Then how does the KICG facilitate....?
▶ Scoping process
▶ Analysis process
▶ Design process
▶ Implementation process
▶ Evaluation process
All three of the KIC components, knowledge management and sharing; innovation; and capacity development, are contributing processes to the achievement of development results. Investing in KIC can therefore make a significant impact on the sustainability of development results.
The concept of development implies that a change must take place. If no changes are necessary, there is no need for development. It is the underlying assumption of this need for change that drives the KIC scoping process.
⇒ The KIC scoping step involves a various aspects of dialogue and engagement (virtual, in-person, etc), with a focus on identifying which individuals, institutions, and stakeholder groups need to be involved in the given development process: what role they have and what stake they have in bringing about a change.
⇒ There is an emphasis on building consensus on who needs to be involved, on what change needs to take place, and on where the accountabilities will lie.
The KIC scoping process is a facilitated and inclusive process, focusing on building momentum for change from within, rather than imposing pressures for change externally. The aim is to generate ownership and, in turn, optimize the likelihood of sustainable results and a true change.
Whether the KIC scoping process is very focused and specific, or quite broad and open-ended, it lays the foundation for the processes that follow.
KIC scoping processes have taken many shapes:
: In the establishment of a Knowledge network or community of practice, the scoping phase determines the feasibility, topical focus, membership, and operational processes of the community.
: Opportunities for introducing Innovation into development are often identified during the scoping step. Facilitated dialogue and interaction between stakeholder groups provides a forum where different points of view and new perspectives are exchanged to address challenges.
: From a capacity development perspective, the scoping process is devoted to engaging stakeholders on the critical questions of whose capacities and what capacities need to be developed, not only at the individual level but also at organizational, institutional, and even societal levels.
Knowledge Management (KM) and Capacity Development (CD) processes and programs have often been flawed by a lack of rigor in assessments and diagnostics. This has led to insufficient, inaccurate, or subjective understanding of the issues at hand.
⇒ In the KIC Approach, the Analysis process is therefore putting the emphasis on “rigorous” and “systematic” that qualify this process.
As an example, strategies for capacity development are too often limited to one-off trainings. This however, may be recommended based on an inadequate understanding of capacity gaps that may go beyond the individual level and rather require the strengthening of systems, policies, or entire institutions.
The undertaking of a comprehensive situational analysis is essential to understand the complexity of many development challenges within a given context. It is important to identify and take into account the political, cultural and social context before moving forward with any specific intervention.
⇒ The KIC approach emphasizes the importance of analyzing the multiple dimensions and understanding the complexities inherent to creating an enabling environment for knowledge sharing and management, strengthening national capacities, and encouraging innovation.
: In the realm of knowledge management, the analysis is a systematic process of mapping specific knowledge needs, knowledge gaps and assets, and including available platforms, technologies, knowledge networks, and the knowledge environment.
: With the emphasis on a rigorous and systematic analysis, the KIC approach can help identify opportunities for knowledge creation and entry points for innovative solutions. Broadly speaking, the analysis process allows us to ask the right questions and seek the perspectives of all those involved in the process of change.
: The analysis process of capacity development benefits from UNDP’s capacity assessment methodology and framework. In keeping with the emphasis on ownership and participation, the methodology is a self-assessment, rather than an externally led process. It focuses on specific existing capacities and capacity gaps, distinguishing between functional and technical capacities, as well as between capacities at individual and organizational levels, and on the enabling environment (the political and social context for change).
The KIC process of analysis and assessment is not stand-alone. A careful and comprehensive diagnosis is necessary to provide accurate inputs for the development of strategies addressing identified gaps and issues, instead of working on assumption and guesswork.
The analysis process provides a baseline against which changes can be measured in the future, and helps us identify areas requiring focus and attention.
Designing KIC solutions that are effective involves, first and foremost, making a direct link with the scoping and analysis processes.
Experience has shown that while it can be tempting to rush into prescribing solutions, investing in a robust and inclusive scoping and analysis process can be the single most important factor towards generating effective solutions.
Complex situations and development challenges require tailor made solutions relevant to the context as identified in the scoping and analysis.
⇒ KIC solutions therefore focus on what will work best in a given local context, taking into account the results of the scoping and analysis steps.
