Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) by ICIMOD in ...

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Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) program of
ICIMOD in Nepal’s
Hindu
-
Kush Himalayan (
HKH) regions


Sachin Bajracharya

Final Paper

MIS 600 Management Information Systems

Dr. David Bouchard


December 12, 2003















1

1.

Introduction


The ICIMOD is planning in the coming years to create integrated programs directed
towards regional mountain development in the Hindu
-
Kush Himalayan (HKH) region.
The plan includes several programs that will dedicate a multi
-
disciplinary effort to
improve

the livelihood of the HKH inhabitants and maintain sound condition of the
natural resources and environment. They have allocated budget for a 2003
-
2007 project
even though it is and has been an ongoing process. They have planned measurable
outcomes and
action initiatives to accomplish them. The plan includes the following
programs:


Three inter
-
related sectoral programs
-



Natural Resource Management (
NRM
):
This will focus on institutional, technological,
and policy innovations for community
-
based managem
ent to increase productivity of
mountain resources to reduce poverty, enhance food security, and ensure biological
conservation.



Agricultural and Rural Income Diversification (
ARID
):
This will focus on the economic
security of mountain people and the pro
motion of high
-
value farm and non
-
farm products and
services and reliable market linkages.



Water, Hazards, and Environmental Management (
WHEM
):
This will focus on

is
improving knowledge and regional cooperation on environmental services and hazard
mitigati
on to reduce the physical vulnerability of mountain people and the downstream
poor.

& Three cross
-
cutting programs
-



Culture, Equity, Gender, and Governance (
CEGG
):
This will focus on contributing to
building sustainable mountain societies by promoting an e
nabling environment that
enhances equity and empowers disadvantaged mountain people in the Hindu Kush
-
Himalayas.



Policy and Partnership Development (
PPD
):
This will focus on is on developing
policy, supporting advocacy, and strengthening partnerships in mo
untain development.



Information and Knowledge Management (
IKM
):
This will focus on making mountain
knowledge accessible to and usable for partners, policy
-
makers, advocates, and
development practitioners for the benefit of mountain people.


Among the integ
rated programs they have been developing, the IKM underlies their
whole ICIMOD business model. IKM will be a strategic advantage for ICIMOD in

2

producing the various sectoral programs. It will produce knowledge from years of
observing, gathering informati
on, and constructing. The knowledge management of the
various programs will then progress to the ultimate challenge of policy development.
The business goals of ICIMOD will come down to the desired results in policy making.
PPD will be involved in creat
ing and maintaining policies that is related to sustainable
development of HKH inhabitants. Therefore, the desired state of ICIMOD goals are
intertwined with the success of both IKM and PPD programs. In this paper, I will present
ICIMOD’s case through u
se of IKM in promoting and supporting sustainable
development.


2.

Overview


ICIMOD is a non
-
profit non
-
government organization that is dedicated to improving the
standards of living and sustaining in mountain regions of Himalayas. They have been
working w
ith the multiple partners in the HKH region since being established in
1983.

The
HKH

stretches from Afghanistan in the west through Pakistan, India, Nepal, China,
Bhutan and Bangladesh, ending in Myanmar in the east. ICIMOD aims to be a
multidisciplinary

centre for research and training on integrated mountain development.


It has been successful in networking with many partners in the country as well as
internationally. ICIMOD is now seen as the qualified experts in the mountain
development. They have
been successful in the following also:




Motivating local institutions to deal with mountain problems and to incorporate
the mountain perspective which is ICIMOD's trademark



Promoting the development of an economically and environmentally sound
mountain
ecosystem and to improve the living standards of mountain
populations", especially in the HKH Region.



Research and development and acts as a facilitator for generating new
mountain
-
specific knowledge of relevance to mountain development.



Ensuring that new

knowledge is shared among all relevant institutions,
organizations, and individuals (stakeholders).


