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Tools for knowledge and learning : a guide for development and humanitarian organisations

RAMALINGAM, Ben
July 2006

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This toolkit brings together approaches and techniques aimed at supporting the learning and knowledge management of humanitarian organisations, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their work. It provides a comprehensive overview of 30 tools and techniques, divided into five categories: i) strategy development; ii) management techniques; iii) collaboration mechanisms; iv) knowledge sharing and learning processes; and v) knowledge capture and storage. This guide is primarily aimed at staff working in development organisations

Evaluating Stepping Stones : a review of existing evaluations and ideas for future M&E work

WALLACE, Tina
June 2006

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This publication aims to review monitoring and evaluation activities, methodologies and findings around the Stepping Stones (SS) approach. Over the last ten years, Stepping Stones has been used by many NGOs as an effective tool for HIV prevention, gender empowerment, community mobilisation and promotion of PLWHA rights. However, monitoring and evaluation documentation on SS is sparse and does not reflect the wealth of learning about the methodology. Key findings show that SS helps improve communication about health issues and supports behaviour changes, although evidence that it has led to a decline in HIV or AIDS incidence is less clear. The report calls for well-designed and systematic monitoring and evaluation activities, and for a strategic dissemination of findings and monitoring and evaluation data

When we will ever learn : improving lives through impact evaluation

EVALUATION GAP WORKING GROUP
May 2006

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This is a report of the Evaluation Gap Working Group, created to investigate why rigorous impact evaluations of social development programmes are relatively rare. An evaluation gap exists because there are few incentives, and considerable resource and time constraints. This results in a costly and persistent lack of sufficient knowledge and learning about the effects of policies and programmes. At an individual level, the report recommends a reinforcement of existing efforts, with improvement on monitoring and evaluation systems and capacity development. It also calls for collective action, that should be led by a 'council', representing all stakeholders, including governments and NGOs. Core functions of the council should include: establishing quality standards for rigorous evaluations; administering a review process for evaluation designs and studies; identifying priority topics; providing grants for impact evaluation design

When will we ever learn? Improving lives through impact evaluation

SAVEDOFF, William D.
LEVINE, Ruth
BIRDSALL, Nancy
May 2006

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This is the report of the Evaluation Gap Working Group which examined initiatives to improve the evidence base in social development policy through impact evaluations. It recommends a need for increasing the number of these evaluations and that they are carried out more consistently with better coordination across countries and institutions, so that general findings around common thematic areas can be determined. Among its recommendations, the working group suggests a collective commitment to increasing the number of impact evaluations and the setting up of a 'council' to establish quality standards, identify priority topics and provide grants for impact evaluation design

Grandmothers promote maternal and child health : the role of indigenous knowledge systems' managers

AUBEL, Judi
February 2006

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IK Notes report on indigenous knowledge initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa and occasionally on such initiatives outside the region. It is published by the World Bank Africa region's Knowledge and Learning Centre as part of an evolving partnership between the World Bank, communities, NGOs, development institutions and multilateral organisations. This edition outlines the role of grandmothers as 'managers' of indigenous knowledge systems that deal with the development, care and well being of women and their children. The paper outlines a rationale for involving grandmothers in community programmes based around child and maternal health, and nutrition

Perceptions and practice : an anthology of impact assessment experiences

SAYCE, Kay
NORRISH, Patricia
2006

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This book presents eleven case studies of impact assessment in information and communication projects such as CATIA, Reflect's ICT projects in India, Tearfund's Footsteps project, Bernard van Leer Foundation's Effectiveness Initiative and others. Each case study begins with a summary of the study, followed by first-hand accounts of the key people involved in each assessment. The central issues raised by the studies include learning and accountability, attribution, context, communication, donor issues, resources, and planning. The case studies are bracketted by sensitive and analytical introductory and concluding chapters, which synthesize the practitioners' voices from the case studies, contextualise them in wider debates in development impact assessment, evaluation and learning

