Golden Times for Knowledge Management

Published: October 17, 2019

We have a new companion in our office. Even though our new team member is quite small, it has received a lot of attention, which is probably linked to its shiny, golden presence. Yes, you might have guessed it: HORIZONT3000 has won an award! We are very excited to tell you more about it:

The KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT 4 DEVELOPMENT Award Ceremony was held for the very first time last week. The Knowledge 4 Development Partnership and the Knowledge Management Austria granted the award in a festive atmosphere. The award came into being in order to honour companies, organisations, public institutions or associations that contribute to a sustainable social development (regional and globally).

Award Ceremony

HORIZONT3000 got nominated by Dr. Andreas Brandner, who is the General Manager at Knowledge Management Austria, for the Golden KM4D Award in order to acknowledge our long-standing innovation in the field of Knowledge Management in the Austrian Development Cooperation and beyond and to value the impact of our Knowledge Management programme KNOW-HOW3000.

In view of the occasion we wanted to review what we have managed, planned and achieved so far. Here is a short summary of where we have been and where we are planning to go with KNOW-HOW3000:

Why Knowledge Management?

Knowledge is at the heart of sustainable development and Knowledge Management is essential for successful project management and organisational impact. HORIZONT3000 has therefore, as one of the first organisations in development cooperation in Austria, developed a special Knowledge Management Programme. The following timeline shows some of the steps taken to develop our Knowledge Management Programme at HORIZONT3000.

KH3000 Timeline_2019

What impacts did we achieve?

Knowledge Management

Partner Organisations in ten countries have joined our programme and were therefore able to enjoy an additional benefit. The programme aspires to broaden perspectives and to create new ideas and suggestions beyond the financial and technical support for project implemantation. With the programme we were also able to raise awareness for the importance of collaborating on behalf of knowledge management and to foster the perception of Knowledge Management as a common task among all cooperation partners. It strengthens horizontal relationships between HORIZONT3000 and its Partners as well as within the partner community.

The programme has successfully strengthened and enhanced networks in the programme regions. The consolidation of Communities of Practice brings people and organisations together that work in similar areas. Sharing events, exchange visits and trainings have created fruitful learning and sharing environments and strengthened the capacities of the participants and their organisations. In total more than 3000 persons from our local Partner Organisations and beyond have gained new insights because of KNOW-HOW3000 activitites.

Communities of Practise
LightBulb

The external evaluation carried out in 2018 has shown that, according to the majority of Partner Organisations’ respondents, capacities and performances of organisations have improved as a result of the programme and that the implemented activities have equipped them with various skills they could directly apply in their work. The programme contributed to greater abilities to provide services to beneficiaries, reinforced organisational policies and processes, improved governance and management structures, and enabled Partner Organisations to apply new techniques, expand participatory spaces for target groups and analyse relevant data.

Local Project Partners have capitalised more than 80 experiences using the systematisation of experiences method. More than 60 good practice and learning from failure experience examples have been capitalised systematically using the questionnaires we have created for this purpose. Presenting the good practise and learning from failure examples in a single-page format has turned out to be a milestone for sharing knowledge products. Our knowledge sharing games KNOWLYMPICS works as a successful tool to motivate project teams so that they capitalise their experiences and share them in a structured way. Once capitalised, the experiences are shared via the KNOW-HOW3000 tools.

ExperienceCapitalisation
Plattform

The KNOW-HOW3000 internet platform assures that anybody can access these knowledge products anyplace, anytime. In addition to the single-page experience documents, the platform features a file-sharing system that allows sector-specific searching and finding of tools, manuals and documents that have been created within the HORIZONT3000 network and proven to be useful in our working fields. That’s the reason why it is an important information and exchange platform for our Technical Assistance Programme, providing our staff and TAs with the possibility to access documents and discuss relevant issues for their work.

What we are particularly proud of is our managing to integrate learnings from failure systematically into our Knowledge Management. The development sector is unfortunately prone to keep quiet about failures due to the dependency on external public funding. However, we strongly believe that project teams and organisations – in the North and South – should systematically learn from failures and that this is a an indicator of a learning organisation.

LearningsfromFailure
KM

From 2014 onwards, HORIZONT3000 has, together with KMA and other Austrian NGOs, initiated and facilitated the Community of Practice KM4Dev Austria. It is all about regular exchange and learning about Knowledge Management in development cooperation. Furthermore, HORIZONT3000 has supported the development of the Global Agenda Knowledge for Development in 2016 by providing statements from various stakeholders in the Global South and is member of the K4DP since its beginnings.

HORIZONT3000 has implemented its first Knowledge Report (Wissensbilanz) in 2018 to systematically analyse and assess its intellectual capital and link it to organisational impact and success. HORIZONT3000 has decided to do a Knowledge Report on regular basis as part of its quality and knowledge management.

Wissensbilanz

This is what one of our Partners, who works in School Management in Papua New Guinea, has to say in terms of KNOW-HOW3000:

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Where do we stand?

Partner Organisation ICIPIRN FOIRNThanks to the impacts and achievements listed above, HORIZONT3000 has established itself as an expert organisation in terms of Knowledge Management in development cooperation throughout Austria. We were the first organisation in Austria to address the issue of “learning from failure” and promoted the sharing of negative experiences via KNOW-HOW3000. What we are most glad about though is the fact that because of the programme more than 3000 people were able to attend trainings and exchange processes only in the last five years, more than 80 systematisations have been carried out and more than 60 experiences have been analysed and presented in a single-page format on the KNOW-HOW3000 platform.

We’ve come quite a long way, but there is still lots to discover ahead of us. We are striving to integrate KNOW-HOW3000 in all of our core processes regarding project and programme management. In the long run we want to achieve that Knowledge Management is not needed as an additional programme for KNOW-HOW3000 activities, but that it is planned and budgeted as an integral part of all projects and programmes. So we are very honoured to receive the Knowledge Management Award. It fuels our motivation to keep going towards our goals.

For further information on our Knowledge Management programme, please visit our “About Knowledge Management” page.

I also had a nice chat about the event with my dear colleagues Klaus and Wolfgang, which you can read about here (in German).

Petra Herout

Petra Herout

Petra coordinates the Knowledge Management Team in Vienna and is currently Sector Coordinator for Rural Development – Natural Resource Management. She has been involved in developing KNOW-HOW3000 since its beginnings and is eager to share some stories with you about the WHY and HOW of KNOW-HOW3000 and Knowledge Management at HORIZONT3000. Petra is passionate about methods for experience learning and has the vision that HORIZONT3000 is a true learning organisation in the long run. She is always happy to learn from other people’s experiences!

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