econo‐ mist  Intelligence  Unit,  2008;  (6)Fraser  Institute  (CAN),  Heritage  Foundation  (USA),  2009,  (7)  World  Bank,  Knowledge  4  Development,  2009;  (8)  Bertelsmann  Transfor‐ mation Index, Munich 2009;    Message from the Table: excellent political and economical environment for further  and improved growth based on economic diversification; but very low individual,  institutional and business readiness as well as low education levels and lack of  technology applications; trends of most indicators are going down over the last 10  years and need urgent attention.  In view of this, a National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS) was developed to provide the necessary added value to assist indi- viduals as well as the whole private and public sectors to realise the poten- tials required for further economic growth and social development. Botswa- na’s highest political levels acknowledged that achieving high income status is only possible based on enhanced knowledge and skills profiles of the pop- ulation. Hence the NHRDS was put at the core of Botswana’s development strategy. III. The mission of The Tertiary Education Council it is to plan, develop and co-ordinate a well-resourced quality tertiary education system con- tributing to Botswana becoming a knowledge-based society. The functions of the TEC are similar to other “buffer” bodies around the world: advising government on Tertiary Education policy matters, registra- tion, accreditation and quality assurance of institutions and programmes, funding of the public institutions and research, and planning for the sub- sector in concordance with the needs of the private sector and the develop- ment process. The Council has so far managed to position the sub-sector of higher education at that critical point it deserves as a catalyst and transform- er of human resources into valued added human capital. In particular the Council has achieved the following results: successfully launched the first tertiary education policy for Botswana, developed the new National Human Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS), prepared the section on tertiary education programmes of the respective sector as part of NDP10, developed a new Funding Model for all public tertiary education institutions, registered 32 public and private institutions and initiated the development of a urgently needed Tertiary Education Management Information System (TEMIS). Also TEC strives to be, or to become, a learning organization, which calls for the establishment of an environment and culture where the provision of ade- quate Knowledge Management practices and processes first of all encour- ages the creation of knowledge and then its later management. -7-|Page
  8. 8. IV. Knowledge Management: Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom... only the one who understands the underlying pattern and principles might be able to achieve the desired results under given circumstances. Knowledge Management is called a process, a collection of processes, a range of practices, a developing body, a cultivation of an environment, a framework and mind-set, a discipline, and a strategy; there is no universal standardized meaning attached to what is called Knowledge Management. But of course, all associated thoughts are revolve around understanding what knowledge is and how to capitalize knowledge at organizational level. The progression for a learning organization is: Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom; Data and Information are gathered; Knowledge is on- ly gained as a result of analysis and understanding based on particular asso- ciations in a specific context. Data is meaningless without context. A col- lection of data is not information as long as there is no relation between the data. Information is quite simply an understanding of the relationships be- tween pieces of data or other information, with great dependence on con- text. Beyond the relationship there is pattern. When a pattern relationship exists amidst the data and information, the pattern has the potential to rep- resent knowledge. However, it only becomes knowledge, when the one who observes a given combination of data and information is able to realize and understand the patterns and the implications. Pattern embodies both, a con- sistency and completeness of relations, which create its own context. Pat- tern which represents knowledge also provide, when the pattern is under- stood, a high level of reliability or predictability as to how the pattern will evolve over time based on an underlying principle. Knowledge as an under- stood pattern or principle has completeness that information simply does not contain as it guarantees specific results under specific conditions. And this is where the whole issue about Knowledge Management gets its dy- namic from: the attempt to foresee, predict and plan the manner, that future success is highly probable – Prognosis. V. The organizational context: From early beginnings of simple data collection and information management to guiding principles as a result of free flow of information and “collective intelligence” in New Knowledge Management. Knowledge Management at organizational level is only important to the ex- tent it enhances the ability and capacity to deal with and develop in the are- as of (1) mission (what has to be accomplished), (2) competition (how to gain a competitive edge), (3) performance (how to deliver results), (4) change (how to cope) and (5) quality (how to organize the processes). Knowledge Management starts at the level of Data and Information Man- agement as a tool to support management decision making. As explained earlier data doesn’t predict trends of data. What predicts trends of data is the activity that is responsible for the data, respectively the action taken up- on an informed decision. The value of Knowledge Management relates di- rectly to the effectiveness with which the managed knowledge enables the members of an organization to deal with today’s situation and effectively envision and create future scenarios. This requires an analytical approach to -8-|Page
  9. 9. translate the specific experience and understanding of one person into a more general pattern or even principle so that others might apply the inbuilt knowledge to a new situation. Managed (analyzed, assessed, adjusted) knowledge only enables members of an organization when appropriately captured (stocktaking), disseminated (sharing) and transferred into new ap- plication areas; to create innovation through re-combination of particular skills and knowledge. Knowledge Management differentiates between ex- plicit and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be documented, achieved and codified, often with IT; tacit knowledge con- sists of know-how in the heads of people and covers also perceptions, expe- riences, values, judgements, intuition, skills etc. – it is difficult to be identi- fied, recognized, shared and managed. For both knowledge categories sev- eral management tools have been developed to optimize organizational benefits from Knowledge Management practices. In a recent approach of “New” Knowledge Management, the position is taken, that knowledge is something that is produced in human social sys- tems through individual and shared processes. The framework emphasises on knowledge processing as a two side process: the knowledge production and the knowledge integration. Knowledge Integration covers what was previously understood as (limited) Knowledge Management; it begins sometimes after knowledge is produced: all what is needed to do is to cap- ture it, codify it and share it. Ergo the purpose of initial Knowledge Man- agement ignored to enhance knowledge production; rather the purpose was to enhance the development of knowledge into practice (the right infor- mation in the right format in the right moment to the right person - only). Instead the new approach focuses on the organizational learning as knowledge production and innovation.VI. DKM at TEC: Strengthening the organizational capacity and guiding the transformation into a learning organization as well as support the sector capacity in Knowledge Management. In June 2008 the Council decided to create the Directorate of Knowledge Management. The specific goal and objectives of the Directorate of Knowledge Management at TEC (DKM@TEC) were later (April 2009) de- veloped and stated as follows. Goal: “To consolidate and strengthen the Tertiary Education Council organizational capacity as well as to support and strengthen the Tertiary Education sector capacity in Knowledge Man- agement as a contribution to and in line with the Tertiary Education Policy: “Towards a Knowledge-based Society.” The identified objectives are:  To develop and set up standards on methods and processes for the man‐ agement of data, information and knowledge of the TE sector.    To facilitate a technically appropriate and efficient as well as user effective  ways of knowledge management at TEC and for the whole sector.   To produce and manage comprehensive statistical and non‐statistical data,  information and knowledge related to the TE sector of Botswana.   To coordinate and manage all sources and repositories of data, information  and knowledge relevant for Tertiary Education in Botswana.  -9-|Page
  10. 10.  To  inform  the  public  and  all  stakeholders  in  particular  about  results,  ser‐ vices and administration of the Tertiary Education Council based on gen‐ erated information and knowledge at TEC. It is the intention of the DKM@TEC to initiate and promote in Botswanathe application of Knowledge Management especially at the Tertiary Edu-cation sub-sector but also in the broader area of public service management.This paper should serve that purpose.Gaborone, November 2009 - 10 - | P a g e
  11. 11. Stages from Data via Information Management to Knowledge Manage- ment - 11 - | P a g e