There is also a focus on the existing capacities and knowledge so as to generate further positive momentum for change.
Quick-impact and medium-to-longer-term solutions are often featured in the KIC approach. They ensure visible results in the short term, and help sustain the momentum to engage in the more challenging longer term change processes.
⇒ KIC solutions are designed with an emphasis on scanning for innovation and creating space for testing new ways of doing things.
⇒ Whether innovative or time-tested, KIC solutions are effective because they emphasize the importance of defining accountability structures for implementation (and for end results), as well as remain within the boundaries of the feasible and realistic (including financial feasibility through a cost assessment of solutions).
⇒ KIC solutions take into account all three elements of Knowledge, Innovation, and Capacity.
: In the area of knowledge management, the design of knowledge solutions and strategies is increasingly focused on brokering knowledge and facilitating knowledge networks, rather than creating knowledge or building platforms.
: In the area of innovation, the KICG approach to the design of innovative solutions is based on the collaboration with national and local partners to generate, develop and disseminate innovations. This is done on the basis of multi-stakeholder processes and partnerships where the diversity of knowledge and competencies present leads to mutual sense making, learning and continuity.
: Similarly, the KIC approach to designing capacity development solutions also increasingly focuses on strengthening collaborative capacities. It recognizes that the complexity of today’s development challenges demands not only stronger individuals, organizations and institutions, but also calls for investing in collaborative capacities. This may require strengthening, and sometimes redefining, entire systems and networks of development partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries.
The effort and investment put in the scoping, analysis, and design processes come together during implementation of KIC solutions.
There is a great deal of emphasis on ensuring that solutions are implemented in a context-sensitive manner as far as possible, while continuing to promote ownership as well as alignment to national priorities, and a strengthening of national systems.
⇒ KICG provides support to those partners who take the lead on the implementation of solutions on the ground.
This backstopping by KICG can include helping to define milestones and overcome unforeseen obstacles to implementation along the way.
⇒ During implementation, KICG can help partners to reflect on what works well, to identify opportunities for expansion and for sharing knowledge with others facing similar challenges.
The implementation of KIC solutions should be firmly aligned with, and even embedded within, existing development programs, whether these programs are development-partner projects or national, public, private, or civil society sector initiatives.
The concepts of Knowledge, Innovation, and Capacity are in themselves cross-cutting across thematic and technical areas but they must be made relevant and specific (knowledge for…; innovation for…; capacity for…) . The implementation of KIC solutions are therefore not standalone solutions. They should rather be embedded within a specific initiative to achieve one or more given development goals.
The process of reviewing and evaluating the results of KIC programs and interventions is critical. The objective of review is not only to capture results, but also to take stock of the entire KIC process: what worked well and what did not work so well, so that these lessons can be taken forward.
The process of review and evaluation can take many forms depending on the context. It may be a dialogue or workshop with stakeholders to invite feedback; it may be an independent formal program evaluation; it may be a report measuring progress against quantitative indicators, or any combination of these.
The methodology notwithstanding, the process of KIC review emphasizes measuring progress towards achieving development results, rather than only looking at intermediary output or activity “results”.
⇒ That is, the KIC approach advocates for maintaining a link between project activities and how they are expected to contribute (perhaps together with other initiatives) to longer term development goals.
The KIC approach means not only noting the number of people who were trained, the number of members of a knowledge network, or the number of innovations initiated. It means making the link between these numbers and how those initiatives contributed, or are expected to contribute, to achieving development results; how the process was undertaken and why it was (or was not) successful.
⇒ The KIC approach to review also focuses on sharing lessons learned.
The practice of Knowledge Management (KM) has traditionally been concentrated disproportionately on the evaluation stage of the program cycle, when reports, case studies, and publications are released.
⇒ The KIC approach has shown that KM is most effective when it is thought through from the design stage. That is an ongoing and interactive process throughout the whole cycle, rather than being confined exclusively to an end-stage activity.
A continuous process of review and evaluation is also a natural entry point for planning a new program or outlining course correction for an ongoing initiative, for instance by making adjustments to the interventions and proposed solutions.
The evaluation of an unsuccessful program will often show insufficient attention to investments in Knowledge, Innovation, and Capacity as one of the reasons for the program unsatisfactory results. This provides an opportunity for a KIC scoping and the beginning of a new KIC process.