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Fw: The Drum Beat - 386 - Knowledge - Part I: Cultivating Local Content  Jean-Claude.-@unctad.org
 Mar 12, 2007 12:06 PST 
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The Drum Beat - 386 - Knowledge - Part I: Cultivating Local Content







The Drum Beat - Issue 386 - Knowledge - Part I: Cultivating Local Content
March 12 2007


from The Communication Initiative...global forces...local
choices...critical voices...telling stories...


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Access this issue online at http://www.comminit.com/drum_beat_386.html


***


This issue of the Drum Beat is the first in a 2-part series focused on
knowledge. In this series, we present just a few of the experiences,
strategies, resources, and trends featured on our site that explore how
communities around the world have used communication tools and approaches
to preserve, protect, share, manage, and promote their distinctive forms
of knowledge. This first issue in the series focuses on content that is
context-specific: indigenous, tacit, traditional, or "local" knowledge.

In the second issue, we will take a closer look at issues of ownership of
knowledge, broadening the scope of the type of knowledge explored beyond
the "local". That issue will highlight some of the strategies have been
developed and trends that have been observed in the move to open access to
various kinds of knowledge.


***


PRESERVING KNOWLEDGE


1.               Indigenous Management of Wetlands: Experiences in
Ethiopia
by Alan Dixon
"Local or indigenous knowledge develops over time from a detailed
understanding of local environmental conditions, and is modified in
response to changing conditions. It is a resource that can help
development processes become more sustainable." According to the author
and this summary by ID21, wetlands in Ethiopia are at a critical point in
their history; farmers have demonstrated that their indigenous
hydrological management can be sustainable, particularly when combined
with external/scientific sources of knowledge. Research reviewed here
highlights the importance of maintaining an effective network for sharing
local knowledge and experimenting with new techniques as key principles of
sustainable wetland management - supplemented by reviews (carried out by
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors) of how to support local
networks.
http://www.comminit.com/africa/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-1390.html


2.               A Marriage of Medicines
by Owain Johnson
This article explores how medical professionals in Venezuela are sharing
information and collaborating with local traditional healers. The author
contends that much traditional knowledge is still at risk, particularly as
communities begin to adopt Western habits; yet collective knowledge about
cures, self-care strategies, and other traditional practices is said to be
key to improving access to and quality of health care for indigenous
populations. To encourage the survival of the body of indigenous
knowledge, an exchange programme has been created that brings shamans
together to discuss their work. In concert with this approach, in the
Wayuu communities of western Venezuela, "intercultural homes" (casas
interculturales) have been established where mothers can leave their
children in the care of community elders, who pass on their culture to the
younger generation.
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2006/thinking-1573.html


3.               Centre for Coastal Environmental Conservation (CCEC) -
Bangladesh
CCEC is a non-profit, grassroots NGO based in Khulna, Bangladesh whose
work is based on the idea that strategies for sustainable environmental
management and conservation can only be achieved through local-level
participation based on indigenous knowledge. To this end, key CCEC actions
include raising awareness about issues such as mangrove protection (e.g.,
through a newsletter and poster highlighting the problem and encouraging
participation in "Mangroves Action Day"), organising group and individual
meetings with CCEC advisory board members to develop proposals and find
development partners for cooperation, and mobilising local resources by
disseminating environmental messages. A key CCEC area of focus is on laws
and management practices for sustainable use of national resources that
support and protect indigenous knowledge.
http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pds2006/experiences-3917.html
Contact Mowdudur Rahman ccec-@khulna.bangla.net OR mowdud-@yahoo.com


4.               Online Database of Traditional Tibetan Drugs Launched
by Jia Hepeng
This article announces the February 2005 launch of an online database of
traditional Tibetan medicines in China. The freely accessible database
offers 3,000 entries covering Tibetan pharmaceutical resources,
traditional prescriptions, ancient and modern literature about Tibetan
medicine, and information regarding Tibetan medical experts and
institutions. The article concludes with the programme director Ma
Jianxia's comment that the database developers "have yet to consider the
intellectual property implications of making indigenous Tibetan knowledge
freely available on the Internet."
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-1139.html