ICIMOD has the program IKM that caters their Information System strategies as
mentioned above. IKM takes care of both internal operational as well as st
rategic IS
needs. The basic purpose of IKM is to make information/knowledge not only useful but
also accessible and usable for partners, policy
-
makers, advocates, and development

3

practitioners. In contextual perspective, IKM is seen as the backbone of th
e
organization.

Article 1 of the ICIMOD Statutes states that the center will serve as:


o

A multidisciplinary documentation center;

o

A focal point for training and applied research activities; and

o

A consultative center in scientific and technical matter
s for all the
countries of the region upon their request.


ICIMOD has realized that it is an organization that collects and prepares it for their
customers/ stakeholders as much as they do it for themselves. This is illustrated in their
strategic plan doc
umentation, in the following sentence as well as throughout the
document.

IKM refers both to activities designed to ensure that an organization gains knowledge
and insight from its own experience and employees have maximum access to and use
the knowledge t
hat exists within the organization, as well as to the skills to manage and
use stored knowledge and information effectively and to deliver it to others


ICIMOD has a set of goals that is encompassed with their concept, values, and
capabilities as shown

by the business model (figure 1). The business model has really
been intertwined within the IKM core operation and strategy. This paper will take a look
at the IKM progress and explain the anticipated evolution for the basis of policy making.
Along with

the overview of the subject matter and case, I intend to produce some
recommendation through some Management Information Systems (MIS) model analysis.

Before we look at the problems that ICIMOD will face with the sustainable development
programs let’s pr
eview the background knowledge involved in this analysis.


Knowledge management


A.

Information Management (IM):


Government and corporations prevalently use Information Management for storing and
archiving business processes and valuable information. Mos
t government have library of
documents and papers for policies. These days, more and more documentations are available
and stored in digital format. Therefore, IM is in the IT strategic stage. IM enables the
government to have Knowledge Management. Kn
owledge management involves more than
just gathering documents. The process of KM is more dynamic than IM as discussed below.
Before, that let’s discuss another system that is needed for KM, i.e. GIS.



4

B.

Geographic Information System (GIS):


The GIS is a
graphical Interface tool that presents data of regional context. It is used for a
variety of disciplines that can be studied in relation to regions, varying from population science,
natural resource management. It is the critical tool that a knowledge ma
nagement system
needs in order to create spatial data. The MENRIS bulletin states:


“Geo
-
information systems (GIS) have emerged as powerful tools for integrating spatial
and attribute data. Analytical results can be forcefully presented with the help of
c
olourful maps and 3
-
D images.“

Use of GIS in gathering information: The use of GIS is primarily for gathering information over
time. A researcher can easily view the difference between two points in the GIS graphical
output. Gathering information for Inf
ormation and knowledge management is vital since it
provides the substance relevant to the purpose. The use of GIS ultimately leads to the use of
knowledge management.


C.

Use of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS):


Sharing information and knowledge is only
part of knowledge management. It expands to using
the knowledge for some useful action or decision. Decision making for studies or for real life
scenarios can be enhanced with GIS information gathering and use of KMS. This method is
often used by develop
ed nations in monitoring resources and population science.

To create policies most effective knowledge management has been a strategic advantage. KM
that keeps populous, census, resource management data are most beneficial to policy making.
It amplifies
the decisions support in policy making especially for sustainable development.
Actually, KM has been mandated essential in policymaking concerning sustainable
development. “Agenda 21” of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, calls

for the research programs and implementation of Information systems that
support decision
-
making based on sound information and procedures.

A Knowledge
-
based system for decision requires Decision Support Systems (DSS). DSS is the
bond between the KM and

policy making since it will help make quality decisions. The DSS will
ensure an optimal decision with a well
-
structured knowledge base. Basically, a DSS is a
computerized system that supports decisions with utilization of one/ many of the following
cha
racteristics:



Large amount of data collection and processed to produce and analyze decision
alternatives


5



Many potential users in a given domain (by displaying a certain point of view)



Critical quality decision making in short time (automation of various ta
sks)



Possibility of a large number of alternative decisions (among which an expert can choose)


According to Mikolajuk, a DSS in the domain of sustainable development provides access to
and makes use of a variety for databases. In a broad sense, electroni
c text documents,
statistical data, tables of numerical data, digitized maps, drawings, and images are data types
processed by a DSS. Therefore, for sustainable development, a DSS is not simply a package
for a database or a spreadsheet that helps an exper
t decide, but it is a combination of different
software tools to enhance a multi
-
disciplinary decision.


