“Information Management” Working Group
About this Working Group
The Information Management Working Group aims to serve as a platform for reflection, discussion and action on the use and management of development information across Europe, and to be the obvious European meeting place for information professionals with a strong interest in international co-operation and development research. The group organizes annual meetings around a specific theme or topic for Working Group members and other interested colleagues and professionals, and also operates a website. A sub-group of Working Group members runs the El@ND project.
1) Technical Initiatives as a whole:
The ELAND project has been a stalwart of the IMWG for many years. In relation to ELAND online search, a prototype multisearch was developed the beginning of the year. It is still being tested. In recent years, other initiatives have been developed such as the DevExpertise and Focuss. At the conference in Brighton, an evaluation of the ELAND project was submitted and it was agreed that the initiative is worthwhile but requires additional focus and possible investment. As a result, a meeting in Bonn in the first quarter of 2007 will be held to discuss the various technical initiatives: Eland, Focuss, and DevExpertise. This will be done in collaboration with the EADI secretariat, the convenors and the technical developers.
2) RSS and news feeds:
As a result of the Bonn meeting in 2005, the RSS activity was followed up by Euforic holding a number of training sessions through the year. Also, ELDIS developed a guidance note on RSS and newsfeeds. This resource can be found on the IMWG discussion group under resources.
EADI provides a technical overview of available options and advice on how to use various technical features for website development.
3) Information and Knowledge Management Framework Study:
The project aims to improve development practice by promoting change in the way the development sector approaches the selection, management and use of knowledge in the formation and implementation of its policies and programmes. It will illustrate and support the potential of this change through the structured collection, discussion, development and dissemination of innovative practice relevant to the above objective. The project under Mike Powell, who is an EADI member, has received a good response from the Dutch DGIS for financial support and a more detailed proposal is being developed.
IKM Emergent activities will be organised within a framework consisting of a programme and network development strategy, a communications strategy and the work of three working groups:
- Exploring discourses
- Making the most of information
- Knowledge sharing and management
A number of members of the IMWG will participate in each of these three working groups.
A review body will provide overall guidance and ultimate control of IKM Emergent. It will consist of between six and eight invited members and a representative from each of the EADI secretariat, the EADI information management working group and, should they wish to accept invitations to attend, EADI’s main international counterpart organisations. Members of the review body may participate fully in the activities of IKM Emergent or they may choose to limit their involvement to the work of the review body.
The review body will, in consultation with the programme co-ordinator and the EADI secretariat, be responsible for inviting new members to join in the event of original members leaving.
The review body will normally meet annually but may meet more often if the occasion requires. The programme co-ordinator, the communications co-ordinator and the workgroup co-ordinators will normally attend review body meetings.
The review body will:
Offer overall intellectual guidance and challenge to IKM Emergent Assist in peer review and quality control Contribute to the impact of the programme through the value of their association with it and the dissemination of relevant material through their own personal and professional networks.
The members of the Working Group are mainly drawn from the EADI members. In recent years, the nature of expertise has evolved with more communication expertise joining with the information and knowledge expertise, to form a solid and interwoven group. As a result of informal networking and interaction over the years, the members comprise a core group (30-40 people) who attend the annual conference regularly, have invested in the ELAND project and other technical initiatives and are part of an informal community of information and communication expertise. Another larger group (89) that comprise the Working Group participate in events (such as the annual conference) and may also be a member of the online discussion group. A mailing list from past conferences is also used to ensure even wider networking amongst information and communication professionals.
The Discussion Group consists of 89 participants. It is an informal space used by members to share knowledge. The main purposes of the discussion groups are for:
- Creating an interactive space for professional support
- Discussing the upcoming conferences
- Projects (Technical developments (ELAND, RSS, Focuss, DevExpertise) and Information and Knowledge Management (IKM Emgerent).