5.               Digital Songlines - Australia
Digital Songlines is a project to develop protocols, methodologies, and
toolkits to facilitate the collection and sharing of Indigenous cultural
heritage knowledge, practices and languages in Australia. It involves the
development of a 3-D digital environment that integrates story, art, and
cultural icons in an effort to present knowledge as nonlinear and
multilayered stories as they were told (and sung). The project explores
the effective recording, content management, and virtual reality delivery
of Indigenous cultural knowledge in ways that are culturally sensitive and
that engage Indigenous custodians, leaders and communities. The toolkit (a
platform-independent software developed in a number of formats) can be
customised according to community wishes, educational needs, and other
requirements...
http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pds2007/experiences-4091.html
Contact in-@acid.net.au


6.               WeSay - Global
This project is designed to help small and endangered language communities
perform a variety of language development activities - on their own -
using open source software and low-power devices that are designed to work
in remote areas with limited electricity and/or internet connectivity, and
other challenges. Organisers suggest that WeSay may be especially relevant
in those situations where native speakers want to play a direct, ongoing
role in the construction of a dictionary and collection/transcription of
stories in their own language, using something other than paper.
Specifically, the project will provide computer tools that enable
communities to carry out initiatives such as building a dictionary in
their own language; also on the horizon is a tool which can help
communities record, transcribe, and share their traditional stories.
http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pds2007/experiences-4175.html
Contact ling-@payap.ac.th OR WW-@sil.org


7.               Wind River Reservation Video Project - Wyoming, USA
In October 2005, Video Volunteers worked with The Northern Arapaho Tribal
Council on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming (USA) to begin the
process of setting up a Community Video Unit (CVU). As part of the
process, community members were trained to produce a water awareness
video; the research and perspectives of members of the Wyoming Indian High
School video class were integrated into the documentary, which features
the use of analogies to communicate to their people how much water they
own, and just how valuable it is. The CVU aims to give people a forum to
speak out about water rights - especially by amplifying the voices of
those who live too far away to ever attend meetings, the voices of elders,
and the indigenous knowledge that cannot be captured in a report.
http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pds2005/experiences-3482.html
Contact Jessica Mayberry jess-@videovolunteers.org OR
in-@videovolunteers.org


8.               Preserving Kanien'kehà:ka Culture and Language Through
Community-Based Education and Video
by Elizabeth J. Saccà & Katsi'tsákwas Ellen Gabriel
In response to the need for aboriginal writing and imagery spurred by what
was understood to be mass media's stereotyped portrayal of aboriginal
people, several artists in a rural indigenous community northwest of
Montreal, Canada decided to explore video as a tool for making personal
and traditional stories of members of Kanien'kehà:ka: People of the Flint
(Mohawks) accessible to the community and to others. Kanehsatà:ke and
non-aboriginal women formed a community-based video project, joining their
efforts with fellow community members. The authors describe the
Kanien'keha language videos that emerged, and explore their role in
preserving Kanien'kehà:ka culture and language.
http://www.comminit.com/evaluations/eval2006/evaluations-331.html


See Also:

9.               Indigenous Communication & Indigenous Knowledge
http://www.comminit.com/planningmodels/pmodels/planningmodels-53.html


10.              Grandmother-inclusive Methodology
http://www.comminit.com/planningmodels/pmodels/planningmodels-138.html


11.              Sahel Oral History Project - Africa
http://www.comminit.com/africa/experiences/pds092003/experiences-2134.html

12.              Indigenous Knowledge Program - Sub-saharan Africa
http://www.comminit.com/africa/experiences/pds32003/experiences-2331.html


***


Pulse Poll
http://www.comminit.com/pulse.html

Do you agree or disagree?

