Knowledge Management Maturity Assessment in Development Aid Organizations in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Effective delivery in the fields of development aid relies on knowledge and its communication and reach of dissemination. Development assistance organizations, practitioners and stakeholders are considered as key actors in the production and communication of knowledge. Knowledge exchange among practitioners in development assistance is now at the forefront of global development policy formulation. This is also true in Ethiopia where a multitude of development agencies interact, produce knowledge and share among themselves to meet their development assistance objectives in support of the country’s growth and transformation plan. To better understand the ongoing state of knowledge management (KM) in development aid organizations, this study adopts the perspective of Kruger and Synman (2003) to assess and describe the process in which knowledge management is defined, managed, controlled and implemented in knowledge-intensive Development Aid Organizations in Ethiopia. The survey assessed the level of knowledge sharing activities and suitable arrangements in place to facilitate the implementation of knowledge management initiatives in their respective organizations. Majority of the respondents indicated that their organization has strong knowledge sharing mechanisms even though not all mechanisms are yet systematic and well organized. Almost all respondents (90%) felt they have adequate ICT infrastructure in place that could support current or future KM initiatives. The majority of the organizations who participated in this study recognize the importance of managing knowledge and claim to be making serious attempts to establish active KM initiatives. Respondents felt varying degrees of current and future KM initiatives represent a significant opportunity to improve their current work performance. Responses to a question on key challenges impeding effective knowledge sharing fell in the realm of lack of time or resources, some staff members being reluctant to share knowledge, concern that sensitive/confidential information becoming public and most importantly lack of formal organizational guidelines on proper knowledge sharing and management. While the overall lack of well-defined KM strategies is a challenge, there are good practices and respondents have shared that their organizations are rapidly moving towards building on and further developing their knowledge management practices in the coming few years. Based on the responses gathered the study concludes by recommending action points that enhance conducive conditions for effective knowledge sharing in support of development goals. Further research is needed to evaluate the direct or indirect relation between the knowledge management practices already in use and the implementation effectiveness of development assistance objectives.



Management Maturity Assessment in Development