April 2013

  • K4Health Highlights

    Sarah V. Harlan

    CCP | Learning Director

    Of the three main elements of knowledge management (KM) –people, process, and technology – I tend to gravitate towards the “people” aspect. It is understandable to get excited by innovative methodologies and new technology; however, people drive the processes developed, and technology alone doesn’t solve a problem without a community using it appropriately.

    People Process Tools

    The three main elements of knowledge management: People, Process, and Tools.

    This theme was mentioned throughout the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) KM Share Fair on April 16th. It was obvious that participants were excited about the possibilities of technology, but wary of focusing too many resources on it as a “magic bullet” to solve KM challenges. It also seemed that they were struggling with the issue of how to keep communities central to KM. Where do we start?

    Knowledge for Health (K4Health) has been putting people at the center of our project since its start in 2008. Since our goal is to improve knowledge sharing among an external audience of health program managers, service providers, and policy makers in low- and middle-income countries, our starting place was a series of needs assessments. We did these at the global level (through an Environment Scan and Global Online Survey) as well as at the country level (in India, Ethiopia, Peru, Senegal, and Malawi). These studies helped us understand knowledge gaps, barriers, and opportunities. We then used processes and technology appropriately in order to design KM programs based on actual users’ needs.

  • Jarret Cassaniti

    CCP | Program Officer

    I arrived early to the Global Health and Innovation Conference opening plenary to review my social innovation pitch scheduled for later in the day. As I looked over my notes, I heard others lament the large number of sessions running concurrently. Aside from the keynotes, each time slot had between 11-16 sessions we could choose from, which meant we would miss the vast majority of sessions. By the time the morning speaker, Tina Rosenberg of the New York Times, took the stage I’d read the conference program a few times and narrowed down my choices.

    VassarHaitiProj GHIC Tweet

    A Tweet by the Vassar Haiti Project about the Global Health & Innovation Conference

    GOOD/Corps Tweet GHIC

    A Tweet from GOOD/Corps about the Global Health & Innovation Conference 2013.

    Rosenberg discussed how to Harness the Power of Peer Pressure and said that the best messages don’t inform people, but motivate them to change. She challenged us to craft messages with a human touch, and, as I live tweeted, I thought about how our social networks influence the decisions we make. The people around us influence what we think and how we act and, sometimes, what sessions we go to at conferences.As I looked at what others were tweeting about, I realized that I could virtually canvas my peer group at the conference and see what sessions people were talking about. During the 9:15-10:45 time slot when I presented, I missed eight other sessions and 36 presenters. At the next session I visited Twitter to see what was being said about what I’d missed.

  • K4Health Highlights

    Rebecca Shore

    CCP | Program Officer II

    Recently the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) brought together about 200 knowledge management (KM) professionals working in international development to share KM tools and ideas. The Global Health Knowledge Management Share Fair: Challenges and Opportunities had a variety of breakout sessions focusing on different KM interventions such as Net-Map, communities of practice (CoPs), blended learning, social media measurement, and many others.

    I moderated a session called Measuring more than “Likes” and “Follows”: Maximizing the potential of social media for KM. This session broke into small, facilitated discussion groups that focused on five concepts around social media measurement. These small group facilitators and topics were:

    Knowledge Wall - Social Media

    A portion of the Global Health Knowledge Management Share Fair: Challenges and Opportunities Knowledge Wall focusing on social media.

    • Connecting Strategy with Evaluation: How to create accurate SMART objectives – Alexandra Bornkessel, Manager of Digital Strategy at RTI International;
    • The Established Presence: How to maintain it, grow it and show it – Leah Gordon, Knowledge Management Specialist and Public Information Officer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MEASURE Evaluation;
    • Let the Platform Chose You: Discussion on the best social media platform for your organization/project centered around how to manage expectations and show results – Ricki McCarroll, Digital Account Executive at Spectrum;
    • From Vanity Metrics to Effective Metrics looked at performance indicators instead of easy or vanity indicators – John Zoltner, Director of the TechLab at FHI 360; and
    • What The Hoot?: Using tools and social media management systems to measure effectiveness – Rebecca Shore, Communication Specialist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs.
  • K4Health Highlights

    Jarret Cassaniti

    CCP | Program Officer

    At the Global Health and Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) Share Fair, I attended and enjoyed the session on Net-Map.

    Net-Map is an interview-based mapping tool that helps people understand, visualize, discuss, and improve situations in which many different actors influence outcomes. By creating Influence Network Maps, individuals and groups can clarify their own view of a situation, foster discussion, and develop a strategic approach to their networking activities.

    Net-Map at the GHKC KM Share Fair


    A participant uses Net-Map at the GHKC Share Fair.

    Facilitated by Amitaksha Nag of Frametrics Consulting Private Limited and Natalie Campbell of Management Sciences for Health, participants used Net-Map to think about the complex social environment in which they work. The groups mapped a water and sanitation project in Zambia and an integrated FP/RH project in rural Malawi. They thought about the actors are involved, how they are linked, how influential they are, and what each actor’s goals are.

    At the end of the session, diagrams on flip chart helped foster discussion about each project’s strategy and where roadblocks and conflict might arise. Although we made impressive insights (e.g. the ministry of health is often where a project begins, community elders hold most of the influence), 90 minutes could barely do the process justice. Nag said that when Frametrics uses Net-Map in the field is often a two day process.

    Click here (PDF) for a short step-by-step manual on Net-Map, here for a detailed version and here for a training slide show.

  • K4Health Highlights

    Becca Simon

    (Formerly) CCP | Communications Director

    Originally posted on the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative blog, Kris Horvath from IntraHealth discusses the importance of knowledge management practitioners to use our own tools, techniques, and approaches to explore how to reach our goals. His experience at the GHKC Share Fair encapsulated the spirit of the event, which allowed participants to "create their own experiences" and have meaningful interactions.

    From the beginning of last week's Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) Knowledge Management Share Fair, it was clear that this gathering was not afraid to head into some uncomfortable territory -- in that spirit of candid inquiry and collaboration that marks us KM types, of course. Keynote speaker Stacey Young hit right away on an important conundrum. Namely that we, as KM practitioners, know well that efforts that fall short have plenty to teach us; on the other hand, the pressure to tell tales of success is real, and with a client sitting across from us, it seems unavoidable.