The pace of technological change is outpacing older established
organisations' ability to absorb and use the new tools for social change.

[For context, please see http://www.comminit.com/drum_beat_385.html]

VOTE and COMMENT - http://www.comminit.com/pulse.html


***


JOIN A DISCUSSION
on the above topic - see
http://forums.comminit.com/viewforum.php?f=49&style=2


***


PROTECTING KNOWLEDGE


13.              Indigenous Knowledge Dossier
This dossier seeks to impart information and news about IK and how it can
contribute to sustainable development and poverty alleviation. The website
addresses questions such as: Who owns IK and who may use it? Who decides
how to use IK and for what purpose? How should its owners be compensated?
http://www.comminit.com/materials/ma2005/materials-2304.html


14.              Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property: A
Handbook on Issues and Options for Traditional Knowledge Holders in
Protecting their Intellectual Property and Maintaining Biological
Diversity
by Stephen A. Hansen & Justin W. VanFleet
This handbook aims to assist communities in understanding issues regarding
intellectual property rights (IPR) and provides exercises to help them
identify and classify types of knowledge, cultural aspects, and community
goals related to specific knowledge claims. Its goal is to help local
communities understand and identify potential protection mechanisms for
traditional knowledge already present in current IPR regimes and the
public domain.
http://www.comminit.com/materials/ma2003/materials-391.html


15.              Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) - New Zealand
AMIO holds that current online modes of communication and dissemination of
information are inadequate to encompass and promote future growth of Maori
culture, values, and discourse. To that end, organisers are working to
define a strong Maori presence on the internet; develop relationships with
national and international information technology (IT) bodies; and promote
the interests of Maori internet service creators. The organisation is also
taking an active role in issues relating to indigenous IPR and
cybersquatting. AMIO envisions itself as an authoritative body
representing the needs and concerns of the Maori people with regard to the
potential for commodification of their knowledge on the internet.
http://www.comminit.com/experiences/pdskdv122003/experiences-1102.html
Contact Karaitiana Taiuru karai-@taiuru.maori.nz


16.              Bollywood Stole Our Folk Song
by Anna Turley
According to the author, the sparse media coverage that IPR has generated
in India has tended to be sensationalist, focusing on issues such as the
patenting of everyday commodities like turmeric by multinational
corporations. In an effort to bring other IPR issues out into the open,
cultural rights activists, bio-diversity campaigners, academics, lawyers,
communicators, and students gathered in Bangalore in April 2004 to explore
topics such as piracy, the patenting of Basmati rice, traditional folk
songs, and open source software. A key purpose of the discussion was to
map out links between IPR and the media; participants also explored links
between IPR and both cultural rights and bio-diversity. To continue the
"dynamic process of collaboration for social change" around IPR that was
initiated at the workshop, participants planned to form a network for
future collaboration on IPR issues in India.
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2004/thinking-562.html


See Also:

17.              Intellectual Property Watch
http://www.comminit.com/links/linksmedia/links-2081.html


18.              How Intellectual Property Rights Can Obstruct Progress
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/ctrends2005/trends-250.html


SHARING KNOWLEDGE


19.              Linking Knowledge Providers and Knowledge Users
by Zbigniew Mikolajuk
This paper explores strategies for connecting people or institutions who
possess knowledge with those who need knowledge - toward an effective
knowledge sharing system. Such a system rests on knowledge descriptions or
representations such as written documents, maps, pictures, stories, audio
and video clips - as well as direct communications between experts and
knowledge seekers. Among the various strategies explored here for creating
and sustaining such a system are: securing commitment on the part of
political powers, civic organisations, and technical and research
establishments; designing customised and context-specific knowledge
content and delivery methods - for example, interactive theatre and visual
presentations that reflect on specific local issues and that are delivered
in local languages; attending to intellectual property rights, and
ensuring that a reasonable part of any wealth generated from the shared
knowledge contributed by economically poor communities is returned to
those knowledge providers; and engaging in continuous analysis of the
system's effectiveness.
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2007/thinking-2088.html


