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4th Quarter 2007



Snippets

ICT-KM and ReSAKSS Come Together
CIO Enrica Porcari recently participated in a brainstorming meeting that sought to strengthen the relationship between the ICT-KM Program and the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS). The two-day event, which was held at Bioversity International, Rome, in October 2007, followed on from the CIO's involvement in ReSAKKS' inception workshop back in 2003 and looked at ways of moving the existing synergy between the two organizations forward.

CGIAR-CSI Recognized Again
The CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI), one of the projects funded under the ICT-KM Program's 2004 Investment Plan, continues to make waves. With support from the Program, the CSI attended the AfricaGIS Conference on Geoinformation for Poverty Alleviation in Ouagadougou, where it represented all 15 contributing CGIAR Centers. During this September 2007 event, the Consortium received notable recognition and journalistic coverage, as well as heavy traffic at its booth, where it distributed GIS material.

Fellowships in Sustainability Science
The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University's Center for International Development offers doctoral, post-doctoral, and practitioner fellowships in Sustainability Science. Advanced doctoral and post-doctoral students, and professionals engaged in the practice of harnessing science and technology to promote sustainable development are encouraged to apply. For more information click here.


Upcoming Events

Documenting CGIAR Web-based, Collaborative Experiences
The ICT-KM Program, in keeping true to its mandate to promote and support the innovative use of IT and KM to improve the effectiveness of the CGIAR's work, is launching a new initiative to learn about the successful use of innovative tools to support our work. The Program's Institutional Knowledge Sharing (IKS) Project would like to reward three web-based collaborative experiences with the opportunity to evaluate, document and share those experiences. Read more.

Collaboration for Excellence
The ICT-KM Program's Knowledge Sharing (KS) Project is offering CGIAR staff and partners the unique opportunity to explore and experiment with knowledge-sharing principles and methods in an innovative, three-phase workshop that will kick off in March 2008 with a four-week online event. For more information on this workshop (Collaboration for Excellence: Opportunities for discovering, understanding, and applying innovative knowledge-sharing approaches for impact), please click here.

Quality standards for training and education in the CGIAR
A joint workshop of the ICT-KM Program's Online Learning Resources (OLR) Project and the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) will be held from 11-15 February 2008 at UNU-EHS, Bonn, Germany. The purpose of this workshop is to develop a set of policies and procedures to ensure quality training and education in the CGIAR. Click here for more information.



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Knowledge and Innovation for Agricultural and Rural Development

During a Science Forum Session organized by the ICT-KM Program's Knowledge Sharing in Research Project at the CGIAR's 2007 Annual General Meeting, participants looked at the new paradigms surrounding knowledge and innovation for agricultural and rural development with the aim of determining what these really mean for research and development, especially in the context of the work of the CGIAR.

One of five parallel sessions that were part of Theme 3: Strategies for Harnessing Advanced Science the session raised several pertinent questions about the way in which the transition to a new knowledge economy and innovation systems approach can be undertaken, and what role the CGIAR should be playing in this transition.

Chaired by Enrica Porcari (CGIAR Chief Information Officer and Leader of the ICT-KM Program),the session brought together a panel of global experts, CGIAR knowledge and innovation champions, and donors, while the discussions were stimulated by an inquisitor, Dr. Bob Day, Innovation Advisor to Southern Africa governments.

KIARD Panel
PANEL: Enrica Porcari, CGIAR; Bill Niebur, Pioneer; Anton Mangstl, FAO; Carlos Sere, ILRI; Jean Lebel, IDRC


The meeting kicked off with an audio presentation from William C. Clarke, the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development at Harvard University. In his presentation, which can be downloaded from the ICT-KM Program's website, William talks about the barriers to innovation: mutual incomprehension; fragmented knowledge systems; and static, inflexible processes confronted by dynamic problems.

Bob followed up on this articulate, thought-provoking presentation by opening up the discussions with the panelists and the audience: The issues raised included the following:

Human Resources: Granted, the CGIAR needs to make the transformation to an organization with a more interactive, knowledge centric approach to research, but accomplishing this transformation has implications for human resources, expertise and skill sets. That being the case, does the CGIAR have the right set of people or a mechanism to support the growth of a new set of talents?

Knowledge generator or actor? The CGIAR has an important role to play in a web of valuable actors that contribute towards knowledge generation, sharing and application. Is the CGIAR ready to shift from "primary knowledge generator"?

Global Public Goods debate: Is there is a conflict between creating global public goods vs focusing on local/specific needs?

Follower or pace setter? Will the CGIAR simply be responsive to changes going on in the knowledge and innovation arena and be a follower of trends, or will it be pro-active and take the lead in developing and understanding positive approaches to doing valuable and quality research for development?

A number of ideas were explored ranging from staff development to learning materials, all of which can increase the CGIAR's ability to best understand the implications and opportunities of the new knowledge economy.

A more comprehensive report of this session will be made available soon.

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