Knowledge Management for Public Health

Knowledge management (KM) provides a systematic approach to ensure that public health practitioners have access to the latest research and that they apply that research to public health programs at all levels of the health system—from the global, regional, and national levels down to the front lines. KM is an intentional process that includes identifying the knowledge needs of a particular audience and then generating, curating, and sharing relevant knowledge to help programs and organizations succeed.

Public health organizations that adopt KM strategies and practices can improve performance of health care workers and programs and contribute to reaching the end goal of improving health outcomes among communities. Using KM, public health programs can:

  • Promote collaboration and learning
  • Inform policy and advocacy
  • Improve programs, practice, and research
  • Enhance health training and education programs

KM programs are supported by three key components: people, processes, and technology.

  • People generate, store, and share knowledge and can help cultivate an environment that encourages knowledge sharing and use of KM systems.
  • Processes are the methods used to capture, curate, and share knowledge. These formal and informal processes must be embraced and integrated into an organization’s daily work flow to be most successful.
  • Use of technology that is appropriate to the context can expedite knowledge storage, retrieval, and exchange.

KM has particular relevance for low- and middle-income country settings. It can address human resource issues related to retaining organizational knowledge and can provide mechanisms for purposefully exchanging needed knowledge in real time. Implementing a KM system can ensure that relevant health knowledge—data, research findings, best practices, programmatic guidance—flows up and down the health system, from national to district to community levels and back up again. KM approaches also facilitate the exchange of information across a given level of the health system, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public health programs.

To learn more about how to integrate KM into your program:

 

  • Blog post

    There’s still time to register for the 4th annual Global Digital Health Forum, taking place December 4-6, 2017 in Washington, DC.

  • Blog post
    Knowledge Management in Practice: Nurturing a Learning Culture

    Nurturing a Learning Culture is the first installment of our three-part webinar series on Knowledge Management in Practice.

    All organizations have some knowledge management (KM) processes and systems, but do you want to make your institution’s processes and systems more effective, purposeful, and systematic? Hear from KM experts about how they have shaped an enabling environment for learning and knowledge management by making the case for KM, strengthening local ownership and capacity, and getting started with clear objectives and tasks.

  • Blog post
    Digital Storytelling for Change: The Art of the Interview

    Digital Storytelling for Change: The Art of the Interview

    A new assessment of the impact of the global storytelling initiative Family Planning Voices shows that stories and storytelling have the potential to change health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. On June 7, 2018, K4Health and the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning (IYAFP) hosted a skills-building webinar to share key tips for capturing an essential story element—the interview—with a mobile phone.

  • Resource

    The course flyer for the June 2018 Summer Institute course, "Improving Global Health Through Knowledge Application, Continuous Learning, and Adaptation"

  • Blog post
    Tools to Build Better Programs - A Practical Workshop

    Tools to Build Better Programs - A Practical Workshop

    Having the knowledge you need to do your job is critical to improving global health and development outcomes. But having the tools to help you apply that knowledge is just as crucial.

  • Blog post
    Building Better Programs Through Knowledge Management 3

    In February 2018, K4Health hosted a webinar to introduce the new Knowledge Management Collection.

    On Thursday February 8, 2018, K4Health co-hosted the webinar, “Building Better Programs Through Knowledge Management” with guest presenters from Pathfinder International and Ipas.

    When health program staff and practitioners can manage and share knowledge effectively, they can deliver better results. Yet many projects and programs don’t have systems in place to share critical knowledge and translate lessons learned, which can result in missed opportunities, duplication, and wasted time and money.

    The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project has developed the Knowledge Management Collection, a family of resources designed for global health professionals to help them understand, use, and train others on knowledge management approaches, tools, and techniques. The KM Collection includes practical guides, comprehensive training materials, and a step-by-step framework.

  • Resource

    The Knowledge Management Collection is built on the foundation of the five-step KM Road Map. The Building Better Programs guide offers a detailed look at each of the five steps of the Road Map along with in-depth tasks to complete within each step. (Not sure you're ready to dig in at this level? Try the Knowledge Management Pocket Guide.)

  • Resource

    The Knowledge Management Road Map (KM Road Map) is a five-step systematic process for generating, collecting, analyzing, synthesizing, and sharing knowledge in global health programs.

  • Resource

    Esta guía como una herramienta de referencia para cualquier persona que trabaje en la salud pública o el desarrollo internacional y que desee reunir a un grupo de personas para analizar ideas, afrontar desafíos y compartir las mejores prácticas. Los usuarios pueden utilizar esta guía como referencia para determinar qué es lo más relevante para sus necesidades específicas.

    In English

  • Resource

    Course information for "Improving Global Public Health Through Knowledge Application, Continuous Learning, and Adaptation," June 6-8, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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