K4Health supports the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Knowledge Gateway, one of the most popular online knowledge-sharing spaces in the health and development sector.
The Knowledge Gateway is an electronic communication platform that connects people working in health and development through virtual networks and online discussions to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange. This low-bandwidth-friendly online platform was developed by WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health Research and the Implementing Best Practices Initiative in 2004. Since then, the Knowledge Gateway has grown to house over 600 active groups with over 30,000 members.
Members of the Knowledge Gateway are able to access information they need to improve reproductive health, while sharing local and international experience on effective practices, success stories, lessons learned, issues and concerns in reproductive health. This sharing takes place in the Knowledge Gateway’s many virtual networks, called "communities of practice" (sometimes abbreviated to "CoPs"). Communities of practice provide a gathering space for professionals who share a common interest and are working toward a shared goal. Within these communities of practice, participants can share resources, documents, announcements, and even participate in online forum discussions with health professionals around the globe.
To date, the IBP Initiative has supported over 50 time-bound global discussion forums on a wide range of reproductive health topics through the Knowledge Gateway. Discussions on other health and development topics have also been supported by IBP and other partner organizations.
The Knowledge Gateway tools and methodologies are proving to be a best practice for supporting virtual knowledge networks around the world.
The IBP Knowledge Gateway has the potential to bring all stakeholders together to help address the world's most important health challenges, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and Health for All.