ICT-KM of the CGIAR

Collaborate, Create, Communicate

KM4Dev Meeting – Day 0: Mapping our Community

The KM4Dev workshop started with a Day 0, a day for newcomers to discover the community, it’s core group of people, it’s history, it’s communication channels, and the context and challenges that community members are involved in.

“This first day was much about identity issues”, said Ewen Leborgne from IRC.
After a first icebreaker (would you define yourself as a Northern versus Southern, Newbie versus oldie, KM versus Development orientated member, techie versus process focusing?), we had a chance to discover the history of KM4Dev commented by Lucie, the “oldest and wisest “ community member present at the event, accompanied by a live and visual illustration done by Nancy White and Allison Hewlitt. A chat show hosted by Nancy White gave us the opportunity to discover different contexts in which KM4Dev members are developing their activities: rural development, development communication, international research…

When we reconvened in the afternoon we already have had a chance to talk to many participants, but the real first in-depth interaction took place around a network mapping exercise led by Eva Schiffer. Eva is passionate about SNA and she was brave enough to use us as guinea pigs for a first attempt to make “individuals map individuals”. We were 8 at a table and as a first step we shared among us sister networks we are involved with. The result was a huge and impressing list that we put together in plenary. We then started to draw individual network maps and to link them at our tables of 8. Things got a bit complicated when we were asked to identify content and community drivers within these network maps and give them a number between 1 and 5 as an expression of importance. At our table people felt reluctant to put numbers on people’s names and rate them. Other’s had a problem with the exercise as a whole: what is this useful for? Here are three of the many reactions that were shared afterwards:

  • We could have done the mapping exercise around the sister communities to highlight their importance and relevance
  • It seems that some people here are very into the community and enjoy mapping it whereas other participants are users of KM4Dev resources and don’t feel the need to map relationships.
  • It was incredibly brave that Eva took the lead on the exercise and showcased the value of experimentation with Km tools.

All the reactions and workshop notes are documented on the KM4Dev wiki.
If you want to know more about Social Network Analysis, go to the KS toolkit
Follow the KM4Dev workshop blog.