  12. 12. I. Macro level background: The emerging need for practical application of modern Knowledge Management practices to public service providers in Botswana.2016 is a historic moment in the story of Botswana as a nation; 50 years of independ-ence. In this period, the nation has evolved from a difficult situation as the 5th poorestcountry of the world to a middle-income one, respected by its citizens, by the countriesof Africa and by the whole international community. Respected for its peacefuldemocratic and economically successful development. “Prosperity for all”, the genuineVision for 2016 articulated in 1997 assisted this by setting the basic path and formulatingthe envisaged results1.In September 2008 the Vision 2016 Council2 presented its strategic plan 2009 – 2016 asthe road map of how to achieve the Vision 2016 goals. The Vision 2016 goals are alimited number of goals which are composed by a small number (2-4) of targets for eachof the seven pillars of Vision 20163; these targets are the envisaged results of the sincethen conducted development process and are still officially considered realisticallyachievable by 2016, based on current levels of national performance.The creation of a National Development Strategy composed of three sector strategicplans for the Public (1) and Private Sector (2) as well as the Civil Society (3) as a top-down planning process is intended to guide and drive the implementation of these threesector plans. The implementation of the overall national strategy being a bottom-upaffair, the three strategic sector plans will make very clear what each sector promises andcommits to contribute by sector performance in order to help achieving the Vision 2016goals.One of these three strategic development sub-plans, that is the Public Sector Develop-ment Plan is contained in the National Development Plan (NDP); for the period 2009 -2016 it is called NDP10. The Public Sector includes three distinct groups: (1) theExecutive and Legislative Sections of the Government, (2) the Public Service of theGovernment and (3) parastatal organizations; the Tertiary Education Council (TEC)being one of them.The role of the Vision 2016 Council is to “drive and monitor” the implementation ofVision 2016 goals, where “drive” is meant as proactively influence progress on theenvisaged results, while “monitor” really refers to measure proven (or lack of) perfor-mance on them. The Council therefore is collaborating with each of the sectors, so thatthey first develop / elaborate and then implement strategies which are driving the nationtowards achieving the Vision 2016 goals in each of the seven pillars. 1 also look at: “legatum prosperity index” at: for actual country level 2 For further information see: 3 The seven pillars are: 1. An Open, Democratic and Accountable Nation; 2. A Prosperous, Productive and Innovative Nation; 3. An Educated, Informed Nation; 4. A Moral and Toler- ant Nation; 5. A United and Proud Nation; 6. A Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation; 7. A Safe and Secure Nation. - 12 - | P a g e
  13. 13. These three key stakeholder sectors are not considered monoliths but recognizedcomposing by smaller groups as (i.e.) “education sector” under the general “publicservice” and “Tertiary Education” as sub-sector of “Education”. Consequently the sub-sectors have to provide the Vision Council with complete, final and accurate datashowing progress of their particular contribution towards each of those results or sub-results (KPAs) and related indicators (KPIs) relevant for measurement of their perfor-mance4.As the Vision Council must not only “monitor” but also “evaluate” on basis ofmeasurements of indicators how Botswana is doing in relation to its Goals under Vision2016 and report to the nation through “Botswana’s Performance”5, facilitation of thedevelopment and the implementation of Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) processes andsystems to provide data, the establishment and use access to technologies & processesfor delivering data required for monitoring and evaluating processes, as well as theprovision of related and relevant education and training programmes on M&E mattersthrough support bodies like the University of Botswana are critical projects for theCouncil to achieve its own strategic results.In response to tendencies and major new development in public administration world-wide in recent years increasingly focussing on Monitoring & Evaluation as an inevitabletool for successfully application of the new approach of “Results-based-Management”(RbM). The Results-based-Management focuses on expected results to be achievedthrough implementation of projects, programmes and policies; continuously monitoringperformance; and making adjustments to guarantee / improve efficiency and effective-ness. It is an approach which perfectly fits with the needs of Botswana Government tomanage at least public service performance to achieve the Vision 2016 Goals. A holisticRbM based M&E framework (Macro Development Results Framework (MDRF6) atnational level has been developed to be used for the implementation of all projects,programmes and policies during this last development phase until reaching 2016, whichis NDP10.“NDP10 is different from previous plans in three main respects. First, this Planrepresents a shift from the previous plan in that it is the first explicit results (outcomes)driven National Development Plan. The Plan utilises the Integrated DevelopmentPlanning (IDP) approach, which is an essential part of the Integrated Results BasedManagement (IRBM) framework. At the core of this approach is the concept ofoutcome-focused planning, i.e., planning that gives special emphasis and considerationto the outcomes the plan seeks to achieve. Second, the NDP 10 plan period spans overseven (7) year horizon (2009-2016)... The implementation of the plan thus coincideswith the county’s Vision 2016 time horizon.... Finally, the national implementationmachinery for NDP10 will be streamlined and strengthened through enhanced imple-mentation agreements and monitoring, evaluation and reporting systems...” 7 4 See: Chiepe, Goaba B.: Integrated Performance Management Systems, Performance Meas- urement, Barbados 7-11 June 2004 5 The Vision Council developed a monitoring and evaluation system to facilitate effective monitoring of sectoral performance, Taboka Nkhwa: Public Service Reforms - Botswana 6 See NDP10 appendix 7 NDP10, 3.8 and 3.9, pg.38 - 13 - | P a g e
  14. 14. The Integrated Results Based Management system requires that all key Result Areas(KRAs) and NDP 10 goals and programmes be results-oriented. The accountability ofindividuals and institutions for specific results will be established in a more systematicand structured manner. During implementation, the structured monitoring andevaluation mechanism will ensure rigorous performance tracking and reporting, leadingto improved accountability for achieving the desired results by the responsible individu-als (project Directors / Managers) and entities (such as TEC).The IRBM system includes the following components:. Integrated Development Planning. Integrated Results-Based Budgeting System. Integrated Personnel Performance System (PbRS). Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System. Integrated Management Information System (MIS). Electronic Government Support SystemThe Vision 2016 goals are cascaded down into the NDP10 Key Result Areas, NationalGoals and objectives. These goals are systematically further cascaded down fromNational Goals to sector goals and then to programmes and projects of Ministries andDepartments or related parastatals for their respective implementation.All the sectors have their particular goals, indicators, targets, and baselines for theirrespective targets; these goals are the responsibility of the various implementing entities(i.e. TEC). In line with the sector approach, there is additional emphasis on theachievements of results in NDP10 through the parallel use of a programme-activityapproach. The sets of activities under a programme can entail one or more projects (i.e.the Tertiary Education Policy Implementation Project covering also the Funding ModelImplementation Project and the Tertiary Education Management Information SystemProject as part of the Tertiary Education Programme contributing to NDP10 goal:adequate supply of ... human resources).At national level, M&E will be the responsibility of Vision 2016 Council and theMinistry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP); Vision 2016 Council willprimarily monitor progress and evaluate against results at macro level, while MFDP’semphasis will be on the aspects of financial management (efficient use of financialresources) of all related (and thereby limited) activities.At the Sector/Ministry level, M&E will primarily be the responsibility of the Govern-ment Implementation Coordination Office (GICO) within the Office of the President.GICO will work with the Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU) and Minis-tries/departments. PSRU will be responsible for public service performance.GICO will serve as a central agency to support the development, implementation andmaintenance of an effective and sustainable M&E capability across government. GICOwas established in 2007 as result of investigations and recommendations of theEconomic Advisory Council (BEAC), who noted: “one of the major shortcomings inBotswana is that many projects are ... poorly conceived and carried out ... or fall below - 14 - | P a g e
