Knowledge sharing, information management, communication and IT within WASHCost
Keywords:development projects, water
AbstractThe WASHCost Project researches the life-cycle costs of WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in rural, peri-urban areas and small towns in Burkina Faso, Ghana, India and Mozambique. The rationale is that WASH governance will improve at all levels, as decision makers and stakeholders analyse the costs of sustainable, equitable and efficient services and put their knowledge to use. WASHCost applies action research and initiate learning alliances to address the immanent lack of costing information on quality WASH services. At the end of five years an Internet based body of information must be available globally to support decision makers in the field of unit costs for WASHCost service delivery. Interactions between stakeholders are at the core of WASHCost. It follows that social learning, knowledge sharing and creating space for dialogue and joint reflection are essential to the project achieving its objectives. WASHCost is a human endeavour acknowledging that through sharing information, knowledge is ‘co-created’ or ‘re-created’. This means that what people and groups know from experience, they share with others, especially with those who need to make use of it. These interactions are at their most effective when they are face-to-face. However, this is not always possible in a four-country project with global ambitions, and the project thus makes full use of simple, intuitive, virtual and mobile tools. This paper addresses knowledge sharing, information management, communication and IT within WASHCost and includes pointers about how to choose, design, understand processes and apply technology. This is done along the below sections on various ‘no brainers’ and ‘statements’ or ‘explanations’, leading up to an amalgam (section 9) of how issues are addressed in WASHCost and some observations 18 months underway the project along issues on information management and ‘lessons learned by the KM pioneers’.
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