Knowledge for Development (K4D): Galvanizing Opportunities of a Promising Theme for Improved Development Cooperation

Event Type

Bonn, 08.07.2014 until 09.07.2014


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group of the University of Wageningen & the Community of Practice KM4 Dev

For nearly two decades now we have seen increasing consideration of knowledge and learning being at the core of development. However, the chances offered by this new development are not being optimally exploited. Knowledge managers, information managers, facilitators, knowledge brokers, etc. are still more occupied with justifying their existence than with galvanizing the lessons we have learned from past mistakes. The management of development cooperation is still top-down, with allusions to the donors knowing it all and the recipients knowing hardly anything.

Apparently, our mindset precludes the realization that knowledge and development are intrinsically bound: existence in contiguous spaces dispose people to cooperate and collaborate in order to solve the problems of human existence. In the process, they co-create their reality and equally learn together. Learning is thus a social enterprise. Concurrently, globalization, climate change, fragile statehood, etc. demonstrate to us how contiguous the spaces we share have become. ICT offers us the tools of creating our realities together irrespective of differences in time and space. However, our mindset is still geographically and hierarchically bound. How should we think about development to accentuate the intrinsic bond between development and knowledge? What opportunities have ICT tools opened up for us and how could we harness these tools to improve development cooperation? What would a serious adherence to the lessons of K4D imply for global development cooperation? How could development cooperation address the problems of education infrastructure in the global South? What changes are needed in the global North to enable the improvement of the delivery of global development cooperation? We believe that we need to imagine and drive change on all levels of the development system to achieve sustainable change in development that has learning at its core.

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