  15. 15. acceptable standards .... The shortcomings in project management and execution derivefrom a lack of high level project management and implementation capabilities.”8The roles and responsibilities of Ministries / departments in M&E are: (i) to ensure thatresources deployed for the implementation of programmes and projects (i.e. TEP,NHRDS) are effectively and efficiently utilized; (ii) to set up internal mechanisms tofacilitate continuous monitoring of policies and programmes and projects for which theyare responsible; (iii) to carry out evaluations and provide resources for the establishmentor strengthening of internal M&E capacity.Based on the experience of many countries, it typically takes several years to developand implement a workable M&E system. Botswana with its current low volume of M&Eexpertise, will require a number of years to develop and implement its system, and totrain the people to use the system.There will be also challenges in funnelling data and information to the Vision Council.This is a massive undertaking, particularly given the current lack of data and the lowstate of data systems and integrity at both the national and sub-levels.In addition to the development and implementation of appropriate M&E systems at alllevels (macro, sector, sub-sector, programmes, projects), the development of a nationaldata and information management strategy is needed and the Central Statistical Office ofBotswana (CSO) should be a key player at least on massive data storage and data basemanagement (MIS).Introduction of a “result based management” approach, which by its nature carries thecharacter of a “management by project” approach, as there is a clear defined scope giventhrough expected results and outcomes and also a fixed time frame, calls automaticallyfor introduction of a specific indicator based M&S system, which represents nothing elsebut an information system to inform the project management about progress, quality,cost implications, derivations and needed adjustments etc.The application of result based development planes and monitoring the planneddevelopment progress through a predefined indicator system to guarantee successfullyreach the envisaged goals implies a clear need for the introduction of basic or what isactually called “first generation” Knowledge Management in its particular understandingas Data and Information Management; it is for the same reason that it is alreadyconceptually inbuilt as Management Information System (MIS) in the Integrated ResultBased Management Framework (IRBM).In conclusion; from the macro point of view Botswana represents a very impressivesuccess story with regard to the overall development process of the last over 40 years.But now, at the given development stage and under the given circumstances, thechallenges to realize Batswana’s Vision for 2016 and the consolidation of alreadyreached development results, calls for a different methodological and more specific andselective development planning and implementation approach based on a much moreintensive use of data, analytics and information to drive the development process asefficient and effective as possible to the next higher level of quality of life and prosperity 8 NDP10, Chapter 16 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), 16.8, 16.9, page 403 - 15 - | P a g e
  16. 16. for the people of Botswana under growing demands for human capital competitivenessin a more and more globalizing world. - 16 - | P a g e
  17. 17. II. Sector relevance: Botswana has identified the development of competitive and productive human resource as the most important key result area for its transformation into a knowledge based society.In general economic terms, Botswana has been reported to be relatively competitivewhen compared with other countries in the region9. In terms of productivity, the countryis definitely more productive than the low income countries of Sub-Sahara-Africa,although still less productive than upper middle income countries of the region likeSouth Africa and Mauritius. Now, to be fully competitive under global growth require-ments, ...“Botswana’s productivity needs to be improved substantially”.10 So, inreflection on the Vision 2016 goals, what are the remaining specific factors which needsfurther attention to prepare Botswana for the next development stage understood as to beglobally competitive?Since independence, the government has pursued policies generally regarded as soundand fiscally conservative; as a result the state provides successfully for a considerableaverage per capita income, basic health and education needs of almost all its people.“Freedom House”, a US-based NGO, which undertakes annual comprehensiveassessments of political rights and civil liberties in 193 countries, considers Botswana asone of only 11 “free” countries among the 48 states of Sub-Sahara-Africa, with highscores for both political and civil rights.The “Economist Intelligence Unit” developed an Index of Democracy in 2008 covering167 countries. Botswana is ranked number 39, behind Mauritius and South Africa and onpar with Israel and Hungary; the ranking was dragged down by relatively low scores onpolitical participation and culture, but the country scored well in terms of the electoralprocess and civil liberties.Botswana is widely considered to be of one of the leading countries in Africa in respectof governance. This reflects the general high quality of public institutions, an independ-ent legal system, and low level of corruption, all of which have been sustained over along period of time. The “World Economic Forum” produced a Public InstitutionsIndex as part of its Growth Competitiveness Index, based on surveys of business leadersand firms working in 25 African countries (48); 2004 Botswana was rated 1st in both theoverall Growth Competitiveness Index and the Public institutions sub-index.In 2008, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance11, which measures the quality ofgovernance in Sub-Saharan Africa’s 48 states on the basis of safety, security, rule of law,transparency, corruption, participation, human rights, sustainable economic opportunityand human development, ranked Botswana as the 4th best governed country.The Bertelsmann Transformation Index sheds light upon the political and economicstatus of 125 developing and transition countries (the developed countries are NOTincluded). It is divided into two: the status index and the political management 9 World Bank Report 2007 10 NDP10, Thematic Area description and Background 11 The Ibrahim Index of African Governance is regarded as the world’s most comprehensive ranking of African governance. - 17 - | P a g e
  18. 18. performance. The status index ranks the countries according to their state of democracyand market economy; the management index ranks them according to their leadershipsmanagement performance. The management index reviews and evaluates the reformactivities of political decision makers, thus providing valuable information on the keyfactors of success and failure for states on their way to democracy and market economy,which is not yet the same as competitiveness.In terms of status index, in 2008, Botswana was at position 19, just behind South Africa,in the “advanced” category; for the management index, Botswana was at position 3, justbelow Chile and Estonia, in the “successful” category.Botswana also signed the UN’s Millennium Declaration in 2000 and subsequentlyembraced the 8 goals that are now referred to as the Millennium Development Goals(MDG’s). Numerical targets and appropriate indicators have been set for each goal to beachieved between 1990 and 201512. A common list of 18 targets and more than 40indicators corresponding to these goals has been prepared collaboratively by the UN,World Bank, IMF and OECD to ensure a common assessment. Botswana is not a leader,but doing quite well according to the last status report13.Thus, Botswana is amongst the top performers on the African continent and at the topstage of developing and transition countries on their way to be eventually a future equalpartner in a competitive globalized world.It has to be noted, that all this impressive progress in less than 50 years was achieved onthe basis of investments coming out of export revenues of natural mineral resources. Andthere is no doubt, that further progress would also be achieved along the same develop-ment path.However, as mineral resources are coming to an end14, the major difference for anyfuture development planning has definitely to be founded on a necessary shift from theactual type of development path, financed through primary goods exports, to a new one,based on human capital. The underlying understanding and recognition being, that morethan having financial resources, only the availability of human capital can be consideredas guarantee for future sustainable and successful development or growth. And thisalternative kind of development style has very famous predecessors in South-East-Asia15, where exactly the lack of natural resources and revenues out of their exportsopened a way of sustainable development by forcing investment into human capital andskills and knowledge, thus financing further development through return on investmentsas a result of being better qualified instead of better “endowed”.The need and rationale for a future human resource-led economy in the NDP10 iswithout question underscored by the fact that given the anticipated decline in mineralrevenue from 202116 on, mining activities (diamonds and others) will no longer be the 12 The 8 MDGs: 13 See MDG status report: 14 Different sources report between 2020 to 2035 as the end of diamond mining as major source for development financing. 15 See development analysis of Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea 16 NDP10 data - 18 - | P a g e
