The study reviewed the storing, sharing and disseminating of rural transport knowledge. A ‘needs assessment’ survey report is annexed. This noted knowledge gaps (possibly due to dissemination issues). Survey respondents gained most information from the internet. Mobile phones are also used to gain information. Respondents wanted documents on open-access websites with alerts and newsletters. Personal contacts are important. Much ‘grey literature’ has not been shared.
This report introduces organisations and information chains. Despite large roads budgets, little is spent on research and information dissemination. A hierarchy in investment, kudos and information products descends from highways to rural roads and to transport services. Agriculture has a UN agency, international research centres and an EU knowledge transfer centre. Rural transport lacks all these. Eldis is an open-source database of development publications that illustrates good practice. It has 30,000 abstracts and linked documents, it sends out alerts and newsletters and it collaborates with southern partners. Other organisations can share the database. While electronic documents are crucial, there are still key roles for printed documents, personal contacts and mentoring.
It is concluded there are five major requirements to improving knowledge management and sharing. (1) Make relevant literature available on the web. (2) Put details of literature into user-friendly, accessible databases. (3) Inform and alert people to available resources. (4) Use key knowledge for derivative publications to influence policy and practice. (5) Encourage and facilitate discussions and personnel contacts. Three options are presented to provide this. They are not mutually exclusive. All are compatible with new, ambitious suggestions for AFCAP support to national research centres.
Starkey, P. Feasibility Study of Options for Long Term Knowledge Sharing and Management: Final Report. (2013) 62 pp.