Knowledge Management for Health and Development
Available on: http://www.k4health.org/toolkits/km
Knowledge management (KM) is an umbrella term encompassing the many unique but related facets of creating, organizing, sharing, and using information and experiences. While there is no universally accepted definition of KM, most available definitions have common elements. KM is often described as a “process” rather than one activity or event, and many definitions discuss KM as the practice of delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. Other definitions discuss the specific activities included within KM. For example, one definition of knowledge management is “... the systematic process by which knowledge needed for an organization to succeed is created, captured, shared and leveraged” (Clemmons Rumizen, 2002, p.9).
KM is employed within a variety of disciplines and fields, including business, information systems, and library and information science. Public health and development organizations have also been discussing the importance of undertaking KM activities. While raw data are important, it is often more important to focus on “information products that support directly the transfer of useful knowledge to those making decisions” (Goddard et al., 2004, p.112). In other words, if we want our efforts to be effective, we need to share knowledge about what works, why it works, and how others can replicate it./p>
This toolkit was created to provide practical KM resources and tools for those working in international public health and development; materials come from health and development organizations or are applicable to the field and can be easily adapted.