By Ewen Ewen Leborgne
During the Share Fair, I was happy to participate to three very interesting and complementary sessions on a) the IFAD experience of putting KM and learning into practice (#218) b) using social media for development (#206) and c) IKM-Emergent’s idea of a knowledge ecology (#173).
Although there is palpable progress already, much remains to be done. Oh yes, and languages are still very much an issue: no translation budget, interpretation problems… We just can’t keep saying this though. It’s time to act on the language divide!
The sum of these sessions is the recognition for a number of key aspects:
- Context drives initiatives and its design. Current (Northern-driven) development initiatives all too often do not take that into account;
- Development issues are complex – we are dealing with systemic issues that cannot be solved by a single perspective and type of intervention. Therefore the contribution of multiple perspectives (or knowledge cultures) is essential;
- It takes a certain willingness and recognition to start working together in the right direction. And we need to stimulate individual and social learning initiatives to create such a fertile ground for improved development;
- Development is an iterative process that benefits from regular interactions and reviews, as well as from taking time to assess where we are at in the process;
- Try-out pilots are thus a good idea – and they help move away from fail-safe approaches (wary of any problem) to safe-fail approaches (where quick failing is seen as the best way to improve over time).
- There are many tools (and social media are crucial in this) that help this network dynamics. They shift the emphasis from organisations to individuals and networks, although ultimately they rebound back up to organisations too;
- All of these developments are about behaviour change and it just takes time to see behaviours change – but uniting in a perspective of improved collective development is worthwhile even if it takes money, time and dedication. Positive results have started to trickle down, and we just need to carry on and stick to ‘doing it’.
Note: All tweets from this session are archived here: http://www.tweetdoc.org/View/24012/The-Role-of-Social-Media-in-Development