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Day zero: "I know HOW day" starts at Agknowledge share fair #sfaddis

Posted by Roxanna Samii Monday, October 18, 2010

Our day started bright and earlier. At 9:00am sharp, the wonderful Ethiopian horn blower called us to order and we all gathered in the tent for Day Zero - or what was rebaptized as "The I know HOW day".

Before breaking out into parallel sessions, the participants identified language barrier and choice of appropriate tool and/or method as knowledge sharing challenges. The group also discussed how it would be unreasonable to expect a farmer who does not have access to the internet or cannot read or write fluently to use the internet as their primary source of information. We also talked about the challenge of technicians and researchers writing a 500 page highly technical report which hardly anyone would read. The participants recognized the fact that we need to prepare succinct and well written knowledge products which summarize and provide the salient points and findings!

The face-to-face session was facilitated by KM4Dev colleagues: Pete, Ewen, Gauri, Willem and Roxy. We started off with an icebreaker giving the over 30 participants to share something about themselves. Since we did not have a set agenda, to come up with an agenda, Pete and Ewen used open space to develop "an agenda".


Colleagues proposed a number of face-to-face knowledge sharing methods and by voting the group decided to learn more about peer assist - hosted by Willem, After Action Review - hosted by Edna, Story telling hosted by Roselin.

The participants then got organized and attended the various sessions. At the end of the session we did an After Action Review, which helped us to further fine tune the afternoon session.

As a result, we decided to use speed geeking as an icebreaker, rather than the ball in the room method. I must admit it was better!!! Especially  because it was after lunch and the speed geeking also served as energizer!!!

If you've been following our tweets, you would have undoubtedly noticed that Ethiopian culture is one of the underlying principles of this event. So we not only have the horn blower who helps us to keep time, but also the Bunna corner - which is traditional Ethiopian coffee.

These wonderful ladies are around all day and ready to serve us coffee and to share their culture and history!! So knowledge sharing is not just about the highly tense technical documents, but also sharing the social and cultural aspects of what we know!!!! Never underestimate that.... That is where bonding happens and that is one of the many ways people will start trusting each other!!!

Now moving on to another session. More to come soon.

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