How can you measure the impact of knowledge management? “It’s not easy-o” as my Ghanaian friends would say. But how can we make any claims that it is actually worth the money and time and effort if all we can say is that “X number of people attended the workshop” or “we printed and distributed Y number of reports”? We have to do better than that. Tracking how formal and informal networks evolve over time is one way of approaching this. Especially if you also track your target population’s networks: Where do they go for information? And add a qualitative component to your inquiry, asking what they learn, whose information they trust and how knowing this has changed their work or their life.
I’m looking forward to the results of USAID’s KM Impact Challenge and maybe I will find your project among the stories they collect. This is from their website:
“About The Challenge
Many of us are trying to find ways to effectively measure and demonstrate the results of our investments in knowledge and learning. The Knowledge Management Impact Challenge aims to accelerate this discovery process by gathering and exchanging stories of what works and what doesn’t.
We invite you to share your story by January 30, 2011!
Early Entry Award: Submit a short story of 1200 words or fewer by December 31, 2010, to be eligible for a USD $1,000 professional development grant.
Challenge Awards: Five case story authors will receive travel awards to share their experience at the upcoming KM Impact Challenge unConference.
By sharing a story, you can raise the visibility of your work and contribute to a growing global knowledge base of good practice. We invite you to explore the collection of online resources in the Library and welcome contributions of your favorite publications and tools to share with colleagues around the world.”