  19. 19. main engine of development and growth beyond NDP10, but must shift to the sectors ofmanufacturing and service industries.As stated in NDP 10: “Human resource-led development has to be the main focus ofpolicy, not only because the economic growth in the future is expected to be based onnon-natural resources, but also that it will create more and better employment in thedifferent sectors of the economy. It is through more and better education to Batswanaand their competitive and productive employment in the different sectors that the Visiongoals and objectives will be achieved”.17At the same time, messages and reports from the Globalization process informs that allmodern growth drivers are becoming increasingly more information and knowledgebased. In this understanding it might be of specific importance to review special sub-indicators of the former cited indices to find especially those areas of weakness, whichneed to be further improved.The use of Information and Communication Technology is for instance an essentialcomponent of modern economic activity, especially if the nation wishes to participate inservice industries. Although Botswana has one of the highest cell-phone usage rates inAfrica (61 subscribers per 100), computer and Internet use remains fairly low (5 per100); this describes exactly the difference between only consuming technology and usingtechnology as a tool for production, business and further improvement.Similar: in 2002, Botswana, with a Digital Access Index of 0,43, was ranked amongstthe top 5 Sub-Saharan countries, with Seychelles, Mauritius and South Africa coming ontop, but Botswana’s world ranking in e-government readiness has dropped from 90 in2005 to 118 in 2008. “Therefore, [as NDP10 rightly points out] urgent action must betaken to improve our competitiveness in this area”18Also all internationally recognised knowledge related indicators are alarming. TheKnowledge Economy Index (KEI) from the World Bank Institute19 is an indexcomposed out of set of 83 variables, which represent (first) the overall performance ofthe economy of a country plus additionally four major pillars, identified to constitute theKnowledge Economy Framework of the Institute: (1) Economic Incentive AndInstitutional Regime, (2) The Innovation System, (3) Education and Human Resourcesand (4) Information and Communication Technology (ICT); on the KEI Botswana isranked 85 out of 134 countries for 2008.The Knowledge Index (KI), which is a sub-index of the KEI, is composed only out of theEducation Index (3), the Innovation Index (2) and the ICT Index already dropsBotswana to rank 93, the ICT index to rank 96 and the Education Index even to rank 102given the low Tertiary Education Enrolment Rate as one of its major components. Thisrelatively bad assessment appears even worse when compared with the situation of 1995,when all indices had better scored. With other words, while the political, economic and 17 NDP10, Pillar: Educated and Informed Nation, 1.0 KRA: Competitive and Productive Human Resource 18 NDP 10, Chapter 8: Knowledge Society, 8.10, 8.11 and table 8.1, page 137 f 19 World Bank Institute, Knowledge for Development (K4D), Knowledge Assessment Methodology and Knowledge Economy Index, - 19 - | P a g e
  20. 20. general institutional development process of more than the last decade still continued toshow positive figures of improvement, the capability of the country in its preparation forits role as a knowledge based economy in a globalized world based on “well educationand informed” people has shrunk instead of growing. That is a very dangerous signand needs immediately attention.An equal conclusion is drawn by the 2008 Prosperity Index20: “Botswana’s economicachievements rest on a solid political foundation that earns the countries excellent scoresacross all governance indicators... With an average annual growth rate since independ-ence close to 10% Botswana’s economic performance is equally impressive... In the longrun however, Botswana’s reliance on extractive industries may be unsustainable. Thepotential for economic diversification remains limited: with education and innovationscores barely above the African average, the country lacks the means to expand intohigher value-added sectors”.Thus more specific sub-indicators might give better light on the areas of immediatelyattention: the Connectivity Index for 2009 reveals that “Botswana is best described as amiddling performer, as its scores is far closer to that of the median for the resource andefficiency countries (Tunisia) than to the top-performing country (Malaysia)”[out of 25“Resource and Efficiency driven” countries]. Apart from a serious notice regardinglimited amount of available data (caution!), the report also concludes, that “Botswanamay be well-advised to use its riches to invest in sectors as the ICT and telecom sectors,and to continue paying utmost attention to factors such as education and health care thatcan seriously affect the country’s capacity to develop human capital and fully utilisetechnology”.A broadly based international ICT comparison is contained in the Network ReadinessIndex (NRI), which is defined as the “degree of preparation of an economy to participatein and benefit from ICT developments”. The 2008-2009 ranking, showed Botswana onlyat rank 77 out of 134 countries. Again it is the fifth highest rank in Africa after Tunisia,South Africa, Mauritius and Egypt and proves a quite well developed environment forICT, but less well with regard to the individual and business readiness components. Andthese seems to be the decisive factors for future successful development: improvementson individual and project execution readiness, thus specific capacity building onhuman capital to be more competitive in relevant areas.Since the formulation of Vision 2016 in 1997 and more specific since NDP7, theimportance of developing the human resource capacity has been a development priorityfrom a wide range of perspectives (access, skills and training, quality of life, expansionof the labour market) and considerable progress can be recognized. “However, theabsence of a national HRDS has been finally identified as [one] key impediment toachieving the realisation of Botswana’s long term ambitions as a future knowledge basedsociety.”21In February 2009 the Honourable Minister of Education of Botswana started his budgetspeech with the recognition, that “the financial year 2009/2010 marks the beginning ofNational Development Plan 10 (NDP10), which makes it an ideal reflect on 20 The 2008 “Legatum” Prosperity Index: 21 - 20 - | P a g e
  21. 21. performance ...; to appreciate achievements and identify challenges, strength andweaknesses with a view to make improvements for the future”. He further said, that“NDP9 was the first plan which was aligned to the national vision, Vision 2016, as wellas the MDGs and other international conventions that put lots of emphasis on humanresource development issues”.In NDP10, the human resource development and knowledge related Vision 2016 pillar“Educated and Informed Nation” was cascaded down to two Key result areas (KRAs);first: “Competitive and Productive Human Resources” with its respective NDP10 goal:“to provide an adequate supply of qualified, productive and competitive humanresources” under the lead player MOESD with additional contributions from PublicService, Finance, Labour, Youth and Agriculture. The second Key result area:“Knowledge Society”, was translated into the respective NDP10 goal “Innovative &Productive Creation and Use of Information and Technology” under MCST.In the Knowledge Society related chapter, the NDP10 already states clearly: “The role ofInformation and Communication Technology will be significant in the transformation ofthe economy from government and mineral dependency to being a private sector andinnovation-led diversified economy. ICT, knowledge and innovation are expected to taketheir place in the national economy not only as drivers for private sector competitive-ness, but also for export of products and services in which data, information andknowledge are the main tradable items”22During NDP10, indicators that will be used to measure the performance of the goal on“adequate supply of qualified, productive and competitive human resources” will includethe Global Competitiveness Index, The Human Development Index, the KnowledgeEconomy Index, and the Employability Index.Indicators for tracking performance of the goal on “provide globally competitive humanresources to drive economic growth” which focuses on Botswana to become a competi-tive and innovative nation, will include the Unemployment Rate, Labour ProductivityIndex, the Competitiveness Index, The Human Resource Development Expenditure as apercentage of GDP, the portion of graduates absorbed into labour market, the percentageof labour requirements met and the percentage of sector budget utilized for HRD.23The mandate of the education sector is to produce skilled human resources throughprovision of education and training opportunities. Such human resources are expected tobe both globally competitive and relevant to economic and social development needs ofthe country. In view of this, a National Human Resource Development report wasproduced during NDP9, which guided the development of a National Human ResourceStrategy (NHRDS) to provide the basis for matching skills achieved through educationand training with labour market demands as well as to realising individual potentials tocontribute to personal growth and social development.“The NHRDS is [NOW] at the core of Botswana’s development strategy and hasreceived high-level commitment and support, as highlighted by President Khama, in hisAddress to the Nation in November 2008: “There is a mismatch between our graduates’ 22 NDP10, Chapter 7, Educated and Informed Nation, 7.3, page 106 23 NDP10, Chapter 7, 7.53 page 117 f and 7.55 page 119 - 21 - | P a g e
