The e-Conference on Joint Action for Knowledge Management in the southern African water sector is now live.
Join us for the second virtual conference on joint action towards water knowledge management from 18 to 22 March 2013. Hosted by the NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence (SANWATCE), in conjunction with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, this e-Conference will take place during the United Nations’ World Water Day on 22 March 2013 as part of the UN International Year for Water Cooperation.
Following from the first e-Conference in November 2012, the upcoming e-e-Conference will focus on the need for joint action towards water knowledge management, and challenges and problems that are being faced. Specific aims are to
- Improve partnerships and visibility;
- Identify possible projects; and
- Explore thematic collaborations.
The November 2012 e-Conference identified the difficult relationship between policy-makers and knowledge producers, whether due to time constraints or different usage of knowledge, as a major stumbling block. All participants agreed that it is up to all stakeholders – researchers, policy-makers, and society – to contribute their knowledge in order to improve the well-being of the southern African water sector.
According to Mr Nico Elema, regional programme manager of SANWATCE, an e-conference is a discussion on a specific theme among a group of people conducted via the Internet among e-participants: “It is an interesting alternative to the traditional format of seminars and workshops as it saves mission costs and provides more flexibility to participants to schedule their participation.”
“We are very excited about the opportunity to connect with likeminded people in the water sector in the region,” he says. “We are looking forward to lively debate, which in turn will stimulate skills development and growth within the sector.”
All discussions and presentations will take place on the online platform AquaKnow.net, a collaborative workspace and content management system. Video addresses by keynote speakers will be available to set the scene for the various topics of discussion.
To join the discussions of the e-conference, sign up NOW econference.nepadwatercoe.org.
The NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence in conjunction with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre hosted the first free virtual conference on Knowledge Management (KM) in the southern African region from the 26th – 30th November onwww.aquaknow.net.
The e-Conference on KM has started off with an immediate focus on policy. Professor Daniel CW Nkhuwa of the University of Zambia clearly demonstrates the added value of incorporating information and the results of research into groundwater management policy and even day-to-day management. He rightfully recognizes that the uptake by political beneficiaries of this information is not always evident, and suggests a certain responsibility for knowledge producers to ‘package’ their knowledge to facilitate the uptake. This is not evident to achieve, as is pointed out by Andrea Leone of the Joint Research Centre Ispra who states “In our experience we noticed a consensus among stakeholders on the need for common approaches to KM but scepticism about top down or artificially created solutions – user shaped solutions can be more “chaotic” but more likely to work.”
Based on these arguments Mr. Murray Biedler, expert on the southern African water sector and KM, put forward the controversial argument that the mismatch between policy-makers and researchers is also due to the time lag of the two worlds; researchers think long-term while policy-makers are tied to short-term time frames and outputs. This led us to ask the question whether you think that researchers in the water sector have to change their perspective and become more policy-tuning, rather than policy-shaping.
Andrea Leone from the JRC turned the question around and challenged policy-makers to adapt their decision-making processes. This was followed up by Prof. Goldin from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, who remarked that policy-makers want simplistic data and clear recommendation. She therefore suggested that scientists publish two papers; one which adheres to the strict scientific ethical requirements, while the other presents the information for the policy-makers in form of policy briefs. Prof. Nkhuwa, in particular, raised the issue of ethical standards in the scientific community and reminded the participants that science and data cannot exist in a vacuum but have to serve a purpose. It is, to quote Prof. Goldin, “the researchers’ ethical duty to transfer information as accurately and precisely as possible” and face-to-face interaction with policy-makers is preferred at all stages of the policy cycle. In the end, all commentators agreed that it is up to all stakeholders – researchers, policy-makers, and society to contribute their specific knowledge, in order to improve the well-being of the southern African water sector.
Two further e-Conferences are also being planned, around topics such as the need for joint action towards water knowledge management, and challenges and problems that are being faced. The preliminary dates are the 11th and 18th February 2013.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone that was involved in making this e-Conference a success. If you have any comments, we would love to hear from you:[email protected]
When will it start?
The on-line e-conference will start at 11am (GMT+2) on Monday 26 November 2012, with a panel discussion: Dr. Jacqueline Goldin, University of the Western Cape, and Mr. Nico Elema, Programme Manager of NEPAD SANWATCE, which will be broadcasted on-line Links to the broadcast will be available from this site, and we will notify registered participants via email.
If you have questions for the pannel or have material which you would like to share with others, email us at [email protected] before Thursday 21 November 2012, and we can include it in the panel discussion.
For more information on topics, just go to our website at http://econference.nepadwatercoe.org/
If you would like to sign-up and join the conversation, just go to our registration page
The Knowledge Chain
What is KM?
“The capturing, transferring and leveraging what everybody in an organization knows, but also what everybody thinks and believes.”
Why is KM important?
“The importance of effective KM in the southern Africa water sector is becoming more and more evident. Climate change and population pressures require the region to disperse knowledge among all stakeholders and across all levels. This means engaging with one another to communicate data, knowledge, wisdom and information.”
What is the e-Conference about?
“This e-Conference aims at identifying a strategy for KM in the region. How is knowledge produced? How is knowledge passed on? How, if at all, is feedback received? And what can we do better?”
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR COLLEAGUES FOR THEM TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION…
ANNOUNCEMENT: e-Conference. DATE OF TOPIC 1: KNOWLEDGE CHAIN: GENERATION, DISSEMINATION AND FEEDBACK
The NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence, in conjunction with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, presents the first e-conference on Knowledge Management in the Southern African water sector.
Come join us to discuss TOPIC 1: KNOWLEDGE CHAIN: GENERATION, DISSEMINATION AND FEEDBACK, from the 26th November 2012 – 30th November 2012.
Discussions will take place on the online platform, AquaKnow.net, a collaborative workspace and content management system.
You can sign up NOW on: http://econference.nepadwatercoe.org/
If you would like to read more about the e-Conference, please visit our website at http://econference.nepadwatercoe.org/
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO COLLEAGUES WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED
In preparation for the planned e-conference being hosted by the NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence, interested participants from around the world, are invited to sign-up.
Registration and participation will be free, and will enable the e-Conference organisers to communicate with participants prior and during the e-Conference.
To sign-up, go to the sign-up page.
If you want to read more about the e-Conference, click here.
If you want to read more about the topics to be discussed, have a look at the Programme and Topics.
It gives us great please to publish the themes to be discussed during the e-Conference.
The topics are as follows:
Topic: Knowledge Chain: Generation, dissemination, feedback
Topic: Joint action for water knowledge management
Topic: Challenges and Problems of Knowledge Management
Please register here for the e-Conference to enable us to keep you updated on the e-conference and to enable us to communicate with you during the e-Conference.