IMA provided support for development of the UNICEF Thailand Country Office Knowledge Management (KM) Strategy. The goal of the project was to assess and develop the current KM practices in the Thailand Country Office and to support their knowledge culture through creating a KM strategy.
To begin, a document review and scoping calls established an engagement strategy and agreed methodology. In-depth and structured interviews with key UNICEF informants at different organisational levels, as well as UNICEF external partners, were then used for further research and information gathering.
Alongside this, IMA provided a framework for KM Asset Mapping, as well as designing an online TypeForm survey for UNICEF. We guided core members of staff to complete a KM-CAST, encouraging participation to enhance awareness of KM, and to generate meaningful discussions around perceived areas of strength and weakness.
Findings from this research were analysed to identify key KM products, discuss how they have been and are being used, and provide suggestions for strengthening their outreach.
At IMA collaboration is important to us, the KM assessment report created the foundations for a KM vision, strategy and action plan, developed by IMA and UNICEF together, to make sure that KM becomes a focus, not just now, but for the future.
If you would like to find out more Knowledge Management strategy development, read about our Knowledge Management training course or our consultancy services.
Just back from a buzzing, interactive workshop on ‘Evaluation Design and Approaches’ with WFP staff in Bangkok!
The World Food Programme’s (WFP) current results framework directly supports two Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 2 Zero Hunger and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals. WFP currently operates in partner countries through 5-year Country Strategic Plans (CSPs). With recent decentralisation in WFP, WFP country offices are now responsible for managing Decentralised Evaluations half way through the implementation of their Country Strategic Plans. This means Monitoring and Evaluation officers in country offices need a new, diverse set of skills and competencies, which WFP HQ supports with online training and a 1-week face-to-face training for M&E officers, focusing on commissioning and managing evaluations.
The WFP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific contacted us to specifically provide technical training on Theory of Change and Evaluation Approaches, as part of their Regional Evaluation Strategy (2018-2021).
The aim of our 4-day workshop was to support WFP M&E officers from the Asia and Pacific region to enhance their technical knowledge and skills for managing evaluations, as well as explore how to foster the uptake of evaluation findings to improve WFP’s programmes.
M&E officers from 10 countries in the region, together with M&E officers from the regional bureau gathered to share evaluation experiences and learn about evaluation methodologies. We spent a whole day developing programme-specific theories of change (as an evaluative exercise to reconstruct programme logic). This is a critical exercise when trying to assess an intervention’s contribution to change. We explored the meaning of evaluative thinking and discussed the need for M&E staff and programming staff to better integrate their work. We practised developing evaluation questions and critiqued a current evaluation matrix. We covered a range experimental and quasi experimental approaches to assess impact, and explored other evaluation approaches which focus on stakeholders perceptions of change. As a mantra, we continued reflecting on the key questions of: “Why do we evaluate?” and “Who are evaluations for?” to really understand the purpose of an evaluative exercise, and the direct link with a learning culture, where demand for evaluation findings and evidence can fuel improved knowledge sharing practice.
For the second year running, Ruth Jolly and Silvia Capezzuoli took part and ran one of the four workshops in the UK-based KMb Forum, an annual event for those with a passion for ensuring that knowledge makes a positive difference to society. This year the theme was ‘Crafting our Knowledge Stories’ taking place in the amazing Seven Stories - the National Children’s centre in Newcastle. Over 100 practitioners, researchers, students, administrators and public representatives engaged in the art and science of sharing knowledge and use came together to learn, share, network and create new stories in a convivial way. The Forum is designed as a space for learning and reflection, providing an opportunity for sharing knowledge, experiences and methods and provides access to some of the most up-to-date thinking and practice in the field.
Our workshop focused on relational knowledge sharing to give a flavour of our take on Knowledge Management, and included an interactive exercise on the importance of knowledge champions.