  22. 22. skills set and workplace demands, which further contributes to the challenge ofunemployment. A holistic Human Resource Development Strategy is being formulatedas achieving high income status will require an enhanced skill base”. The final NationalHuman Resource Development Strategy (NHRDS), “Realising our Potentials” wassubsequently presented to the Cabinet in January 2009 and approved for implementationby the President.”24The goal for the Public Service under the KRA “Competitive and Productive HumanResources” is: to improve public sector performance. “It has been evident, that thecompetency levels in the public service were lower than expected, as the 2005 CustomerSatisfaction Survey indicated that only 25% of the customer were satisfied with thepublic service”. Competency based human resources management system must thereforefocus on modernising the public sector to support innovation, growth and globalization.“The [sector] strategy will involve development of leadership into effective businesspartners and change agents ready to venture into path breaking initiatives to supportservice delivery of a growth-centric economy”.25“Management of the public sector plays a strategic role in shaping the growth andsuccess of the economy. This role brings with it challenges in relation to knowledge andemergent competency requirements. Therefore, the key issue confronting public sectormanagement is the need for the design and implementation of competitiveness strategiesand aligning the public sector human resource for increased value.”26Thus, competency based human resources management systems, management infor-mation systems, M&E and ranking systems based on the measurement of indicators andvariables, and increasing the value of human resources though improvement ofindividual knowledge and emergent competency, points all in the direction of the needto implement an appropriate application of knowledge management tools and instru-ments in the public sector service provision. 24 Human Resource Development Advisory Council (HRDAC), Realising our Potentials, Executive Summary, September 2009, page 2 including quoting the speech of President Khama. 25 NDP10, Chapter 7, 7.98, page 128 and 7.102 as also 7.104 page 129 26 NDP10, Chapter 7, 7.85, page 126 and 7.97, page 128. - 22 - | P a g e
  23. 23. III. TEC: The mission of the Tertiary Education Council is to plan, develop and co-ordinate a well-resourced quality tertiary education system contributing to Botswana becoming a knowledge-based society.The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) is an outcome of the Report of the NationalCommission on Education (NCE) of 1993 and the subsequent Revised National Policyon Education (RNPE), passed by Parliament in 1994. The Tertiary Education Councilwas then established by an Act of Parliament in 1999 as the entity responsible for thepromotion and coordination of tertiary education and for the determination andmaintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in tertiary institutions.The functions of the TEC are similar to those of other “buffer” bodies around the world.They involve advising government on policy matters pertaining to tertiary education, co-ordination of the long term planning and overall development of tertiary education,liaising with both public and private sector of the economy on all matters relating tohuman resource requirements and development, the development of plans and thefunding of tertiary education and research, allocation of funds to public tertiaryeducation institutions, registration of private and public tertiary education institutions,and accreditation of programmes of study of private tertiary education institutions.The members of the Council are drawn from government, the private sector, labour,tertiary institutions, the academic community, students, and a representative of the widercommunity. The Secretariat of The Council consists since 2003 of the Office of theExecutive Secretary27 (also covering the Human Resource Unit) and five directorates,namely the Directorate of Policy and Planning, the Directorate of Institutional Funding,the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Regulation, the Directorate of KnowledgeManagement (since 2009) and the Directorate of Corporate Services.The achievement of the following major milestones can be acknowledge so far:1. In April 2008, Parliament passed the first ever tertiary education policy forBotswana. The Policy titled “Tertiary Education Policy for Botswana: Towards aKnowledge Society” marks the beginning of a comprehensive programme of reform ofthe tertiary education sector.2. In January 2009, Cabinet approved a new National Human Resource Develop-ment Strategy (NHRDS) and asked for its immediate implementation. These two majorpolicy initiatives have been driven by the Tertiary Education Council as the advisor togovernment on these issues.3. NDP 10 has a detail section on tertiary education; the MOE has developed fourprogrammes on general education, teacher education, skills development and tertiaryeducation as components of its KRA. The TEC has assisted in the drafting of the sectionon the tertiary education programme which involves sector reforms, research strengthen-ing and other changes. 27 First “employee” of the council, appointed at the end of 2002 - 23 - | P a g e
  24. 24. 4. The Tertiary Education Council approved in March 2009 the Funding Modelwhich it had been working on over the past three years. This model adds to a number oftools and regulations which the Council has since its establishment been producing aspart of the reforms and transformation of the tertiary education sector. It introduces amore comprehensive and more predictable financing system for public tertiary educationinstitutions. The Model will be taken through the government system for approval during2009/10 and subsequently used to allocate funds to public institutions during the periodof National Development Plan (NDP 10) and beyond.5. To date 32 public and private Institutions have been registered with the TertiaryEducation Council and late 2008 the Minister of Education and Skills Developmentpublished the long awaited accreditation regulations with the effect that TEC has startedusing these to assess the quality of programmes in private tertiary education institutionsto be followed by accreditation of those, that fulfill the requirements.6. The 2005 initiated work on the Tertiary Education Information System (TEMIS)was passed on to the new Directorate of Knowledge Management in 2009 and ananalytical and conceptual design phase was initiated. Major stakeholders, among themthe Central Statistics Office, the Planning and Statistics Division of Ministry ofEducation and Skills Development (MOESD) and the tertiary education institutionsthemselves, were widely consulted on the project. The full development and implemen-tation of TEMIS is expected to be finalized before the mid-term review of NDP10 in2012. This database and information management system is critical for the successfulimplementation of several projects including the funding model, planning for andmonitoring of the tertiary education sector, accreditation and registration of institutions,and analysis and projections for national and international statistical requirements.NDP10 states: “The Tertiary Education Council (TEC) completed preparation of thefollowing policy documents: the Tertiary Education Policy, the National HumanResource Development report, and the Funding Strategy and Formula for TertiaryEducation Institutions. These policy instruments have laid the basis for reforming thetertiary education sector, and will lead to the development of a coherent system thatallows for single supervision, better long term planning for enrolment and budget. TheNational Credit Qualification Framework, which was also developed, will addressproblems of quality, accreditation, articulation, co-ordination and management. … Theeducation and training system will, through implementation of the Tertiary EducationPolicy, produce relevant competencies and skills of international standard as well asindividuals who are adequately prepared for the workplace…”28Both TEC and the Public Sector as a whole claim to be - or at least to become duringNDP10 - a “learning organization”. But, from the management of “only” providingindividuals in a given organization the right information in the right format at the rightmoment at a recognized knowledge level, which could be called the typical applicationof first generation Knowledge Management strategies, to the management of creating anenvironment and a culture where through the support of knowledge production inaddition to the provision of practices and processes the entire organization becomes alearning one, which is addressed by what is called second generation of Knowledge 28 NDP10, Chapter 7, 731 and 747, page 113 f. - 24 - | P a g e
  25. 25. Management, lies indeed a significant qualitative difference, which cannot simply beattended by individual training programmes.So, first things first: first introduction of first generation of knowledge management tosupport decision making through information management and then further steps totransform individual learning based on the provision of selected information for specifictasks to organizational learning generated through free flow of information as knowledgeproduction in the environment of second generation knowledge management.To attend to the emerging challenges on better management of data and information aswell as monitoring and evaluating progress of particular projects and the organizationalperformance through learning, developing, application and use of state of the artinstruments, tool, practices and processes of knowledge management in the area ofHigher Education, the TE Council decided in March 2008 to establish the new Direc-torate of Knowledge Management at the Secretariat of the Tertiary Education Council(TEC). - 25 - | P a g e
