WaterWiki Toolkit: Substantive

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edit  ·  Toolkit WaterWiki 2.0 - The project
WaterWiki in UN-Water Context | Technical development issues | Managing WaterWiki 2.0 | WaterWiki - Wanted Content
WaterWiki-presentation Nairobi web4dev-conf Nov07 (Web4Dev Nairobi 2007 | Web2forDevConference findings) | The Contribution of a Wiki to the Development of a Community of Practice: A Case Study - Anna Maron Aug07 (Findings from study on WaterWiki by Anna)
Further resources: Knowledge Management Toolkit
WaterWiki 1.0 (Careful: Archived, non-updated version)
WaterWiki 1.0 Toolkit (FAQ | KM | Substantive | Technical | Process Step-by-Step) | "Outstanding Dev Issues" on WaterWiki 1.0 | Draft concept for the way ahead | New architecture (draft) for WaterWiki


Why the Water Governance Knowledge Management Pilot?

What were the motives behind initiating the project?

  • Need for mapping all projects and activities in the region - both in the COs and on a regional; level - that relate to Water Governance (IWRM, Transboundary Cooperation, MDG-related: Access for Poor to safe WSS, etc.);
  • Input for developing a regional strategy (and basis) to strengthen the Water Governance Sub-Practice in RBEC;
  • Capture cutting-edge knowledge on project development, implementatoon, and other experiences and insights that would help practitioners/colleagues build up own initiatives (and replicate good practice);
  • Trying to make knowledge in the region a) recognized, b) easy to access, c) useful for "end-users" (practitioners, project colleagus, others??), and c) updated
  • The insight that despite numerous knowledge management activities and tools (web-pages, bulletins, workspaces, etc. etc.) REAL knowledge exchange still is sparse, and hence the whish to try out something NEW.

What was the situation regarding UNDP's sub-practice (and knowledge management) on Water Governance in the RBEC region - before the pilot? (corporate / global and regional)

Water Resources Management is a critical factor for (economic) development in RBEC. A significant deterioration of Water Resources, Aquatic Ecosystems, WSS infrastructure forms one of the major challenges for most RBEC countries. Large-scale transformation processes in the past (dismantling of the former Soviet Union) and at present (EU-enlargement process) pose additional challenges to national policy reform and development processes, as we as for transboundary cooperation.

For the past 12-15 years, UNDP has been engaged in a variety of Water Governance related projects and activities throughout the RBEC region. Besides numerous interventions by Country Offices on the national level and a regional project portfolio with an estimated total investment of over USD $75 million (with roughly equivalent in additional co-funding from governments, the EU and other partners) no systematic efforts have been made to capitalize on UNDP’s vast knowledge gained and regional expertise established in this sector to date.

More recently, Water Governance has been designated as thematic priority area for Europe & the CIS region. The need for a) a systematic mapping of all on-going activities and b) the right tools in place to exchange information and access expertise and experience arose.

Substantive Highlights and Outputs

From the point of view of substantive content, what highlights / surprises stand out about the pilot experience?

  • Mind shift: Despite initial hesitation and suspicion on the credibility of the information on the WaterWiki, the approach of an "open-source" collection of knowledge (i.e. ANYthing can be changed by ANYone) started to convince most practitioners after having worked with WaterWiki a while.
  • "Owned contributions" with peer-verification: Although not formally organized, the CoP through its ability of changing all entries, plays the role of a "clearance house". Vice-versa, since it is visible WHO posted (or changed) information, the individual is concerned about his/her information contributions and will make sure a) it's accurate and b) who is changing anything ("Watch"-function).
  • ...

How were the knowledge-based inputs from the pilot included in specific outputs - knowledge products in the form of presentations and reports (EU ... with links to final documents)?

  • UNDP/OECD collaboration on background papers for the upcoming Ministerial Conference on Financing of the WSS sector in Europe & CIS (ADD LINKS HERE)
  • Contribution to HDR 2006, which will be on Water: Access for UNDP HDR Office to information and links on the WaterWiki
  • ...

What were the responses to the inclusion of this intelligence or knowledge base in the presentations, from the audiences?

Coordinating and Managing the Substantive Part of the Pilot

How was the regional work on this pilot coordinated and managed in relation to the global knowledge management initiatives in which the practice/sub-practice is also involved? (i.e. did a lot of internal negotiation with other units/players/people/programmes have to happen?)

Range of Ways the Water Wiki Supports the Water Governance Sub-Practice in the Region

What are some other potential uses for the Water Wiki, specifically, relevant to being strategic and effective in building sustainable capacity in the region and sub-regions, nationally?

How can the community of practice strategy and shared activities address the concerns that have been raised so far about the wiki - i.e. that it will get overcrowded with useless documents (how do you as the substantive lead on this plan to continue managing it?)

In what ways can water governance practitioners give and take from the KM platform?

How can the Water Wiki help the work of the practitioners?

How can the Water Wiki help establish and strengthen the sub-practice on water governance in the region, and improve the quality of the CoP work and results?

Taking the Work of the Pilot Into the Future

What are you, specifically, as the lead policy advisor, also tasked with supporting development of a community of practice, maybe even leading on it, going to do to incorporate the pilot work, results and follow-up into your ongoing work, an integrated KM theme ...  ? [This will help others considering replication, seeing it in context and as an integrated theme which everyone in UNDP is charged to do.)

In your long-term vision for water governance in the region, what has the pilot produced or generated that holds value and importance for you, and through you, to the sub-practice, practice, organization and partners? (i.e. interview 1 Natalya's point about national governments not treating water as a strategic resource or asset - perhaps this is one of the only "over-arching" concluding statements one can make about "the region" which isn't "a" region - something along this line fits a handover note of substantive reflections and tips.)

Now that the pilot is concluding, and a platform for continuing work has been consolidated as well as handover documents prepared, what does a snapshot of next steps and future scenarios look like, given the snapshot of knowledge management and the sub-practice in the region that started this section.

Key Implications of the Pilot Experience for Other Substantive Leads / Policy Advisors

What do you think are the most important implications for other policy advisors of your experience comanaging and being the substantive lead on this pilot?

What do people need to think about and watch before as they consider replication or alternate approaches to integrated KM in a substantive thematic area of development assistance?

What do you think are some implications and the potential for replication or adapted use of a wiki with national partners, in water governance or any other substantive area?

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