Assessing Use of Knowledge: Feedback and a Couple of Questions #knowledge-reuse #metrics

Ivan Butina

Fellow KMers, 

I hope that I can tap into your experience and expertise to address one of the areas of KM that I've been wanting to address in a while: assessing the use of knowledge. In my experience, KM work often focuses on the generation, capturing, curation, and sharing of knowledge leaving the use of knowledge as an after-thought. To be more specific, by this I mean the ability to assess (track, monitoring, measure) the extent to which knowledge is being (re)used. This is crucial to be able to show the value of KM work but also to be able to improve KM work (which approaches lead to the use of knowledge and which ones don't, and why). 

Recently, I came across colleagues in my organization (UNICEF) who are willing to undertake this work and I have started working with them on creating a pilot that we would test within their area of work (child protection) to then create a framework that could be used by the whole organization. 

I'm attaching here the first draft of a concept note, in case anyone would like to provide feedback, and sharing two questions that I offered to share with KM colleagues outside our "UN bubble."


  • What are your experiences and good examples of assessing utilization of knowledge, beyond quantitative numbers/proxies (e.g. views, downloads, online community interactions such as comments, likes etc.)?
  • Do you use any computerized programmes/algorithms to capture the utilization of knowledge internally or externally?

The first question is on how to go from typical measurements like views, downloads etc. to what can actually tell us whether a knowledge product is being used.

The second question is about the possibility to use tech to automate any component of what to us looks like a pretty labor-intensive exercise. For example, I came across a software that's used in academia to scan documents for specific terms. We could use that to see whether the program/project design documents that UNICEF teams produce incorporate references to existing knowledge products (guidance, briefs, good practices lessons learned, evaluations, research etc.).



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