The new enlightenment: a potential objective for the KM4Dev


  • Sebastiao Sebastiao Mendonca Ferreira


knowledge management, development, networks, poverty


The network Knowledge Management for Development (KM4Dev) has been growing around the idea that knowledge can contribute to the development of poor countries and groups in a disadvantaged situation. This idea has a great potential because knowledge is the meta-resource of all resources. However, the role of knowledge in development refers to a systemic and macro phenomenon that goes beyond the field of management, and cannot be approached only from the micro perspective of management. For bridging the micro and macro perspectives of this problem, two experiences were analysed: The British Enlightenment in the eighteenth century and the current flow of emails in KM4Dev. The first experience was visited as a source of inspiration for applying knowledge in development, and the second was analysed to explore concrete possibilities. It was found that KM4Dev is a highly effective network, answering questions almost at real time. The conclusion is that KM4Dev can lead the creation of a new Enlightenment in the context of the twenty-first century. To reach synergy, the component of knowledge management should include the programmatic challenges that development agencies are facing currently, and the component of knowledge for development should focus on creating the right environment for making local innovation successful.