Two months after part one of the KM in-house program with APEFE, we returned to Brussels for part two. We supported the whole HQ staff team of 17 develop their KM strategy, aligned to their current strategic planning process. We started with a collective review of the team's knowledge management commitments since part one. Keeping true to our design principle, we blended input, practice and applying the learning. We introduced and used key KM tools, after action reviews, retrospect, peer assist, communities of practice and KM champions, here using an adaptation of World Cafe methodology. Throughout we built elements to help produce a KM strategy.
These included envisaging a KM organisational ideal in Lego, from the perspectives of the operation and programmatic teams.
Another was to envision KM as a growing tree, with the roots of shared personal and group attitudes and the leaves are supporting aspects already in place.
Another was to produce directions of travel in the form of metaphors, these directly informed making practical plans and next steps.
Together team members looked back on APEFE's history and produced a visual timeline. Here we see the red thread of the time line, connecting key KM influences and moments over the previous decades of APEFE's life. This enhanced institutional memory and strengthened personal and team motivation. Expressing these elements helped the team move forward to pin down key actions for the coming months. The director of APEFE confirms that not only was this tailored program fitting for the team and their KM aims it was equally about the members coming together as a team.
When a disaster strikes, the emergency response addresses immediate basic needs. Longer term assessments then pave the way for reconstruction. Often, in this longer term process, the real needs of fisherfolk and fishing communities are not met or respected. In fact, they can actually be undermined through the well-meaning, yet unsuitable, provision of vessels, fishing gear and landing sites and infrastructure.
FAO’s ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture Response to Emergency’ (FARE) training package course addresses this very issue. FARE is a tailored effort to specifically bring together fisheries officers and disaster risk reduction specialists to ensure the fisheries’ perspective in embedded and included in longer term response.
This training package was originally developed by FAO (Food & Agriculture Organisation) and piloted in 2015. We have been working with FAO Fisheries department in Rome since late 2017, supporting the revision and improvement of the FARE training course and associated Training of Trainers. This important and interesting work directly links to our support to sustainable development goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 14 (Life below Water).
Under the FAO CC4Fish project, the revised FARE course was recently piloted in Grenada in the Caribbean. Chris and Silvia worked with trainers from the University of West Indies and the Grenada Red Cross to facilitate the 3-day FARE course and the associated FARE Training of Trainers. The project enabled fisheries officers and disaster risk reduction specialists from 6 countries to work together, share experiences and perspectives, and understand how to best implement best practice outlined in two key FAO publications Fisheries and aquaculture emergency response guidance? and Guidelines for the fisheries and aquaculture sector on damage and needs assessments in emergencies .
The aim was to foster a cohort of regional FARE trainers able to deliver the FARE course nationally and in the region, and who can support the assessment and planned response to any emergency affecting the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Caribbean.
Our innovative, hands-on continuous mini-session practice during the Training of Trainers allowed participants to practice presentation and facilitation skills using the very FARE materials they had been introduced to in the previous 3 day FARE course. Not only did they become familiar with content and methods, but they also worked in their country teams to develop country strategies for taking FARE forward in their countries and in the region.
We look forward to supporting FAO in 2019 in taking this important FARE training package to other regions affected by disasters.
Claricia Langley Stevens
The Lesotho Data for Sustainable Development Project is aimed at developing capacities for collection, analysis and dissemination of development data (funded by UNDP and the EU). A 5 day residential training took place at Mohale Lodge, Lesotho, with 76 participants from different ministries, academic institutions and other bodies. Five IMA facilitators conducted the training designed to assist in building institutional support and technical skills, to strengthen national and sectoral capacities, to generate and utilize data for Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation.
The participants were split into their sectoral sub groups, and developed their understanding of RBM with a focus on the strategic goals each group specified using guidance from the National Strategic Development Plan, each sector sharing their work to connect with the whole group’s collective experience. 22 participants took part in a further three day Training of Trainers to learn and practice facilitation techniques to be able to deliver the RBM course in the future.
A particular success was the social mapping exercise which with such a big group of willing and energetic participants was an excellent way to start off this busy workshop.