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Whose’ knowledge for development? Knowledge management in development cooperation: Lessons from the development gateway

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Author(s): Nina Witjes

Journal: Zeitschrift für Nachwuchswissenschaftler
ISSN 1869-6139

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Knowledge Management | Development Cooperation | World Bank | Development Gateway | Knowledge for Development | ICTs | Participation

ABSTRACT
Since 1990 the international development community, particularly the development agencies led by theWorld Bank, has postulated a new development paradigm: knowledge was now seen as the means for poverty reduction. Poverty, in this understanding, is rooted in a lack of knowledge. Knowledge, in turn, could and should be transferred from “knowledge-rich” to “knowledge-poor” societies. TheWorld Bank´s approach to knowledge as a transferable commodity is expressed in its biggest knowledge management initiative, the Development Gateway. It will be shown, that the aim of organizing and disseminating development- relevant knowledge as focused by the Gateway is not achieved. Reasons for this are the Banks approach to knowledge itself, which ignores means of power and sees knowledge as neutral. Instead of fostering an equal and democratic exchange of knowledge between the North and the South the web-based initiative helps to strengthen the Bank’s neoliberal paradigm. To use ICT-based Knowledge Management for social change, the recognition of different forms and expressions of knowledge as well as participation and inclusion of marginalized groups are necessary preconditions.
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