Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Role of technology in knowledge sharing: the case of DECCMA

A couple of months back I blogged about the project we had last year with IDRC, to set up a collaborative KM platform based in the Google Apps for Work for their CARIAA research programme - and the subsequent work to create an M&E dashboard using the same technology. 

So I was very happy when I got notified by Blane Harvey of a recent piece that has appeared on the newsletter of E-QUAL, a European Union funded International Collaborative Project.

Starting from page 12 of the newsletter, a clearly writtent article provides a view into the use of the platform by DECCMA, one of the consortium that forms CARIAA. Better yet, it provides a story from a user perspective, on how technology helps and enables knowledge sharing in a decentralized, multi disciplinary project.

I recommend reading the (short) article to see what solutions technology has offered to the DECCMA team, and the CARIAA project at large. Here some quotes from that I find particularly interesting:

"Spread across 3 continents and 4 time zones, running a research project like this would have been difficult had it not been for the boon named internet! Emails, Skype calls, Google Hangouts, feeding in monthly progress via Google forms, responding to Doodle Polls and answering questionnaires keep us on our toes day in and day out. Monthly catch ups with Soton, work package (WP) meetings with the WP leads, DECCMA Management Committee (DMC) meetings are held every month over Skype or Hangout."

"For any multi-country research project, knowledge management plays a pivotal role. As a part of the CARIAA Program, DECCMA has the advantage of using the Knowledge Management Platform. The Google Apps for Business edition on the domain are available to Consortia members of the four projects and IDRC to better facilitate CARIAA Consortia’s communication and coordination processes within and between each other. KM is about how the CARIAA Consortia will communicate and coordinate within and between each other, and with the CARIAA Project Team as program activities are implemented, research evidence is generated, and lessons are learned."

"Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an important part of any project and this task has been streamlined with the use of this KM Platform. [...] Users can view the running data and review the existing log files to avoid duplication during entering data. Finally, all these data are collated and archived quarterly. With a user-friendly approach enabled by the bliss of technology and dedicated people to upload these data , writing reports based on M&E outputs is no longer an uphill task."