The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an African Union (AU) initiative to accelerate agricultural growth, improve food security and strengthen the resilience of the environment in Africa.
It is led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency. It has ensured that many governments have increased their budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector and have used CAADP to initiate dialogue with the private sector to attract investment, domestic and foreign, and improved planning and management of public resources. One of the areas identified as an opportunity for contributing to sustaining the CAADP momentum is to examine Knowledge Management (KM) and its role in the CAADP.
To determine the current management of Knowledge around the CAADP process a series of Knowledge Management Scans were carried out with several Regional Economic Communities working with NPCA in relation to CAADP. These scans were developed with Co-Capacity BV and facilitated with the assistance of ECDPM and support of CTA.
NPCA organised a CAADP Knowledge Management Workshop in Midrand last month to:
- Share experiences about knowledge management around CAADP, including initiatives and tools that RECs are developing and using;
- Learn what the key enablers and barriers are for CAADP as a knowledge intensive environment
- Plan joint interventions to enhance CAADP functioning facilitated through KM
The workshop built on the findings of individual KM scans sent to the RECs prior to the meeting, and served as a basis for discussions towards concrete action plans.
CTA has held a series of events to develop materials supporting effective Knowledge Management with our partners. Last year we held an expert consultation to examine the key concerns around KM in organisations working in Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) this identified the need for capacity building, strategy development and management awareness. As a result we developed advocacy tools including an adapted KM Scan to allow organisations to do a health check on how they manage knowledge. Knowledge is an individual’s ability, combining tacit knowledge – experience, skills and attitude – and explicit knowledge (information).
The approach we took towards knowledge management is to see it as instrumental for “integral organisational development”. This approach aims to develop optimized ‘knowledge ecosystems‘ in which organisations are equipped to create added and sustainable value for their partners, clients and members. This thinking is based on the principles of systems thinking and is closely related to concepts like organisational learning and innovation systems.
Integral KM – visualised by and explained metaphorically by the KM tree – develops and balances out five important dimensions of any knowledge intensive environment:
- ‘root’ aspects like strategy, values & culture, structures & governance, management & leadership, and skills & staff
- knowledge processes like knowledge creation, storage and use
- enablers like communication, systems & technologies, learning and M&E, and internal innovation;
- external factors like stakeholders participation, external influences and external resources
- brokering, adoption and monitoring & evaluation of knowledge products & services
The fundamental assumption behind this approach is that these five dimensions need to be looked at and worked on integrally. Optimizing one dimension (like external service delivery) will not be fully successful if the other dimensions are not considered at the same time. As a result of the meeting there were five proposed areas of intervention
- Knowledge Management Strategy
- Management and Leadership on KM
- Inventorying Knowledge
- M&E of knowledge products and services
- Brokering of Products and Services on KM