20.              Sharing Knowledge Through Mentoring
by Truls E.J. Engström
This article explores the strategy of using informal mentoring to foster
the sharing of tacit knowledge. It is based on the premise that "an
organization's ability to create new knowledge and extract value from
existing knowledge, and its ability to build environments conducive to
sharing knowledge, are considered major challenges" - but that the ability
to share distinctive types of knowledge is a key organisational asset in
the context of the current knowledge society. Engström explains that tacit
knowledge is especially difficult to verbialise because it is tied to the
senses, skills in bodily movement, individual perception, physical
experiences, and intuition. This type of knowledge is context-dependent,
held in a non-verbal form, and often highly personal; sharing it involves,
in turn, sharing emotions and mental models - frequently among those from
different backgrounds, perspectives, and motivations. To address these
challenges, Engström proposes (and then tests) a mentoring system
involving a dyad engaging in face-to-face interaction in the context of a
care-filled, trustworthy relationship; he concludes that this strategy is
important for fostering a healthy organisation characterised by an open,
knowledge-sharing climate.
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2006/thinking-1970.html


21.              Sharing Knowledge for Community Development and
Transformation: A Handbook
by Dr. Kingo J. Mchombu
This handbook has been prepared "for men and women working in villages,
towns, rural and disadvantaged urban areas to increase the speed and
impact of community development. It is written for those who wish to
transform their communities through knowledge sharing....The handbook is
not designed for librarians and those with information management skills.
Rather, it is a tool for those at the grassroots..."
http://www.comminit.com/africa/materials/ma2004/materials-1937.html


See Also:

22.              Using Comics for Development Communication
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2005/thinking-995.html


23.              Tools for Knowledge and Learning: A Guide for Development
and Humanitarian Organisations
http://www.comminit.com/materials/ma2006/materials-2969.html


***


Seeking Partnership: SCALE Approach

Agency is seeking partners to develop training content related to
refining, adding to and applying the SCALE approach (see
http://www.comminit.com/planningmodels/pmodels/planningmodels-141.html for
more information) to natural resource management; to deliver training to
practitioners; and to develop long distance learning and a university
course based on the approach. Measuring impact of the approach is a key
element in this partnership.

Please contact Roberta Hilbruner rhilb-@usaid.gov for more details and
to submit a proposal.


***


MANAGING KNOWLEDGE


24.              Knowledge Management for Mountain Development
This newsletter shares some resources and experiences of the Information
and Knowledge Management (IKM) initiative of the Kathmandu, Nepal-based
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). It
begins with a synposes of, and links to, 15 online knowledge management
(KM) resources, followed by an introduction from ICIMOD's Director
General. A key point made here is that "The most essential element of
knowledge management is the human factor: how do people share tacit
knowledge - their personal knowledge and experience. Knowledge networks
are one approach. They are not solutions in themselves, but rather systems
that facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaborative problem-solving." He
suggests that new computer-based technologies can be powerful KM methods,
but that traditional tools such as books, tape recorders, writing tools,
filing systems, libraries, and direct human communications "are still most
vivid and vibrant."
http://www.comminit.com/materials/ma2007/materials-3204.html


25.              Managing Knowledge to Improve Reproductive Health
Programs
This paper provides case studies from a number of developing country
family planning/reproductive health organisations that are drawing on KM
tools and strategies. Putting KM into action involves steps such as:
building personal relationships and social networks that cross
organisational boundaries; helping people locate key sources of knowledge;
preserving institutional memory; building personal relationships and
social networks that cross organisational boundaries; collecting lessons
learned and best practices within the organisation; searching for proven
tools and practices outside the organisation; and exchanging tacit
knowledge regarding best practices and lessons learned.
http://www.comminit.com/materials/st2005/thinking-1096.html


