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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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Collaborate, Create, Communicate...

As I look back over yet another year, I see only one thing that is constant: change. We live in a time of profound change and increasing complexity, a time when we have to adapt quickly to changes in ICT and knowledge management (KM) if we are to do more than just stay abreast of developments in global agricultural research. And the CGIAR has adapted and continues to do so. Across the length and breadth of the CGIAR System, staff have shown their willingness to embrace change, to take the lead at times, and to give generously of their time to help the Program achieve its goals.

Nowhere was this ability to adapt more evident than at this year's Web2forDev Conference, which the Program helped organize. People with little or no exposure to Web 2.0 tools showed an eagerness to know more about the applications that can help them communicate and share the results of their research.

Reflecting on the Program's accomplishments of the past year, we have achieved much, especially in terms of collective participatory activities. For example, the CGMap Project, which developed an application that will help Centers edit, submit, search and generate reports based on their MTPs, saw the Program working closely with the Science Council and the Centers. Then there were the various knowledge sharing activities that were successfully incorporated into many Center and System events over the last twelve months, and the launch of nine knowledge sharing pilot projects, which are being implemented out of six different Centers. Other projects that are being implemented under our 2006 Investment Plan are well underway to achieving their goals.

Collective actions have also resulted in a more equitable CGNET contract that gives Centers the opportunity to opt out of certain services; made an array of scientific journals available to CGIAR staff, courtesy of the CGIARLIS Consortium; and resulted in savings on our software purchases.

Our website also underwent a revamp this year. With its crisp new look, improved navigation and interactive features, the redesign represented a shift in our relationship with our audience. Besides making it easier for you to keep up-to-date with the latest ICT-KM news, the site also allows you to contribute your voice to some of our reports and announcements by leaving your comments, suggestions and opinions on one of our blogs.

Finally, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in the Program and its activities in 2007. The Program is only as good as the people who work behind the scenes moving it forwards: my immediate team, who have impressed me with their passion and resourcefulness; the various project leaders who work tirelessly across time zones; and my advisors and peers, who are generous with their advice and feedback. I look forward to working with you all again as we face the challenges and opportunities that 2008 will surely bring.

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed New Year!


Enrica Porcari
Chief Information Officer
CGIAR



Main News

EasyMTP and CGMap: two sides of the same coin
The ICT-KM Program, in consultation with the CGIAR Centers, has developed and is deploying a product designed specifically to add value to MTPs and, at the same time, greatly reduce the time it takes to produce them. EasyMTP is an exciting new tool that supports the creating, updating, submission and eventual searching and sharing of the information in CGIAR Medium Term Plans.
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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.

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Opening Access to CGIAR Research and Knowledge
The ICT-KM Program recently organized a series of consultative events designed to improve and finalize a CGIAR-led Strategy that aims to maximize access to and utilization of the CGIAR iGPGs (Information Global Public Goods) with the ultimate goal of improving agricultural research for development activities.
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Evaluating the Impact of Your Website
A guide for CGIAR Centers to evaluate the usage, usability and usefulness of their websites.

This new publication from the ICT-KM Program is the first step towards the creation of an easy-to-use guide for evaluating the impact of websites. Customized especially for CGIAR websites, the guide's format is designed around the 3 U's approach: assessing the Usage, Usability and Usefulness of a website and its content.
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ICT Support in ESA
The Second Level Connectivity (2LC) Project, which has entered its second phase, will continue to focus on improving Internet connectivity where needed; improving knowledge and use of available resources, as well as testing a model for IT regional support. These efforts are all in line with the goals of the Project: providing IT support and resources to regional CGIAR offices – with particular emphasis on Centers located in Africa.
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Enterprise Security in the Americas
In 2004, the ICT-KM Program began implementing the Enterprise Security and Business Continuity (ESBC) Project, an endeavour that aimed to achieve viable, ongoing ES and BC procedures within all Centers, and support the overall risk management environment. Project activities were carried out in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Three years later, at the beginning of December 2007, the Project entered its second phase, which was marked by a shift in focus that saw the new lead administrative Center, CIP, concentrating entirely on ES activities in the Americas. In collaboration with CIAT, CIMMYT, and IFPRI, CIP has now established the Enterprise Security Americas - Regional Thrust (ESA).
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CGIAR-CSI GeoNetwork Fully Functioning
The CGIAR-Consortium for Spatial Information GeoNetwork is now online and fully functioning, making it possible to seamlessly search for geospatial data throughout the entire CGIAR System and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Currently, metadata is available from 14 Centers, ICIMOD, and the Water and Food Challenge Program (altogether about 15,000 records), all of which are synchronized with the UN system through FAO. An additional 5,000 records harvested from FAO also include those from WHO, OCHA UNEP and WFP. Many of these records provide direct links to downloadable data.
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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.
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So Long, Farewell, Hello
Shawn Landersz, who has been working with us as a part-time Program Assistant, will be leaving the ICT-KM Program at the end of December 2007. Fortunately, Program staff in Rome will continue to see him as he will be working with Bioversity International in another capacity. We would like to thank Shawn for his efforts and patience with us during his time with the Program.
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Meet Our Newest Team Member
The ICT-KM Program is pleased to announce a much-valued addition to it team. Fiona Chandler, a dynamic woman who has spent much of her life zig-zagging across the globe, is presently the Program Development Coordinator at CIFOR. Come January, though, she will say goodbye to the Center's headquarters in Indonesia and begin a five-month stint with the Program, taking over Program Officer Jenin Assaf's duties while she is on maternity leave.
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IT and Information Managers Meet
This year, for the first time, the annual meetings of CGIAR IT Managers and Information Managers was planned in such a way that the two communities were able to benefit from joint discussions. Usually, the IM and IT Managers conduct their yearly get-togethers at different times and at different locations. This year, though, IT and information specialists from the length and breadth of the CGIAR System converged at Bioversity, Rome, for a four-day event right before the Web2forDev Conference
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We welcome feedback on the ICT-KM News, so please feel free to contact us at ictkm@cgiar.org