  26. 26. IV. Knowledge Management: Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom... only the one who understands the underlying pattern and principles might bene- fit to achieve the desired results under given circumstancesOrganizations are complex organisms. For an organization to grow and prosper in thisinformation age, it must become a learning organization that is, understand and attendboth its original roots and purpose from the past and its future competitive position, andhow to successfully branch out into new endeavors.TEC declares in its VALUES statement among others: “Learning and Innovation: Weare a learning organization and we share a commitment to engage in creative andinnovative ways to help transform the TE sector.” And in its MISSION statement TECdeclares to be committed to “contributing Botswana becoming a knowledge-basedsociety”29.What does that mean?Learning: “The role of learning is to easier assure assimilation of information; formcertain qualities; evaluate knowledge; assure practicing experiments. These areimportant because they train [one’s] mind to systematize, analyze, and conclude.Learning means are aimed at the following objectives: support thinking process;stimulate research activity; develop creativity and imagination; build a basis of logicalthinking and acting; promote structural thinking activity and memory; etc.”30Innovation: “Technically, "innovation" is defined merely as "introducing somethingnew." There are no qualifiers of how ground-breaking or world-shattering that some-thing needs to be—only that it needs to be better than what was there before. And thatswhere the trouble starts… The fact is, innovation means different things to differentpeople. It is critical to establish a baseline understanding of what innovation reallymeans…., so that the "innovation process" can be … tailored to address the specificchallenges and requirements of that organization. But getting this foundationalknowledge of what an "acceptable output of an innovation project" is...well, moredifficult than one would suspect.”31Despite the above quotes, the question remains: what is this activity called knowledgemanagement, and why is it so important to each and every one of us?One of the difficulties in mastering "Knowledge Management" is the understanding ofthe terminology of the field. In any field one must have a common understanding of thenomenclature of both the terms and concepts. People use the same words and phrasesbut the meaning could be different based on gender, location, context, profession, etc. Inthe following there can be found some definitions and terms, borrowed from other fieldssuch as computer science, business, psychology and education that may be applied toknowledge management in organizations. All organizations share some of the sameneeds for sound knowledge management practices. 29 Tertiary Education Council Strategic Plan 2005 - 2009 30 31 - 26 - | P a g e
  27. 27. The following definitions of what constitutes Knowledge Management has been found:1. “Knowledge management can be perceived as being a process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets.”2. “Knowledge management is the cultivation of an environment within which people are willing to share, learn and collaborate together leading to improvement.”3. “Knowledge management is a discipline that enables individuals, teams, and the entire organization to collectively and systematically create, share and apply knowledge to better achieve their objectives.”4. “Knowledge management is a collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge in an organization. It involves the management of both tacit and explicit knowledge.”5. “Knowledge management is the developing body of methods, tools, techniques and values through which organizations can acquire, develop, measure, distribute and provide a return on their intellectual capital assets.”6. ”Knowledge management comprises a range of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experi- ences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in in- dividuals or embedded in organizational processes or practices. This knowledge is treated as a company asset of which procedures should be put in place to conserve it – in terms of security and copyright.”7. ”Knowledge management is a conscious, hopefully consistent, strategy imple- mented to gather, store and retrieve knowledge and then help distribute the infor- mation and knowledge to those who need it in a timely manner. The strategy in- cludes rules, procedures, and cultural aspects in addition to the hardware and software to help put the knowledge management strategy into action. The best computers and software are not useful without the people and procedures for using them.”8. “Knowledge management is a framework and management mind-set that includes building on experience and creating new avenues for exchanging knowledge. The strategy includes both the technological infrastructure and the human aspects that use the tools.”In resume, Knowledge Management is called a process, a collection of processes, arange of practices, a developing body, a cultivation of an environment, a framework andmind-set, a discipline, and a strategy; there is no universal standardized meaningattached to what is called Knowledge Management. But of course, all associatedthoughts are circling around understanding what knowledge is and how to capitalizeknowledge at organizational level. So, what should it be at TEC to best serve fulfillingthe mandates or even in the wider context of public service provision?Excursion: From Data to Information to Knowledge… - 27 - | P a g e
  28. 28. Knowledge is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as (i) expertise, and skillsacquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practicalunderstanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts andinformation or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.Philosophical debates in general start with Platos formulation of knowledge as"justified true belief". There is however no single agreed definition of knowledgepresently, nor any prospect of one, and there remain numerous competing theories.Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning,communication, association and reasoning. The term knowledge is also used to mean theconfident understanding of a subject with the ability to use it for a specific purpose ifappropriate. 32The progression for a learning organization is: Data …. Information... Knowledge ….Wisdom…33“ …Data and information are gathered; knowledge is gained as a result of analysis. Datacan be viewed as an abundant, vital and necessary resource… With enough preparation,[one] should be able to channel raw data into meaningful information. That information,in turn, can then become knowledge …34 But: A collection of data is not information. Acollection of information is not knowledge. A collection of knowledge is not wisdom. Acollection of wisdom is not truth.35 So, it is not about simply colleting or collections.Let’s begin with data. Data is just a meaningless point without reference to either spaceor time (as we are all living and perceiving our universe only as a continuum of spaceand time). It is like an event out of context, a letter out of context, a word out of context.The key concept here is "out of context." Usually, when we encounter a piece of data,our first action is to attempt to find a way to attribute meaning to it. We do this byassociating it with other things having been related to that kind of data in our personalpast life as experience, some more others less conscious. If, for example, we see thenumber 5, we can immediately associate it with cardinal numbers and relate it to beinggreater than 4 and less than 6, whether this was implied by this particular instance ornot. If we see a single word, such as "time," we have the tendency to immediately formassociations with previous contexts within which we have found "time" to be meaning-ful to us. This might be, "being on time," "time never stops," “time management” etc.The implication here is that when there is no context, there is little or no meaning.So, we create context but, more often than not, that context is somewhat akin toconjecture, yet it fabricates meaning.That a collection of data is not information implies that a collection of data for whichthere is no relation between the pieces of data is not information. The pieces of datamay represent information, yet whether or not it is information depends on the under-standing of the one perceiving the data. We might even say that it depends on the 32 33 The following thoughts and conclusions are partly based on: Bellinger, Gene. Knowledge Management: Emerging Perspectives. The Way of Systems. 2004 34 Alberthal, Les. Remarks to the Financial Executive Institute, Oct. 1995, Dallas, Texas 35 Fleming, Neil. Coping with a revolution: Will the Internet Change Learning?, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand - 28 - | P a g e
  29. 29. “knowledge” of the interpreter. The point is that the extent of the understanding of aparticular collection of data is dependent on the associations somebody is able to discernwithin the collection. And, the associations somebody is able to discern are dependenton all the associations somebody has ever been able to realize in the past. Informationis quite simply an understanding of the relationships between pieces of data, orbetween pieces of data and other information.While information entails an understanding of the relations between data, it generallydoes not provide a foundation for why the data is what it is, nor an indication as to howthe data is likely to change over time. Information has a tendency to be relatively staticin time and linear in nature. Information is a relationship between data and, quitesimply, is what it is, with great dependence on context for its meaning and with littleimplication for the future.Beyond relation there is pattern.36 Pattern embodies both a consistency and complete-ness of relations which, to an extent, creates its own context. Pattern also serves as anArchetype37 with both an implied repeatability and predictability. And this is wherethe whole issue about knowledge management gets its dynamic, suspense and excite-ment from: the attempt to develop the ability to foresee, predict, beware, and plan insuch a manner that future success is highly probable. Prognosis.When a pattern relation exists amidst the data and information, the pattern has thepotential to represent knowledge. It only becomes knowledge, however, when the onewho