Communities of practice in international development

On 15 May 2014, I was in Barcelona to make a presentation on knowledge sharing in communities of practice.

In this presentation, I presented two examples which I thought might interest the participants who were – with two exceptions – not from the development sector at all: Dgroups and KM4Dev. Based on these two examples, I tried to identify possible lessons for those working in other sectors. Given that much of the audience was Spanish (and Catalan) speaking, I also asked my colleagues from KM4Dev for examples of videos about development work in Spanish which I could play for the participants. At the end of my presentation, I thus played a video of work on indigenous knowledge among the Mapuche people in Chile.

Attending the conference was a great experience for me – not only because it was so well organised – but also because I had the opportunity to meet a number of colleagues from Spain and further afield. I only attended very few presentations myself – my Spanish is inexistente (thank you google translate) – but it was really great to see Karen Watkins’ presentation of a questionnaire that she has developed with Victoria Marsick which assesses dimensions of a learning organisation. This has already been tested in 70 different organisations and I really liked the emphasis on informal learning and the learning culture.

I was also very happy to have the opportunity to meet Josu Uztarroz who has blogged about my presentation in Spanish.

Here is the paper Communities of practice in international development on which the presentation is based. It includes four cases of communities, including the CTA Smart toolkit.

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