Knowledge Sharing for Capacity Building in Open and Distance Learning (ODL): Reflections from the African Experience
- 104 Downloads
This paper aims to describe the process of knowledge sharing among countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in view of Capacity Building in Open and Distance Learning (ODL). The main purposes of this project were to contribute to the development and deployment of effective, harmonized open and distance learning (ODL), to increase access to quality education and training, and to support regional integration across the SADC. The University of Mauritius was designated to implement the Knowledge Management System for the SADC and to conduct appropriate training for the different categories of users to use the system. The KMS enabled two Centers of Specializations, in particular, and ODL institutions, in general, to share information and resources across the SADC region. The KMS enabled the targeted institutions to manage knowledge, information, and resources by supporting creation, capture or collection, securing/storage, coordinating, combining retrieving, and dissemination of knowledge and expertise. The system was designed to serve as an effective and efficient knowledge network that will create links between ODL practitioners in the SADC Member States to facilitate knowledge sharing, i.e., connecting the knowledge and information seekers to the knowledge/information sources. The KMS has been successfully built and the benefits that were brought by such a system are enormous. It has enabled this region to bridge the gap by enabling 15 member states with a total population of around 277 million inhabitants. This knowledge sharing experience has been unique since it has enabled this whole region of Africa to become one and to share resources created among them.
KeywordsKnowledge management Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Capacity building SADC OER
The authors of this paper would like to thank the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Open University of Tanzania and the University of Mauritius for their help and support during the project. Indeed, it was a challenging project but all necessary information and facilities were made available.
- Bell, D. (1973). The coming of post-industrial society: a venture in social forecasting. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bollinger, A. S., & Smith, R. D. (2001). Managing organizational knowledge as a strategic asset. Journal of Knowledge Management 5(1):8–18.Google Scholar
- Cohen, W. M. and Levinthal D.A. (1990). Absorptive capacity: a new perspective on learning and innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), Special Issue: Technology, Organizations, and Innovation, pp. 128–152.Google Scholar
- D’Atri, A., & Sacca, D. (2010). Information systems: people, organizations, institutions, and technologies. Berlin: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.Google Scholar
- Davenport, T., & Prusak, L. (1998). Working knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Demsetz, H. (1991). The theory of the firm revisited. In O. E. Williamson & S. G. Winter (Eds.), The nature of the firm (pp. 159–178). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P (1993a). Journal of Knowledge Management, 3(2). Knowledge management and process performance. Library review. [online] Emerald Database. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/13673270310492903. Accessed 2 Mar 2016.
- Drucker, P. (1993b). Post-capitalist society. New York, NY: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
- Drucker, P. (1999), “Beyond the information revolution”, The Atlantic Monthly, October, pp. 47–57.Google Scholar
- El Sawy, O.A., Eriksson, I., Carlsson, S.A. and Raven, A., (1997). Understanding the nature of shared knowledge creation spaces around business processes: an international investigation. Paper presented at the Carnegie Bosch Institute Conference on Knowledge in International Corporations, Rome, Italy.Google Scholar
- Hope, J., & Hope, T. (1997). Competing in the third wave. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Huber, G. P. (1991). Organizational learning: The contributing processes and the literatures. Organization Science 2(1), 88–7115.Google Scholar
- Liebowitz, J. (1999). Key ingredients to the success of an organization’s knowledge management strategy. Knowledge and process Management, 6(1), 37–40.Google Scholar
- Morrissey, S. (2005). The design and implementation of effective knowledge management systems. Center for Technological Innovation of Wharton School: Master’s Thesis.Google Scholar
- Merlyn, P. R. & Välikangas, L. (1998). From information technology to knowledge technology: Taking the user into consideration. Journal of Knowledge Management, 2(2), 28–35.Google Scholar
- Nonaka, I., Takeuchi, H. (1995) The knowledge-creating company. How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. (1997), Criação de ConhecimentonaEmpresa: Como as EmpresasJaponesasGeram a Dinâmica da Inovação, Campus, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
- Penrose (1959). Journal of knowledge management, 18(16). An evaluation of management system tool part 1. Library review. [online] Emerald Database. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/13673270810859479. Accessed: 2 Mar 2016.
- SADC (2016). Website,http://www.sadc.int/. Accessed 4 Mar 2016
- SADC Secretariat (2010). Letter of invitation (LOI) and instructions to bidders (ITB) for the development of a knowledge management system for the SADC region.Google Scholar
- Santally, M.I., Halkhoree, R., Sungkur, R.K. and Boojhawon G. (2010). ‘SADC KMS Project, Inception Report’Google Scholar
- Shapiro, C., & Verian, H. (1999). Information rules. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Swan, J., Scarbrough, H. and Preston, J. (1999), Knowledge management—the next fad to forget people? Proceedings of the 7th European conference in information systems.Google Scholar
- Tan, S. S., Teo, H. H., Tan, B. C., & Wei, K. K. (1998). Developing a preliminary framework for knowledge management in organizations. In E. Hoadley & I. Benbasat (Eds.), Proceedings of the fourth Americas conference on information systems (pp. 629–631). MD: Baltimore.Google Scholar
- Vance, D. and Eynon, J. (1998). On the requirements of knowledge transfer using IS: a schema whereby such transfer is enhanced. Baltimore, MD: Proceedings of the 4th AIS Americas Conference on Information Systems.Google Scholar
- Wigg, K. (1993). Knowledge management foundations. Arlington, VA: Schema Press.Google Scholar
- Zeleny, M. (2000). “Knowledge vs information”, The IEBM Handbook of Information Technology in Business. London: Thomson Learning, pp. 162–168.Google Scholar