Call for Papers: Knowledge Management for Development Journal

[German title: Aufruf Artikel für das Knowledge Management for Development (KM4D) Journal beizutragen]

Call for Papers: KM4D Journal  Vol. 2, Issue 3, December 2006
‘Bridging knowledge divides: the role of partnerships and cross-cutting initiatives’

The ‘Knowledge Management for Development Journal’ (KM4D Journal) is an open access, peer reviewed, community-based journal on knowledge management in development – for and by development practitioners and researchers. It is published three times a year in May, September and December. The journal is strongly related to the KM4dev community of practice, and can be viewed and downloaded at:
Vol. 2, Issue 3, to be published in December 2006, will focus on ‘Bridging knowledge divides: the role of partnerships and cross-cutting initiatives.’

Over the past decade, many international development agencies have broadened their activity portfolios beyond financial support of development projects or programmes, focusing increasingly on capacity development and knowledge sharing. This development is a response to the need for enhancing development understanding, expressed both within these agencies as well as amongst their constituents and/or partners. Reflecting a complementary development, academic institutes are responding to this need by expanding their scope beyond the research community, and are progressively including stakeholders such as policymakers and practitioners in the process of knowledge generation.
Despite this convergence of focus between development research and practice, a wide gap still exists: knowledge transfer between the two is limited, collaboration is restricted, and there is still a dearth of relevant knowledge reaching Southern stakeholders. Many efforts to bridge this gap have been initiated; almost as many have failed. The main factors standing in the way of effective partnership between research and practice might be roughly categorised as institutional, communicative and philosophical differences.
The challenge of bringing together research and practice towards the achievement of mutual development objectives is fascinating. It is a field much explored, but an adequate response is rare. Initially motivated by diminishing public extension services available to counterparts in the South, especially in the field of agriculture and health, and augmented by the ongoing demands of the ‘Information Society’ in which access to information has become an increasingly important condition for personal development, the logical step forward would be for the development of knowledge partnerships between practitioners, researchers and policymakers. The elaboration of such partnerships is not yet common practice. There is a lack of literature exploring why this is. What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? What can be learnt from past efforts, successes or failures? Is it worth pursuing such partnerships? Or are the differences simply too overwhelming to be overcome?
In addition to the knowledge divides between practitioners, researchers and policymakers, there are also a multitude of further knowledge divides created by language, culture and even the physical distance between North and South. Efforts are also being made to bridge these divides in a variety of different ways.

This issue
This issue of the KM4Dev Journal will address the partnerships and other cross-cutting initiatives which are aiming to bridge the multitude of knowledge divides. The emphasis will be on lessons to be learnt from both successful and less successful experiences.
The issue will include papers from practitioners, researchers and policymakers who have been involved with ‘out of the box’ thinking with partnerships and initiatives which have aimed to cross one or more knowledge divides.
We invite practitioners and researchers involved with networks, NGOs, resource centres, research institutes, think tanks, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and other organizations working in the context of knowledge management for development cooperation to propose papers on the following general themes:
– Experiences of bridging knowledge divides
– Specific approaches or tools that have or have not  worked
– Future agenda for bridging knowledge divides

Within this broad theme, papers should address the following, or related, topics:
– What is the specific purpose of initiatives, including partnerships, which aim to bridge development divides?
– Which divides (constituencies, language, culture, distance and so on) are they bridging?
– Which constituencies (practitioners, researchers, policymakers etc) are they aiming to integrate?
– What barriers do such initiatives face?
– What are the main challenges facing the bridging of development divides and how can these be resolved?
– What are the effects or achievements of these initiatives?

Proposed Deadlines
– Submission deadline for the title and abstract: 21 September 2006
– Acceptance of paper proposal: 1 October 2006
– Submission of paper: 1 November 2006
– Peer-review completed: 15 November 2006
– Author revision completed and final version of paper submitted:  7 December 2006
– (e)-publication date: 21 December 2006

If you would like to be actively involved in this initiative, or have ideas or questions, please send an e-mail to The team of Guest Editors is currently being contacted. In the short-term, please address your comments to Julie Ferguson or Sarah Cummings, co-Chief Editors for this issue, at this e-mail address.

Ferguson, J. (2005) Bridging the gap between research and practice. Knowledge Management for Development Journal Vol. 1(3) p. 46-54


Call for Papers: Knowledge Management for Development Journal — 1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *