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25 July 2017
K*: One year down the line Print
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00

It is now more than a year since a group of knowledge practitioners from all over the world and from a range of sectors gathered in Ontario, Canada, for the first K* conference. Experts in the fields of knowledge brokering, knowledge management, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, knowledge translation, knowledge mobilisation and others met to find common ground on the scope of the knowledge field and to find ways to avoid its fragmentation and the duplication of resources.


The term K* (KStar) had been coined as a convenient catchall when referring to these fields. The concept paper that emerged from the conference, “Expanding Our Understanding of K*”, defines it as “the collective term for the set of functions and processes at the various interfaces between knowledge, practice, and policy. K* improves the ways in which knowledge is shared and applied; improving processes already in place to bring about more effective and sustainable change.”

The paper is valuable in examining how the various fields that make up K* intersect, but also as a starting point for greater understanding of the fields and how they can interlink, how we can understand the system better and share experiences across disciplines, sectors and space. The authors suggest that we apply the concepts outlined in the paper to our own contexts and organisations. You will be able to do so “with the added benefit of knowing, and being able to demonstrate, that others are saying the same things, despite using different language,” they say. This is not new to the DRUSSA Community. Time and again, this is observation is made by DRUSSA implementation team members.

Maybe of greatest interest are the eight case studies featured. Included among these are the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), Global Development Network (GDNet), Think Tank Initiative (TTI) and the Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health (CDBPH).

I’d be interested to know what others think, both about the K* concept and about some of these case studies. Did any among us attend last year’s conference? And what value, if any, do you think is to be had from the K* movement?

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Comments


Enrique Mendizabal said on 2013-06-14 19:58:13:
We had, about a year ago, what i thought was an interesting discussion about this idea of K*: http://onthinktanks.org/2012/04/27/k-and-stands-for-what-exactly/ It was one of the most commented on blog posts (for onthinktanks.org). In end, though, like you, I am curious to see what happened. Not because I find the idea useful but because it would be interested to see if anything came out of such a large effort.
Caite Mccann(C) replied on 2013-06-18 09:56:56:
Yes, Enrique, I was fascinated by the scope of the effort last year and have certainly wondered what would come out of it. I did find the conference paper interesting. But would any further conferences/workshops be held to further the discourse and lend some sort of cohesion? Is this latter even possible?