3.

Problem Statement

(Graphics 1)


The implementation of MENRIS needs to provide ICIMOD strategic leverage in policy
-
making in order to benefit the strat
egic plan of sustainable development in HKH region.


Domain

o

GIS Use for sustainable development: How has GIS been used for
sustainable development previously?

o

MENRIS as a decision tool: How will MENRIS play a role in policy
making?

o

Policymaking: What wil
l the policy making be based on?

o

Integration and outreach of different organizations

o

Multidisciplinary organization



Scope

o

Human Resources at different levels



ICIMOD employed



HR in IKM



HR in HKH regions



Regional Member Countries (RMC) Partners



Involved
Partners NGO (Non
-
Government Organizations) &
INGOs (International Non
-
Government Organizations)

o

Interpretability of integrated systems

o

Timeline of Strategic Plan (decision making in policy made)


Table 1 Desired State vs. Actual State in implementation of

Knowledge
Management System

Desired State

Actual State

Establishment of an effective
Network of partner institution through

6

decentralized network of partner
institutions in the regional Member
countries

each of the involved program has to be
a complex we
b of network.

Sufficient human, technical and
institutional capacity to collect,
assess, organize, and distribute
geographic information

Human resources should be allocated
through out ICIMOD and not just
MENRIS division of IKM.

Increased capacity of RMC

institutions
train staff and apply geo
-
information
for sustainable mountain development

RMC institutions include various
countries and have similar ideas of
training in GIS.

Promote in country teaching/ training
capacities on the use of geo
-
information t
echnology

Training many institutions and staff at
different levels will be a costly and
difficult task.

Integrated Data Management



Create Applications and Decision
Support Systems (DSS)

DSS has to be multi
-
disciplinary,
domain specific and able to moni
tor
selected decision for action suggested.

Develop SDSS (Spatial Decision
Support Systems) at local, national a,
and regional levels

GIS integration to the KM with different
languages and platforms at the various
regional levels

Develop SDSS for differe
nt integrated
program within ICIMOD

A support system requires expert
inputs and knowledge base from each
integrated program.





4.

Analysis with MIS Models


A.

Technology Lifecycle
(Graphics 2):


The GIS
-
KMS combination has always been used in national/ inte
rnational
development projects by many NGO/ INGOs. It has really provided IT leverage in
gathering data/ information, analyzing the information and making use of the
knowledge gained. Although, this process is not new to most of the INGOs and
some NGOs,
an integration of the systems for different purposes is an advanced
feature. The information and knowledge from all partners are now being shared
appropriately. This has made available more resources that had not been
considered valuable in the past.


B.

MI
S pyramid
(Graphics 3):

The use of IS exists at the inter
-
organizational level of the MIS pyramid. ICIMOD is
overseeing and facilitating related projects co
-
sponsored by partnered NGOs/
INGOs. They involve multiple RMCs and Allied sponsors and donor orga
nizations.

7

So, there is a network of inter
-
organizational infrastructure that ties the ICICMOD
goal. The technical and tactical levels are obviously part of this IS. The strategy is
to use KMS in applying policies to better the living Standards of Mount
ain residents.



C.

Business Model
(Graphics 4):




Concepts
-

The context that ties ICIMOD to information and knowledge
management within the HKH can be found embedded firmly in the original
concept and statutes of ICIMOD itself. Article 1 of the Statutes

states that the
center will serve as



A multidisciplinary documentation center;



A focal point for training and applied research activities; and



A consultative center in scientific and technical matters for all the countries of
the region upon their r
equest.