observes the specific combination of data and information is able to realize andunderstand the patterns and their implications. The patterns representing knowledgehave a tendency to be more self-contextualizing. That is, the pattern tends, to a greatextent, to create its own context rather than being context dependent to the same extentthat information is (reflect on: macro and socio-economic growth models, behaviorrelation between savings and investments, development of interest rates and salaries,productivity and shareholder surplus forecasts).A pattern which represents knowledge also provides, when the pattern is understood, ahigh level of reliability or predictability as to how the pattern will evolve over time, forpatterns are seldom static. At this point however it has also to be recognized, that timenever repeats; models and patterns only guarantee repeatability and predictability whena dynamic process or progress is only allowed for the evolving parameter, while “ceterisparibus” is demanded for all other parameters; that means: under the same conditions(what is not very realistic as time goes by). Patterns which represent knowledge havecompleteness to them that information simply does not contain; they imply as bydefinition a decision about their scope. But yes, a pattern which represents knowledgeconverts data and information from being descriptive to becoming guidance whenunderstood.Without going further for the sake of this exercise about Knowledge Management wemight conclude that patterns which represent knowledge are based on underlyingprinciples which guarantee specific results under specific conditions. In the case of 36 Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, Bantam, 1988 37 Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, Doubleday-Currency, 1990 - 29 - | P a g e
  30. 30. an unconditioned principle, which would mean a context independent pattern, the natureof that kind of principle might be called universal, representing wisdom or even truth asrepresented in Plato’s initial definition of knowledge as “justified true belief".So, in summary and returning to our concern about Knowledge Management thefollowing associations can reasonably be made:Information relates to description, definition, or perspective (what, who, when, where).Knowledge comprises strategy, practice, method, or approach (how).Wisdom embodies principle, insight, moral, or archetype (why).We learn by connecting new information to patterns that we already understand. Indoing so, we extend the patterns. How can this now be applied to organizationallearning? - 30 - | P a g e
  31. 31. V. The organizational context: From early beginnings of simple data collection and information management to guiding principles as result of free flow of information and “collective intelligence” in New Knowledge Management38.According to Mike Davidson39, Knowledge Management, and everything else for thatmatter, is important only to the extent that it enhances an organizations ability andcapacity to deal with, and develop in, the following four dimensions.Mission: What are we trying to accomplish?Competition: How do we gain a competitive edge?Performance: How do we deliver the results?Change: How do we cope with change?(And one might add) Quality: How do we organize our processes?In an organizational context, data represents facts or values of results, and informationcan be represented by relations between these facts or results and other relations.Patterns of relations of data and information and other patterns have the capacity torepresent knowledge. For any representation in the way of a pattern to be of any utilityit must be understood, and when understood the pattern represents information orknowledge to those who understand that. Yet, what is the real value of informationand knowledge, and what does it mean to manage it?As explained above, without associations we have little chance of understandinganything. We understand things based on the associations we are able to discern. Ifsomeone says that sales started at $100,000 per quarter and have been rising 20% perquarter for the last four quarters, we are somewhat confident that sales are now about$207,000 per quarter. We are confident because we know what "rising 20% per quarter"means and we can do the math. Yet, if someone asks what sales are apt to be nextquarter, we would have to say, "It depends!" We would have to say this becausealthough we have data and information, we have no knowledge!This is a trap that many fall into, because they dont understand that data doesntpredict trends of data. What predicts trends of data is the activity that is responsi-ble for the data, respectively the action taken upon a informed decision.To be able to estimate the sales for next quarter, we would need information about thecompetition, market size, extent of market saturation, current backlog, customersatisfaction levels associated with current product delivery, current production capacity,the extent of capacity utilization, and a whole host of other things. If we were able toamass sufficient data and information to form a complete pattern that we understand, wewould have knowledge, and would then be somewhat comfortable estimating the salesfor next quarter. Anything else would be just fiction or fantasy!In this example what needs to be managed to create value is the data that defines andstructures past results, the data and information associated with the organization, its 38 McElroy, Mark W. The New Knowledge Management – Complexity, Learning, and Sus- tainable Innovation. 2002. 39 Davidson, Mike. The Transformation of Management, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996 - 31 - | P a g e
  32. 32. market, its customers, and its competition, and the patterns which relate all theseitems to enable a reliable level of predictability of the future.Knowledge management would then be the capture, retention, and reuse of thefoundation pattern for imparting an understanding of how all relevant elementsand pieces fit together and how to convey them meaningfully to another person(“Advanced Information Management”).The value of Knowledge Management relates directly to the effectiveness40 with whichthe managed knowledge enables the members of the organization to deal with todayssituations and effectively envision and create future scenarios. This requires ananalytical approach where outputs are transformed to describing and structuring thespecific individual way of understanding of one person into a more general pattern, sothat others might be able to apply the inbuilt knowledge to a different / similar situation.Managed knowledge only enables members of an organization when appropriatelydisseminated and shared. Without on-demand access to managed organizationalknowledge, every situation is addressed based on what a particular individual or teambrings to the problem (situation). With on-demand access to managed organizationalknowledge, every problem (situation) is addressed with the sum total of everythinganyone in the organization has ever learned about a situation of a similar nature and allindividually experienced solutions.41Which are the knowledge assets to be managed?Not all information is valuable. Every organization has to determine what informationqualifies as intellectual and knowledge-based assets. In general, however, intellectualand knowledge-based assets fall into one of two categories: explicit or tacit.Explicit assets includes: books, journals, documents, manuals, brochures, patents,trademarks, business plans, marketing research, customer lists etc.. As a general rule ofthumb, explicit knowledge consists of anything that can be documented, archived andcodified, often with the help of IT.Tools: libraries, databases, intranets, repositories and (Management) InformationSystems in general are recognized valuable methods and practices to collect explicitknowledge.Much harder to grasp is the concept of tacit knowledge, or the know-how contained inpeoples heads. The concept covers also behavior, perceptions, experiences, values,judgments, insights, intuition, skills gained through observation on the job, training,mentoring, teaming up, and life. The challenge inherent with tacit knowledge is figuringout how to recognize, generate, share and manage it. While IT in the form of e-mail,groupware, instant messaging and related technologies can help facilitate the dissemina-tion of tacit knowledge, identifying tacit knowledge in the first place is a major hurdlefor most organizations. 40 Bellinger, Gene. The Effective Organization. 1997 41 Bellinger, Gene. The Knowledge Centered Organization. 1997 - 32 - | P a g e