Libraries, literacy and poverty reduction : a key to African development

MCHOMBU, Kingo
2006

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This research paper explores the potential for libraries to empower communities and fight poverty in Africa, through promoting literacy and providing access to relevant information. The author outlines the challenges that libraries and information centres in Africa face; and the potential that linkages with local and international partners could bring. Case studies illustrate how library networks in three countries address the challenges and serve their communities. Recommendations for library networks highlight the need for skilled personnel, partnerships, a remit to create and share local content, appropriate use of technology, and better and more responsive monitoring and evaluation. Recommendations for governments and donor agencies include creating national information policies, filling a 'coordinating' role in the information environment, investing in literacy, and expanding public library networks

Maximising the impact of development research : how can funders encourage more effective research communication?

BARNARD, Geoff
CARLILE, Liz
RAY, Deepayan Basu
2006

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This Report is the main output of a workshop that was held in October 2006 to ask the question How can funders encourage more effective research communication? The workshop brought together invited participants drawn from three groups: research funders (international agencies, foundations, and research councils involved in funding development research); research organisations and networks from around the world involved in carrying out research, and with an interest in effective research communication; and knowledge intermediaries involved in communicating research

networklearning.org

NETWORK LEARNING
December 2005

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This website aims to make high quality manuals, field books and training courses easily available to groups who need them (free of cost to those in the South but with a contribution of $25 requested from those in the North); to encourage colleagues to be open to new knowledge and skills, to plan and stick to self-guided learning; to introduce topics which may be new to some people an to link users to resources, useful organisations, websites and materials; and to provide a place for users working in different countries in the South to stay informed. The resources are available online and cover a variety of topics in a clear, easy to understand format. It provides a number of guidelines including guidelines for writing reports [http://www.networklearning.org/writing-reports.html] and a simple guide to the web [http://www.networklearning.org/web.html]

What is e-health (5) : a research agenda for eHealth through stakeholder consultation and policy context review

JONES, Ray
et al
November 2005

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This article reports a study that explored the concerns of professional and lay stakeholders regarding future developments of eHealth in the UK and reviewed relevant policy to produce recommendations for eHealth research. It concludes that the scope of eHealth research (grouped under four headings: using, processing, sharing, controlling information) derived empirically from this study corresponds with 'textbook' descriptions of informatics. Stakeholders would like eHealth research to include outcomes such as improved health or quality of life, but such research may be long term while changes in information technology are rapid. Longer-term research questions need to be concerned with human behavior and our use of information, rather than particular technologies A parallel literature review was carried out by others and has been reported elsewhere

Handhelds for health : SATELLIFE’S experiences in Africa and Asia

SATELLIFE
July 2005

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This report describes the SATELLIFE experience in implementing handheld computer projects to support health-care providers and institutions in a dozen countries in Asia and Africa. It captures SATELLIFE's experience and lessons learned as a 16-year veteran of using ICTs for health and an early adopter of handheld computers in low-resource environments. It also provide some pointers to other organisations that may benefit from their knowledge and experience, to optimize their own use of ICT in general or handhelds in particular

The social implications of free software

NORONHA, Frederick
May 2005

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This article focuses on the prevalence and utilisation of free software in South Asia. The article discusses the effectiveness and merits of introduction of free / open source software in less-affluent countries, and how they contribute to business and education

What do we do with culture? Engaging culture in development

VINCENT, Robin
March 2005

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This short briefing paper gives a critical overview of recent attempts to engage culture in development work, and in HIV and AIDS work in particular. It also outlines a range of insights from anthropological work that relate to understanding and addressing culture in development. Areas covered include moving beyond a focus on the individual in analysis of change, looking beyond the local setting only, considering the role of the organisational culture of development institutions, valuing indigenous knowledge, and looking at the way mobilising culture and cultural resources is intimately linked to power relations

Librarians and the use of information communication technologies in the provision of HIV/AIDS information in developing countries

