Collaborate, Create, Communicate

New ILAC brief: Working in virtual environments – Three practical collaborative tools

by Simone Staiger-Rivas, Peter Shelton, Petr Kosina and Nancy White

Download the brief from the ILAC Web site

It was a great pleasure to work with Peter, Petr, and Nancy to produce this brief which is part of the Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) series. The brief was written during the Institutional Knowledge Sharing project with my best colleagues and friends from IFPRI, CIMMYT and Full Circle Associates who shared with ICT-KM important achievements during the project such as the knowledge sharing and social media workshops.

A big thanks to our ILAC colleagues for publishing our work.

In our work as researchers and development workers, we are tasked with producing more and more information, even though we complain about information overload. Collaboration is increasingly complex but is fundamental to achieving our goal of reducing poverty and hunger through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership. Recent developments in information and communications technology (ICT) can make data, information and knowledge more available, accessible and applicable (CGIAR ICT-KM Program, 2008), which should contribute significantly to the effectiveness of our collaborative work. This Brief describes three web tools that can enhance participation and collaboration in geographically distributed teams: wikis, blogs, and social bookmarking. Each tool is briefly explained, examples of use are provided and analyzed, and some useful practices are suggested. It is our assumption that by making it easy to produce and share information, we can empower our staff, engage more effectively with our partners, and reach a wider audience of end users.