26.              Knowledge Management - Training Modules
This KM module has 5 units, each of which includes: practical and learning
objectives, a topic note, an annotated bibliography, tools and resources,
exercises, and some case studies. Unit 4 is called "Going Local": Using
Evidence at the Local Level; it focuses on 2 aspects of local knowledge:
"formal" (scientific) information about a local situation, and
"indigenous" knowledge (knowledge that is imbedded in local traditions,
stories, and other repositories of local wisdom). The unit explores how to
combine and integrate these 2 types of local knowledge along with "global"
knowledge to facilitate the actions of health workers at the community
level.
http://www.comminit.com/materials/materials/materials-879.html


See Also:

27.              A Computer-based Knowledge Delivery System for Rural
Communities: A Case Study Using Beekeeping
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2007/thinking-2090.html


PROMOTING KNOWLEDGE


28.              Collecting and Propagating Local Development Content:
Report of a Project Carried out by IICD in Association with the Tanzania
Commission for Science and Technology and Funded by the UK Department for
International Development (DFID)
by Peter Ballantyne
"...One of the strengths of new information and communication technologies
(ICTs) such as the Internet is the way they can help unlock distant
expertise, knowledge and markets. However, this access - usually to
'foreign' content with foreign perspectives - has its limitations....As
this report shows, content does not flow of its own accord; it needs
owners or originators with the motivation to create, adapt or exchange
it....Counter efforts to push local content on to global stages, such as
African film, African research publications, 'southern voices' in the
media, or the e-trading of crafts face an uphill struggle....In a search
for ways to promote local content, we have few guidelines to follow.
Should we create more effective 'push' mechanisms, increasing and
improving the supply of content? Should we focus on the demand side, so
that local content is more highly valued? Should we look at the containers
in which content is packaged, making them more attractive and accessible?
Should different content types get different treatment? Drawing from a
consultation process to examine how local content in developing countries
is created, adapted, and exchanged, this report provides some answers to
these questions..."
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2002/thinking-405.html


29.              New Possibilities for Local Content Distribution
by Rosa M. Gonzalez
UNESCO has pursued various approaches for empowering local content
producers by promoting and fostering local content development and
distribution. One such strategy is ICT-facilitated partnership, as
illustrated by the Audiovisual e-Platform - a multicultural online
catalogue of recently directed television productions that are innovative
in form or content, and that provide a genuine expression of different
cultures. Independent directors, producers, and distributors use this tool
to promote their own work by giving their contents access to their
personal catalogues. UNESCO also uses the tool to stimulate the
distribution of materials to broadcasters, networks, festivals, cultural
institutions, and other partners (e.g., local associations, media
libraries, and cultural centres). The author suggests that opening this
kind of initiative to the general public, following the "pay-per-view"
principle, could go some way toward ensuring sustainability and keeping
local creativity alive in the audiovisual sector.
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2007/thinking-1974.html


See Also:

30.              Linking Local Knowledge with Global Action: Examining The
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through a Knowledge
System Lens
http://www.comminit.com/strategicthinking/st2007/thinking-1975.html


***


This issue was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.


***


The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative
Partnership - ANDI, BBC World Service Trust, Bernard van Leer Foundation,
Calandria, CFSC Consortium, CIDA, DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo
Iberoamericano, Ford Foundation, Healthlink Worldwide, Inter-American
Development Bank, International Institute for Communication and
Development, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for
Communication Programs, MISA, PAHO, The Panos Institute, The Rockefeller
Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, Swiss Agency for
Development and Cooperation, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, WHO, W.K.
Kellogg Foundation.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Soul City
gar-@soulcity.org.za
Executive Director: Warren Feek wfe-@comminit.com


***


The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for
development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or
support by The Partners.


Please send material for The Drum Beat to the Editor - Deborah Heimann
dhei-@comminit.com


To reproduce any portion of The Drum Beat, see
http://www.comminit.com/help.html#copyright for our policy.


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