CHIKONZO, Agnes
2005

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This insightful and well-researched paper presents examples of good practice in managing information in and among HIV and AIDS organisations. It focuses on the work of SAfAIDS in Zimbabwe to present innovative ways of working with information. With reference to technologies from radio to the Internet, information workers such as librarians can advance networking and information exchange in the sector

World disasters report 2005 : focus on information in disasters [summary]

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION ON RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES (IFRCS)
2005

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This report considers the quality of communication between aid givers and receivers, and what impact this has on vulnerable people. The report examines how information is handled before, during and after disasters. It analyses thematic issues such as consulting with affected people, assessing needs, mapping risks and sharing information. It looks at the role of both local and international media, and the impact of information and communication technology on humanitarian relief. The report calls on agencies to focus less on gathering information for their own needs and more on exchanging information with the people they seek to support

A tool for sharing internal best practices

D'ADAMO, Margaret
KOLS, Adrienne
Eds
2005

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This publication is aimed at organisations willing to develop and implement effective mechanisms for strengthening organisational learning and sharing good practices internally. Includes a step-by-step process to help identify success stories, validate and document best practices, develop a strategic plan and adapt and apply best practices. It also presents three case studies of organisations that have attempted to share best practices, highlighting lessons learnt, problems encountered, and achievements. Includes a list of useful resources

NFE-MIS handbook : developing a sub-national non-formal education management information system

CRONNAL, Criana
SAUVAGEOT, Claude
2005

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This manual provides "an easy-to-use methodology for setting up a Non-Formal Education Management Information System (NFE-MIS). This includes a conceptual framework for NFE, prototype data collection tools, and guidelines for the development of NFE indicators as well as for data analysis. The methodology presented in this Handbook uses a practical, step-by-step approach...At the national level, the NFE-MIS aims at providing policy-makers and planners with reliable, relevant and timely data to allow for informed decision making, better planning and delivery of NFE as well as for monitoring and evaluation of the development of NFE"
ED/BAS/LIT/2005/1

Mental health information systems : mental health policy and service guidance package

FUNK, Michelle
et al
2005

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"A mental health information system (MHIS) is a system for collecting, processing, analysing, disseminating and using information about a mental health service and the mental health needs of the population it serves...For the purpose of information systems, this module focuses only on primary care, psychiatric services based in general hospitals, formal community mental health services, and specialist mental health services." It outlines the stages and steps involved in the collection, processing, analysis, dissemination and use of mental health information systems
Note: This module is part of a guidance package that consists of a series of interrelated user-friendly modules that are designed to address the wide variety of needs and priorities in mental health policy development and service planning. Its recommended for use by policy makers, service planners representatives or associations of families and carers of people with mental disorders

Use of information to address TB/HIV in Cambodia: workshop proceedings from Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville

BONNET, Jayaseeli
PHAT, So
SEAK, Kunrath
June 2004

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Cambodia is one of the countries most severely affected by TB and HIV. Partners in Health Reformplus (PHRplus) is providing technical support to government pilot interventions, developing an information component to support HIV/TB activities. It is standardizing the information being collected across all sites and facilitating its use by implementing partners in order to increase case detection and strengthen case management of TB/HIV co-morbidity. In January - March 2004, PHRplus conducted workshops with the four sites to review information and data it had collected, to identify current pilot accomplishments and to recommend how work could be improved. This report presents the workshop findings

Organising local documentation services for the water and sanitation sector : guidelines

INTERNATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION CENTRE (IRC)
2004

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Guidelines for the development of local documentation centres which can be maintained with minimum effort, and provide useful information on water and sanitation to colleagues and the local community without the help of professional librarians or documentalists. Concentrates on the basic tasks needed to set up and operate a small documentation centre at the local level. This second edition has been revised to take account of the developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) which have revolutionised information provision during the past ten years. The revised guidelines continue to cover manual systems, but also include more detailed guidance on computer applications and access to the Internet

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