Introducing Learning Lab's June Theme: Knowledge Management!
The summer months at USAID are a period of transition. A cadre of Foreign Service Officers rotate to different placements around the globe. Fellowships like the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships begin or end, with those inducted into the ranks bringing, or leaving with, fresh perspectives. Staff take extended summer holidays and return refreshed to their posts.
Anticipating and preparing for these transitions - whether temporary or permanent, coming or going - is critical to benefitting from this period of flux. New staff, and change itself, can bring fresh thinking and problem-solving approaches to a team.
In 2021, adding to the complexities of relocations is the dislocation of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, operating in unprecedented circumstances and in remote-oriented work environments. How might an organization account for radical and enduring changes in the ecosystem, such as understanding the impact of COVID-19 immediate and long-term effects on their workforce, partners, and beneficiaries - and moreover, adapt their systems accordingly?
It is on account of these conditions and questions that knowledge management is Learning Lab’s June theme. How we identify, collect, organize, preserve, share, and learn from knowledge is particularly crucial before, during and after staff transitions - and in all functions of an organization. It is important to reflect on how these processes, as well as our knowledge management systems and tactics, may have changed during the pandemic with the hindsight that we now have. How knowledge is acquired, from whom, what is admitted as knowledge, and who is able to access it are crucial parts of this discussion.
Throughout this month, we are excited to share videos, blogs, resources, and more from USAID, implementing partners, and the development community around the topic of knowledge management. One of our first highlights includes a new resource - with more to come! - from the Agency’s Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning (KMOL) Team. The webinar recording of their recent event, Knowledge Management in the Era of COVID-19, is now available to view, with featured speakers from the KMOL Team, UNICEF Innocenti, Southern Voice, and CARE International.
This is also an opportunity to revisit pieces from the vast collection of resources that the Learning Lab community has contributed over the years, drawing from our legacy knowledge as we continue to supplement it with fresh perspectives. Our first stop is to direct you to the Managing Knowledge cluster of the CLA Toolkit. This page is a useful introduction to what this phrase means, and how to put it into practice.
A link to every piece of featured knowledge management content will be added to the Links section at the bottom of this blog, so you won’t miss a thing! Check back regularly for updates. Have a resource, tool, tip, or experience around knowledge management? Share it with us at [email protected].
There are many websites, forums, listservs, and communities that provoke and provide insights around knowledge management. Learning Lab is inspired to be part of this conversation, and we hope you participate in the many dialogues that are taking place in different spaces with different audiences.
LINKS to Featured Knowledge Management Content:
Managing Knowledge Collection | CLA Toolkit Cluster | USAID Bureau for Policy Planning and Learning (PPL)
Managing Staff Transitions through CLA: Preserving Institutional Memory as Staff Come and Go | Resource | USAID/PPL
Knowledge Management Sustainability Tracker | Tool | US Global Development Lab
KMOL Webinar, Knowledge Management in the Era of COVID-19 | Resource | Agency KMOL
Processes | CLA Evidence Dashboard | USAID/PPL
Collaborative Knowledge Management - The USAID Liberia Anthology Roadshow | CLA Case | Social Impact & USAID/Liberia
After Action Reviews:
UNICEF After Action Review Guide | Resource | UNICEF