Checklist for the development of portals for international development


  • Sarah Cummings Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands
  • Nancy White Full Circle, USA
  • Michiel Schoenmakers FAQ, The Netherlands
  • Victor van Reijswoud Universidad Paraguayo Alemana, Paraguay
  • Martine Koopman Independent consultancy
  • Chris Zielinski University of Winchester, UK
  • Cavin Mugarura Blue Node Media
  • Ramin Assa Accelerate Clinical Innovation, USA
  • Srividya Harish ActionAid, India


knowledge portals, checklists, international development, portal proliferation, knowledge ecology, development organizations, knowledge management


This guideline has been developed by the authors in a collaborative manner over the period May 2018-May 2019 in consultation with the Knowledge Management for Development (KM4Dev) community. It is designed to provide guidance for development organizations who are setting up portals ? also known as knowledge portals, hubs and websites ? as a way of counteracting what is known as portal proliferation syndrome. The guideline provides a checklist of issues which are important in the development of portals, covering what to take into account before starting, during the design phase and implementation, and technical standards and specifications. The checklist will be further developed to identify the most important issues.

Author Biographies

Sarah Cummings, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Sarah Cummings is a researcher and consultant specialized in knowledge for development with extensive work on knowledge portals and communities of practice. This guideline originates from work on the DFID-funded Pakistan Evidence and Learning Platform (PELP) Project with UNITAR. She is currently working as Public-Private Partnerships expert for the NL-CGIAR research programme, based at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands.

Nancy White, Full Circle, USA

Nancy White is a founder of FullCircle Associates, USA. She focuses on online and offline methods and strategies to unleash productive engagement for groups and communities. She has deep interests in learning, communities of practice, network development, and chocolate tasting.

Michiel Schoenmakers, FAQ, The Netherlands

Michiel Schoenmakers is owner of FAQ, a private business-to-business advisory service supporting producers/exporters/importers in obtaining Fair Access to Quality markets. FAQ is specialized in smallholder production systems in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Victor van Reijswoud , Universidad Paraguayo Alemana, Paraguay

Victor van Reijswoud is Professor, Management Information Systems (MIS) at the Universidad Paraguayo Alemana, Paraguay, and advisor knowledge management and systems for Cordaid in the Netherlands. He has more than 20 years? experience in international development.

Martine Koopman, Independent consultancy

Martine Koopman is an independent ICT4Development consultant, specialised in the integration of ICT in developing countries (ICT4D). She supports NGOs, international organizations, governments, social enterprises and technology-led companies that do projects in developing countries with a large ICT component to develop proposals, digital strategies or ICT program assessments.

Chris Zielinski, University of Winchester, UK

Chris Zielinski manages Partnerships in Health Information (Phi), a programme of the Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, UK, where he is also Visiting Fellow and PhD candidate at the University. His earlier career included over 20 years as a UN system translator, editor and publisher. Over the 2002-2012 period, he was a senior internal consultant at the World Health Organization (WHO) focusing on policy, partnerships, resource mobilization and knowledge management.

Cavin Mugarura, Blue Node Media

Cavin Mugarura is the Founder of Blue Node Media, a software & web consulting firm. The company has developed products in education, fintech and health for diverse clients.

Ramin Assa, Accelerate Clinical Innovation, USA

Ramin Assa is Principal Knowledge Manager at Accelerate Clinical Innovation, USA.

Srividya Harish, ActionAid, India

Srividya Harish is Knowledge Curation and Systems Advisor at ActionAid, based in India.


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Hansen A. (undated) Prototyping the Toolkit Navigator. Observatory of Public Sector Information blog. (Accessed 3 May 2019)
Rajala, K.L. (2014) Landscape of key actors producing and sharing information for food and nutrition security: global overview. Food Security Information Network (Accessed 21 May 2019)
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