ICIMOD establishes knowledge partners


In a bid to expand the outreach of knowledge generated by the Centre, the Knowledge Management and Communication Unit of ICIMOD is in the process of establishing long-term knowledge partners in all its eight regional member countries (RMCs). 

One of the key deliverables spelt out in the Medium Term Action Plan III (2013-2017) is the Knowledge Management and Communications Strategy for ICIMOD. Consequently, a Strategy was drafted and approved by the ICIMOD Board of Governors in December 2013. The Strategy, among others, underscores the establishment of long-term knowledge partners in the member countries. 

“As an intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, identifying appropriate partners to help promote ICIMOD’s knowledge solutions is critical,” said ICIMOD’s Senior Manager Anja Rasmussen. “These partners will ensure that ICIMOD’s knowledge is shared and delivered in appropriate formats and through relevant channels in all the RMCs.” 

She added that these knowledge partners will assist ICIMOD in targeted communication, sharing, and dissemination of the knowledge generated by the Centre. A common set of Knowledge and Communication Partnership Guidelines is being developed within the larger scope of the Centre-wide Strategy. However, the overall principles of engagement as set out in the MTAP III apply. 

“In a broader sense, these knowledge partnerships are essential for making knowledge travel,” said Anja Rasmussen. “The partners will be actively engaged to produce KMC products and ensure their relevance, wide dissemination, and usefulness.” 

In a strategic way, all partners will be connected to one another and to sources of data and knowledge. These partnerships would further institutionalize effective knowledge management and communication in sharing and disseminating the knowledge created and generated by ICIMOD and its partners. The knowledge partners are established based on the following principles:

  • Understanding of the purpose of the partnership
  • Performing effectively within clearly defined functions and roles
  • Developing skills and knowledge for common needs
  • Engaging the partners equally 
Calling for a strong accountability of all partnership activities

A team led by Anja Rasmussen visited Bhutan from 2 to 6 February 2014 to establish the first knowledge partner. Subsequently, Bhutan Media and Communications Institute (BMCI) was identified as ICIMOD’s knowledge partner in Bhutan after a thorough background search of various relevant non-government actors. A Letter of Agreement was signed between ICIMOD and BMCI on 5 February 2014, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 26 March 2014. 

The former General Manager of Kuensel (Bhutan’s national newspaper), Pushpa Chhetri, heads BMCI. Among others, BMCI conducts journalist trainings and supports the professional growth of Bhutanese media and communications industry. BMCI also helps build the capacity of the media focal persons, local leaders, media planners, and communities to understand the role of media and communications methods necessary for local development.

Similarly, Anja Rasmussen led a scoping mission to Myanmar from 18 to 26 April 2014. A follow-up mission, to finalize the knowledge partner and sign the initial Letter of Agreement, is scheduled for July 2014.