Knowledge Management for Global Health

Access Tools

Research Utilization Toolkit. Health workers participate in interactive listening forums as part of the Radio Communication Project (RCP) in Nepal. © 1996 Center for Communication Programs, Courtesy of Photoshare

K4Health Toolkits

K4Health's Knowledge Management for Health and Development Toolkit (developed in partnership with the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative) assists those working in international health and development who are interested in learning more about knowledge management (KM) and accessing tools and best practices for conducting KM. The Toolkit is structured to answer some basic questions, such as: What is KM? Why is it important? How do you do KM? How do you measure it? And, where do you go for more resources?

The Research Utilization Toolkit addresses the gap between family planning knowledge and practice. The Toolkit covers key terminology, common challenges, implementation strategies, and information on scaling up evidence-based solutions to help researchers, policy makers, and program managers apply research results to programs, policies, and practice. 

The Measuring Success Toolkit provides guidance on how to use data to plan a health program and to measure its success through monitoring and evaluation (M&E). It also offers links to important M&E-related resources. Basic introductions are provided throughout the Toolkit, as well as a glossary of planning, monitoring and evaluation terms, for those less familiar with the concepts and demands of using data for program planning and M&E.

The UNICEF Knowledge Exchange Toolbox

The UNICEF Knowledge Exchange Toolbox

UNICEF's Knowledge Exchange Toolbox (2015; PDF, 1.82MB) was created to help program staff and partners plan and implement successful knowledge sharing events. A successful event is one that creates or shares significant practical knowledge – knowledge that is relevant for achieving results. This may be academic or technical, or it may be "know-how," based on experiences of how to achieve results in a particular context, or how to address specific challenges. This Toolbox is for anyone who needs to make effective decisions, facilitate or guide effective decision-making processes, or manage or coordinate group work in development that requires the knowledge of multiple persons to succeed.



K4Health Guide for Conducting Health Information Needs Assessments. A community health worker in Ethiopia gives a talk about family planning to a group of women. These women, who meet once a month with the health worker at a local health facility, share the information they learn with their neighbors over traditional coffee. The health talk is part of Plan International's implementation of a community-based family planning project in Ethiopia near Lalibela. Ethiopia has a very high fertility rate and one of the lowest contraceptive use rates in Africa. © 2005 Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare

Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management

Systematic approaches to understanding the knowledge needs of audiences and to demonstrating effectiveness of knowledge management programs should include the following steps:

  1. Measuring the audience’s knowledge needs before activity implementation
  2. Measuring accomplishments and reach during activity implementation
  3. Measuring outcomes and impact on key result areas after activity implementation
  • K4Health's Knowledge Management Index (2018; PDF, 603KB) is an assessment tool to examine an organization or project’s use of KM practices, identify opportunities for improvement and, map out an action plan to strengthen the KM capacity. The KM Index measures the capacity in four fundamental KM practice areas: 1) organizational structure (KM vision and strategy), 2) learning opportunities (professional development), 3) internal KM culture (seeking out and sharing knowledge), and 4) KM for global health (effort to advance global health agenda).
  • The Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) Knowledge Management Indicator Library offers adapted and updated content and indicators from the 2013 Guide to Monitoring and Evaluating Knowledge Management in Global Health Programs as well as new content and indicators on emerging KM themes.
  • The K4Health Guide to Conducting Needs Assessments (2015; PDF, 8.74MB) provides a methodology for conducting assessments of information needs among individuals working at different levels of the health system. It includes sample instruments, templates, training materials, and guidance for planning dissemination workshops.
The Knowledge Management Collection for Global Health Programs

Implementing Knowledge Management to Strengthen Family Planning

K4Health's Knowledge Management Collection (2018) is a family of resources designed for global health professionals to help them understand, use, and train others on knowledge management approaches, tools, and techniques. All materials in the collection are free to adapt and use. The collection includes:

"Best practices" are exemplary public health practices that have achieved results, and which need to be scaled up so as to benefit more people. The expansion and institutionalization of successfully tested best practices requires strategic planning. WHO's new Guide to Identifying and Documenting Best Practices in Family Planning Programs (2017; PDF, 353KB) merges the identification of best practices with a deliberate focus on the elements of scaling up to try to expand the reach of these public health practices to more people. 

Theory Primer: Diffusion of Innovations (K4Health, 2016; PDF, 1.04MB): Global health achievements require highly innovative knowledge management approaches. The diffusion of innovations theory helps explain and predict factors that influence the adoption of public health innovations. This guide provides tangible ways to apply the theory to ensure effective sharing and use of new health knowledge, guidance, and practice among health professionals, particularly program managers and knowledge management practitioners.

The MSP Guide

The MSP Guide: How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, 2016) links the underlying rationale for multi-stakeholder partnerships, with a clear four-phase process model, a set of seven core principles, key ideas for facilitation, and 60 participatory tools for analysis, planning and decision-making. The guide has been written for those directly involved in MSPs—as a stakeholder, leader, facilitator or funder—to provide both the conceptual foundations and practical tools that underpin successful partnerships.

How to Hold a Successful Share Fair (K4Health, 2015; PDF, 6.35MB) This guide is an essential reference tool for anyone who works in public health or international development and wants to bring together a group of people to discuss ideas, address challenges, and share best practices. This simple handbook guides users through the process of holding a share fair and includes customizable planning tools and concrete examples.

The Art of Knowledge Exchange: A Results-Focused Planning Guide for Development Practitioners (The World Bank, 2015; PDF, 7.84MB) is for anyone who wishes to design, implement, and measure a results-oriented knowledge exchange initiative. While it can be used by anyone, it is written for those who broker knowledge exchange by connecting and facilitating engagements between knowledge seekers and providers. This guide follows a strategic approach to learning by breaking down the knowledge exchange process into five simple steps and providing tools to help you play a more effective role as a knowledge broker.


Topic last updated: January 28, 2019