Business knowledge in Development

As follow up to the January 2012, seminar ”The state of the art on knowledge integration across boundaries”, a meeting on ‘Business knowledge in development’ will be held on Tuesday 3 April 2012 at Hivos in The Hague.

At the seminar itself, we missed the participation of the private sector and identified the need for a deeper discussion on the role of business knowledge in development. Given the differing drives and incentives in terms of knowledge production and use of business and the domains of science, policy-making and practice, how can actors reach out and bridge these to achieve win-win situations? The meeting will consider possible processes of engagement, pitfalls and tensions, and potential new roles and tasks of different actors including government agencies. Dr Patricia Wagenmakers will be sharing the experiences of the Knowledge Unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (ELI).

Full details and information about registration are to be found in the Programme Business knowledge in development 3 April 2012.


Public Lecture by Robert Chambers


This video encapsulates some of the highlights of Professor Robert Chamber’s Public Lecture on Gaps, Errors and Ways Forward which was held at the seminar: The State of the Art on Knowledge Integration across Boundaries on 23-24 January 2012, in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Professor Chambers is one of the leading thinkers in the development sector. He has a background in biology, history and public administration. His current concerns and interests include professionalism, power, the personal dimension in development, participatory methodologies, teaching and learning with large numbers, agriculture and science, Seasonality Revisited, and community-led total sanitation.


To find out more about Professor Chambers, please consult his staff page at the Institute of Development Studies or his Wikipedia entry which notes:

Since the 1980s, he has been one of the leading advocates for putting the poor, destitute and marginalised at the centre of the processes of development policy. In particular he argues they should be taken into account when the development problem is identified, policy formulated and projects implemented. He popularised within development circles such phrases as “putting the last first” and stressed the now generally accepted need for development professionals to be critically self-aware. The widespread acceptance of a “participatory” approach is in part due to his work.


Seminar on 23-24 January 2012

The seminar The state of the art on knowledge integration across boundaries, took place on 23-24 January 2012. It brought together some 20 experts (scientists and practitioners from different backgrounds and regions to reinvigorate thinking about knowledge integration in international development.

Across the International Development Cooperation (IDC) sector, knowledge is increasingly being acknowledged as a key resource to achieve effectiveness.  In recent years, many NGOs in the Netherlands and beyond have developed knowledge-related programmes, and in some cases, established or further expanded organizational units specialized in knowledge sharing and learning. It is however not clear whether they amass to a real change of the knowledge landscape.

 One of the impediments to development approaches in the Netherlands is commonly felt to be the fact that the different knowledge domains of researchers, practitioners and policy-makers are not working together to create new knowledge for development. Hence cross-domain knowledge integration – understood as processes of knowledge co-creation linking domains particularly those of policy-making, science and practitioners – has received increased attention. This workshop aims to tease out elements and principles that determine effective knowledge creation processes.

 Central to the seminar is the results of research on effective knowledge creation processes undertaken by Wenny. It  has its roots in both Hivos’ and IKM Emergent’s interest and experiences in how knowledge integration occurs and how it can be facilitated.

Hivos Knowledge Programme is a practitioner-academic collaboration aimed at developing knowledge on issues imperative to the work of civil society organisations (CSOs) and the development sector at large. To achieve its goals Hivos works closely with CSOs and academic centres worldwide.

IKM Emergent argues that development is a knowledge industry and the interaction between these domains is needed at a fundamental level if development issues are to be resolved.