Knowledge Management is the process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organizational knowledge. The process of KM involves knowledge acquisition, creation, identifying, refinement, storage, transfer, sharing and utilization. Through these processes, organizations develop methodologies and systems to support them, and motivates people to participate in them. Knowledge related assets for organizations include printed documents (e.g patents and manuals), best practices, electronic repositories such as databases, websites etc.
One of the lessons learnt from the Rural Finance Programme (RFP) in the quest for rural financial inclusion was the existence of knowledge gaps between the demand and supply side of the rural financial services. Stakeholders acknowledged the need for information that will contribute to filling existing knowledge gaps on demand and supply sides. Knowledge is required to better understand the constraints and to identify opportunities for addressing them. The Knowledge Management and Communication function of RUFEP contributes to the generation and dissemination of knowledge and information about innovations and new approaches for uptake by stakeholders and the general public. Through this core function, initiatives will be supported that enhance and share learning such as annual rural finance conferences, dialogue fora on sector specific challenges or opportunities and on relevant innovative practices from other countries. Where possible, these activities will be undertaken in collaboration with partners. Furthermore, research and capacity building activities should include a strategic partnership element that facilitates national-international collaboration and contributes to strengthening local capacity in addition to fulfilling the programme’s knowledge management needs.
RUFEP will share lessons learnt and emerging best practices with stakeholders using different knowledge management products such as publications, brochures, fliers, Newsletters and the Website. The programme has established close ties with ongoing knowledge management initiatives of IFAD in Eastern and Southern Africa. One such linkage will be with MIX Gold, an IFAD funded initiative that collects and analyses country specific and regional data for sharing among implementing partners and other stakeholders.