A Brief Update

My internship at SFCG continues without earth-shattering developments (though I get to use my boss’ office while she’s in Armenia: fast computer and a window over Dupont Circle!).  The Knowledge Management project is proving even more difficult than I first imagined.  As I mentioned in previous posts, KM tries to deal with implicit and explicit knowledge.  Explicit knowledge is supposed to be the easy one to collect and disseminate.  While it is certainly easier, I am discovering that the great global equalizer of the internet is not quite as ubiquitous as I’d thought.  My director recently returned from Sierra Leone to  report on the utter snailpace bandwidth available at country offices in sub-Saharan Africa (where most SFCG country offices are located).  Since my thinking had been that the internet was the tool to address at least some of our KM issues, this makes me take a step back and reevaluate my assumptions about access.  It seems that we can purchase greater bandwidth, but the next greater speed comes at four times the cost.  As a cash-strapped NGO, can we justify this extra expense?  Will it improve our efficiency or outcomes enough to offset the cost?  These are, of course, salient and persistent questions for any organization’s (for-profit or not) decision-making bodies.  In the meantime, I will do some brainstorming and see what ideas I can generate…

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