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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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Web 2.0: Web 2 point what?
Adapted from a blog written by Nadia Manning, Leader of the Knowledge Sharing in Research Project


Last September, FAO hosted the Web2forDev Conference at its headquarters in Rome. This first-of-its-kind conference was devoted to exploring the ways in which international development stakeholders can take advantage of the technical and organizational opportunities provided by Web 2.0 methods, approaches and applications.

What's this all about?
Web 2.0 is a new era of electronic, virtual, online tools and applications that move beyond static posting, managing and sharing of knowledge. The Conference provided insights, lessons, information, experiences, uses, challenges and benefits of using Web 2.0 tools for development, and brought together people and organizations from around the globe and from various sectors.

Why Web 2.0?
Do you want to or need to share information and knowledge with others? Do you work in or with a team that is geographically dispersed? Do you need something to help with communication, working together and sharing with this dispersed team? Do you want to improve and increase collaboration with others?

Well, you would not be alone if you answered yes to any of these questions. These are questions, problems and scenarios faced by many of the conference presenters, most of whom went on to explore, test and find Web 2.0 tools to help them in their work. Web 2.0 introduces new opportunities for interaction, collaboration, networking, and multi-dimensional sharing, all of which are an integral part of work and outcomes within development, research, agriculture and other sectors.

Have you ever used a blog to have a discussion? What about a wiki for collaboration on projects with dispersed teams and partners? There have been a lot of successes in the use of these tools to open up the globe and its people to the vast amount of valuable knowledge in written, visual, audio, video, and interaction with people formats. In short, Web 2.0 offers the potential for greater, wider, more effective, more efficient, and more participatory working and living.

How to find out about Web 2.0
The Conference offered a number of ways to learn about the Web 2.0 tools available and some of their uses. Participants were able to try, hands-on, some of these tools. Presentations were also made of various case studies and challenges faced in applying the tools: uses, successes and lessons learned were highlighted.

Some topics presented and discussed were:
It became apparent that Web 2.0 tools have been and are being used in research and development work, by communities, in rural areas, in the North and the South to share knowledge, increase collaboration, widen access to and from groups, discuss, plan, implement, store, manage, analyze and much more.

Strong messages came out of the Conference:
Where to find Web 2.0
If you are convinced or at least a little curious now and want to know where to find Web 2.0 tools to use, here are some ideas that I got during the Conference that you can look up:
CGIAR involvement in the Web2forDev Conference
The CGIAR, which helped organize this interesting and innovative three-day conference, was widely represented at the event by more than 40 staff members from across most of the Centers and System-wide programs. In addition, four presentations were given by CGIAR staff: Balaji Venkataraman - given by Jayanta Chatterjee (ICRISAT); Luz Marina Alvare and Nancy Walczak (IFPRI); Thomas Metz (IRRI); and Stephan Dohrn (CAPRi) and Peter Shelton (IFPRI).

Web 2.0 and the CGIAR
Those of us who attended learned a lot about how to use various Web 2.0 tools in our work and were inspired. But the big question is whether and how this could be useful within the CGIAR. Could the CGIAR, its Centers, programs, projects, etc. also use such Web 2.0 tools in our/their work? Some examples are already emerging, but we need to further explore together how we can use Web 2.0 tools to:

Commitment from the ICT-KM Program
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 series of initiatives to help our scientists, researchers and staff at large make use of these innovative tools to support our work.

Organized by a Steering Committee that included ICT-KM Program Leader and CIO Enrica Porcari, Web2ForDev 2007 was an integral part of e-Agriculture week, a suite of consultations and events that took place from 21 - 28 September in Rome, Italy.


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