  33. 33. Tools: the most recognized valuable methods to capture tacit knowledge are: teamwork(tandems), coaching, mentoring, discussions, storytelling, meetings, conversations,conferences, “blogs”, maps (who does what where), yellow pages, “open spaces”, “fieldvisits”, communities of practice. Also shadowing and joint-problem solving are twoexamples of best practices for transferring or recreating tacit knowledge inside anorganization.With shadowing, less experienced staff observes more experienced staff in theiractivities to learn how their more experienced counterparts approach their work. Theemphasize of this method must be on the importance of having the "protégé" discusstheir observations with the "expert" in order to deepen their dialog and crystallize theknowledge transfer. Joint problem-solving by expert and novice means workingtogether to facilitate learning by observation. Since people are often unaware of howthey approach problems or do their work and therefore can’t automatically generatestep-by-step instructions for doing whatever they do, having them work together withsomebody else on a project who is willing to learn, might bring the expert’s approach tolight.The difference between shadowing and joint problem solving is that shadowing ismore passive. With joint problem-solving, the "expert" and the "novice" work hand-in-hand on a task. Both approaches can be combined in a defined tandem work relation-ship.What benefits can organizations expect from Knowledge Management (KM)?Some benefits of KM correlate directly to bottom-line savings, while others are moredifficult to quantify. In todays information-driven economy, organizations uncover themost opportunities — and ultimately derive the most value — from intellectual ratherthan physical assets.To get the most value from a organization’s intellectual assets, KM practitionersmaintain that knowledge must be shared and serve as the foundation for collaboration(teamwork). Yet better collaboration is not an end in itself. Without an overarchingbusiness context, KM might be meaningless at best and harmful at worst. Consequently,an effective KM program should be related directly to one or more of the following:  Foster innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas  Enhance employee retention rates by recognizing the value of employees knowledge and rewarding them for it  Streamline operations and reduce costs by improving and/or eliminating processes (quality management)These are the most prevalent examples. A creative approach to KM can result inimproved efficiency, higher productivity and increased revenues in practically anybusiness function.When embarking on a KM strategy, one should define from the beginning the value onewants to achieve from ones KM initiative (like improved organizational learning) andestablish at the outset metrics (indicators) that will prove (M&E system in place)success (what, when, where, who, how). - 33 - | P a g e
  34. 34. Finally, a KM program should not be divorced from an overall organizational goal (likestrengthening organizational capacity). While sharing best practices is a commendableidea, there must be an underlying business reason (i.e. the objective of any teamwork) todo so.What are the challenges of KM?Culture42: The major problems that occur in KM usually result because organizationsignore the people and cultural issues. In an environment where an individualsknowledge is valued and rewarded, establishing a culture that recognizes tacitknowledge and encourages employees to share it is critical (i.e. team performancereward system). The need to sell the KM concept to employees shouldnt be underesti-mated; after all, in many cases employees are being asked to surrender their knowledgeand experience — the very traits that make them valuable as individuals (and justifytheir salaries).Maintenance: As with many physical assets, the value of knowledge can erode overtime. Since knowledge can get stale fast, the content in a KM program should beconstantly updated, amended and deleted. What’s more, the relevance of knowledge atany given time changes, as do the skills of employees. Therefore, there is no endpointto a KM program.Like product development, marketing and R&D, KM is a constantly evolving businesspractices. Organizations diligently need to be on the lookout for information overload.Quantity rarely equals quality, and KM is no exception. Indeed, the point of a KMprogram is to identify and disseminate knowledge gems from a sea of information.(Analysis!).Utilization: One tried-and-true way to build support for KM is to pilot the projectamong employees who have the most to gain and would be the most open to sharingtheir knowledge. This will vary depending on the organization. It’s also a good idea toinvolve in the pilot a select group of influencers—employees who are well-respected bytheir peers and whose opinions are highly regarded in the organization. If both groupshave good things to say about the KM effort, their positive attitudes will go a long waytoward convincing others of the merits of KM.Participation: To get people to participate in a KM effort, has to build knowledgecollection and dissemination into all employees’ everyday jobs. In other words, it hasbe made as easy as possible for everybody to participate. From more than 15 years ofexperience in the developed world it is shown that a lot of early KM efforts failedbecause they added cumbersome steps to the jobs of already overworked employees. Sowhen things got busy, workers just didnt bother with the extra steps.Linking KM directly to individual job performance, creating a “safe climate” forpeople to share ideas and recognizing people who contribute to the KM effort (especial- 42 Leidner, D. / Alavi. M. / Kayworth.T. The Role of Culture in Knowledge management: A Case study of two global firms. Idea Group Inc. 2006 - 34 - | P a g e
  35. 35. ly those people whose contributions impact the bottom line) is a very critical tactic forgetting people to make KM a part of their day to day business.Incentives: many companies create incentive programs to motivate employees toshare their knowledge. This can work in certain environments, but the danger withincentive programs is that employees will participate solely to earn the incentives,without regard to the quality or relevance of the information they contribute, whichwould call for some kind of quality assurance to assess the value of the sharedknowledge, which itself might be very demanding and questionable.Ideally, participation in KM should be its own reward. If KM doesnt make life easierfor employees, it will fail easily.Unlike “first-generation” Knowledge Management, in which technology always seemedto provide the answer, “second-generation” thinking is more exclusive of people,processes and social initiatives. The so called “New Knowledge Management”, whichclaims to be differentiated from all previous Knowledge Management understanding,therefore re-titled by the authors as second-generation as opposed to the former, nowbeing first-generation, intents to make a distinction between the (a. and most important)processes of how knowledge is initially produced, (b.) those of knowledge integration(including sharing), and then (c.) all other business processing. In fact the new KM saysthat the utmost purpose of KM is to enhance all knowledge processing (production andintegration) which then will have an positive impact on all other business processing.43The New Knowledge Management concept entails ten key ideas:1. The (advanced) Knowledge Life Circle2. (limited) KM versus Knowledge Processing3. Supply-side (production) versus Demand Side (utilization) KM4. Nested Knowledge Domains5. Containers of Knowledge6. Organizational Learning7. The Open Enterprise8. Social Innovative Capital9. Self Organization and Complexity Theory10. Sustainable InnovationThe major distinction to “first-generation” of Knowledge Management is based on anadded focus on the organizational learning aspect. The New Knowledge Managementdemands to enrich all previous approaches through including the way of knowledge isproduced at different stages and processes instead of taking knowledge as given andtherefore only to be managed by the already agreed and described processes. At thesame time the “new” approach tries to further align Knowledge Management with theprocess based understandings of Quality and Project Management.“Indeed, Individual & Group Learning, per se, is explicitly shown as a sub-process inKnowledge Production since their learning contribute in material and often determina-tive ways to the direction of organizational learning. What this means is that there arereally three levels of learning, or knowledge domains, in an organization: the top-level, 43 Firestone, J.M / McElroy, M. The New Knowledge Management, June 2003 - 35 - | P a g e
  36. 36. sub-groups and individuals. Organizational Learning, therefore, focuses on how to create and foster effective Knowledge Processing Environments in human social systems.”44 Knowledge Management Cycle a. First generation The processes to be executed under (first-generation) Knowledge Management or Knowledge “Integration” in the terminology of second-generation Knowledge Man- agement (see below) can be described as a cycle consisting of: 1. Stocktaking: Harvesting the existing information and know how 2. Management: Analyzing, Assessing value, Structuring, Saving, Providing, Adjusting 3. Sharing: Enlarging the knowledge basis 4. Transferring: into new regions, business areas 5. Innovation: through re-combining collected skills and knowledge The following core elements and central factors for success of Knowledge Management have been identified: 1. Permanent progress of knowledge: continuously and guided through well developed tailor made methods and processes; 2. Access to and delivery of knowledge: at the right moment to the right person in the right format, quality and quantity through appropriate communication and in- formation technology; 3. Optimal utilization of knowledge: focuses, targeted and orientated at the strategic goals of the organization and supported by a conducive environment and culture.The unspoken assumption behind this “limited” approach is – from the point of second-generation KM –, that valuable knowledge already exists when this “type” of KnowledgeManagement starts; all what is needed to do is capture it, codify it, and share it. Thepractice of this KM understanding begins only sometime behind after knowledge isalready produced. “Ergo, the purpose of [this] KM is not to enhance knowledgeproduction; rather, the purpose of KM is to enhance the development of knowledge intopractice”45. With other words, the initial, early approach of Knowledge Managementmust be considered as a “narrow” understanding, generally dealing with InformationManagement and only touching on learning and innovation as an uncontrolled,unpredictable and not steerable effect of Knowledge Management, while the “new”,wider and more integrated approach not only includes but focuses on the more essentialaspect of learning, innovation or knowledge production in addition to the Knowledge“Integration” aspect. b. second-generation 44 McElroy, M. The NKM, 2002. 45 McElroy, M. The KNM, 2002. - 36 - | P a g e