Programme Structure

Please note, this page is not current.  IKM Emergent was originally organised around a steering group, three working groups and a communications programme.The steering group, with some changes to its membership, has been with us throughout and, informally, continues to advise on the programme's direction in its post funding stage.  The working groups were more involved in initial thinking and planning and all became less active as groups as the programme evolved. WG1 disbanded after 2 years.  Nearly every partiicipant in them remained involved in the programme in some way, but work was increasingly organised by adhoc groupings of the people directly involved in what was being done.  Currently the programme has no formal structure altough a number of participants communicate informally about how to take this work forward and quite a number of participants are still (as of December 2012) working together on various follow up publications.

Discourses, Dialogue and Translation

Working Group 1 tried to organise a programme of work concerned with whose voices are or are not listened to in development discourse. It sought to explore links, mediation and translation between local voices (both intellectual and grass roots) and wider development discourse and practice. It also planned to identify appropriate methodologies for supporting autonomous knowledge processes at local level. Examples of its work include:

  • case studies of local knowledge processes starting with cultural literacy: building on and disseminating existing local experience of development-oriented pedagogy (Para, Brazil); and digital life stories on water (Costa Rica and Nicaragua)
  • a study of the validation and use of participatory research and development processes within the development organisations that commission them
  • exploration of the role of translation and of intermediaries (both in their widest sense) in the transmission of different knowledges within the development sector

The group no longer meets but work under all these headings continues and new cross-programme collaborations are planned to reflect on and communicate the outcomes of this work

A visual overview of the work of this group is available here

IKM Labs

Working Group 2 is concerned with how development knowledges are expressed, including alternatives to the written word, and also how they can be found and used within development organisations. Examples of its work include:

  • the Summaries Project involves the production of 800-1000 word summaries by id21 of a selection of papers produced by CODESRIA, the Nordic Africa Institute and Development in Practice journal to see whether this format improves the use of such material by development practitioners and policymakers.
  • the Vines Project which aims to explore solutions to the issue of bias in the process of finding development information on-line
  • experimental IKM Interactions which will aim to explore the potential value of emerging technologies with groups of potential users within the development community
  • an exploration of the long term impact of the Catalysing the Creation and Exchange of Local Content programme (which grew out of the 2002 G8 Dot Force initiative)on the methods of creation of local content and its use by the development sector

A visual overview of the work of this group is available here

Management of knowledge

Working Group 3 is critically examining past and present information and knowledge management practice within development organisations from the perspective of how consistent they are and how well they have served development in general and the strategic goals of the organisations concerned. Examples of its work include:

  • the Programme’s first working paper ‘Meta-review and scoping study of the management of knowledge for development’ which is now ready for electronic publication
  • a framework for cross-organizational comparison of knowledge management which will be used to inform organizational case studies;
  • a literature review of initiatives that have played a role in bridging knowledge divides within development
  • the relationship between knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation.

This working group is planning to organize a conference on knowledge management for development in Namibia in 2009 with partner networks and organizations.

The programme’s communications strategy foresees the active participation of its members in development-related, conferences, exhibitions and workshops as well as an interactive on-line presence through which to meet and engage with people active in the sector who find the programme relevant to their work or that of their organisation. It is in no sense prescriptive. It plans to be able to follow up these initial contacts with more tailored workshops within organisations or particular locations at which the issues raised and the potential for change can be jointly explored.


Programme members

IKM Emergent is an evolving group of development researchers and practitioners who network with others to explore the issues with which the programme is concerned. The group has some 'formal members' who have agreed to ensure the functioning of the steering group and working groups but also many others, some of whom are working on particular programme projecdts within the programme, others of whom are working on similar issues elsewhere and wish to keep in touch. It is not a closed group and people interested in keeping in touch with the programme are invited to sign up to the open programme D Group at

The Director of IKM Emergent is Mike Powell, author of the Oxfam book ‘Information management for development organisations’ and the architect of this joint research initiative. Sarah Cummings is the communications co-ordinator.

The Programme was developed under the auspices of the Information Management Working Group (IMWG) of the European Association for Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), and it is administered by Can Akdeniz and Charlotta Heck at the EADI Secretariat, Bonn.

The Programme has its own Steering Group , responsible for its intellectual direction and management. Members of the Steering Group comprise:

Cees Hamelink, Professor, Communications and Human Rights, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mare Fort, Senior Advisor Knowledge Sharing, CARE USA

Thomas Lawo, Executive Secretary, EADI

Kingo Mchombu, Professor and Dean, University of Namibia

Robin Mansell, Professor, Media and Communications, London School of Economics, UK

Josine Stremmelaar (2010-2012), coordinator of the Knowledge Programme, Hivos, The Netherlands, replacing Loe Schout,(2007-2009) Head of Bureau, Culture, ICT and Media, Hivos

Michel Wesseling, Head of Libraries and IT Services, Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands

Wangui wa Goro (2007-2009)

Working Group 1 (2006-2009)

Dan Baron Cohen, Playwright and arts-educator, president of IDEA, the International Drama, Theatre and Education Association

Kemly Camacho, Researcher on community engagement with emerging information societies, Sula Batsú Co-operative, Costa Rica

Michael David, journalist, community communications specialist and formerly director Kotmale Community Radio, Sri Lanka

Mike Powell, Director, IKM Emergent Research Programme

Wangui wa Goro Translator and researcher

Former member Bridget McBean

Working Group 2

Chris Addison, Consultant

Peter Ballantyne, President, International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD)

Dejan Dincic, Information Architect/Technical Director, DiploFoundation

Mike Powell, Director, IKM Emergent

Olivier Sanga, Programme Manager for Information Services, CODESRIA

Pete Cranston

Hugo Besemer

Working Group 3

Sarah Cummings, Senior Consultant, Context, international cooperation, The Netherlands

Valerie Brown, Professor Emeritus at the Australian National University

Ewen Le Borgne, Project Officer, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Netherlands

Kingo Mchombu, Steering Group member

Simon Hearn, Research and Policy in Development (RAPID), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK

(Former members Ben Ramalingam, Julie Ferguson)