Value
-

ICIMOD oversees their partners and is dependant in fund sources from
contributing countries. Partners are benefiting from the big brother relationship
with ICIMOD and in provide helpful resources.



Successful Networking with partners



It has motivated local institutions to deal with mountain problems and to
incorporate the mountain perspective, which is ICIMOD's trademark.



Promote the development of an economically and environmentally sound
mountain ecosystem and to improve the living

standards of mountain
populations", especially in the HKH Region.




Capabilities
-

ICIMOD

has accumulated a wealth of experience in information
archiving and exchange. IKM in the region through the activities of its two major
IKM groups:




The Mountain En
vironment and Natural Resources Information Systems
group (MENRIS) has played an instrumental role in promoting GIS
technology and applications in the region and developing information systems
for data archiving and exchange,



The Information, Communicatio
ns, and Outreach group has processed and
distributed over 500 technical and general publications within a decade,
developed and maintained a large open access library, introduced regional
networking through the Asia Pacific Mountain Network and later world
wide
through its linkages to Mountain Forum, and introduced ICIMOD's webpage,
among diverse other IKM activities.


8


D.

Risk 3D Risk Factors /Benefit Factors
(Graphics 5):



Risk is High because of the following reasons:

b.

Degree of Structure:
Low



The project h
as multiple disciplines and has to be integrated into one
system.



Knowledge Management and implementing DSS is time consuming/ low
degree process.



Many stakeholders involved at different levels creates complexity in
networking and management



Sustainable De
velopment is already a complex problem to begin with.

c.

Relative Project Size:
High



Regional, national and international partnership involved which increases
size.



5
-
7 Nations involved in integration of systems and processes.



Project has 5 programs that need

knowledge management increasing the
scope of the project 5 fold.

d.

Experience with Technology:
Medium



MENRIS has 20 years of experience in spatial data and GIS use.



About 60 employees with expertise and help from technology provider
organization (ESRI, ITC)
.



Partnership with regional and national organizations allows dispersion of
work and expertise load.



Training is emphasized in technical and outreach of MENRIS programs



E.

Strategy Grid
(Graphics 6):


The IKM although conceptually brings strategic impact on

ICIMOD goals it really has
not had an effect on the policy making process. So, until the complete process of
decision
-
making in policy development is implemented, I would categorize the
process as moving into factory from support. The actual process fo
r ICIMODs effort
in sustainable development would result in a policy creation. Therefore, the process
still in development will be in the factory quadrant. There is really no competition
since the government has not envisioned this type of strategy for d
evelopment.
Neither has their been any other NGO or INGO to come up with a project so grand.


9


Benchmarking

Benchmarking has been done for GIS implementation (cases analysis for
multiple sites) yet; the ICIMOD goal to improve sustainable development has no
t
been seen to this extent. It will be difficult to benchmark a case with policy
making involved. First of all, the unique environment of HKH region allows for it
to be an extreme case. It makes it even more complex that the nations involved
are among t
he lower
per capita Gross Domestic Product (
GDP
)

income nations.
Therefore benchmarking is not available in such a case.




It Budget as % of total budget (Graphics 7)

In order for ICIMOD to continue to increase its effectiveness as a mountain knowledge
a
nd training centre, it requires sound information systems in place. This has been their
most costly program for the 2003
-
2007 strategic plan. As you can see the budget
allocated for the plan to IKM program is the largest among all the programs. This mean
s
that their strategy is really dependant on their IKM feature. With a strong establishment
of their IKM program, it will uplift all other programs. The MENRIS is 54% of this IKM
budget and ICMO is 46% of it. Implementation of MENRIS is key to all of th
eir business
processes. The decisions made will come from Decision support systems (DSS). The
DSS will be created from the Spatial Data gathered by the GIS technology.



5.

Recent Activities and Recommendations on IKM


Table 2 Update and recommendations for

specific domain

Domain/ Subject

Update

Recommendations

Integrated Data
Management

There is continuing growth in
databases at MENRIS,
developed through project
activities or acquired through
different sources from
outside.


NA

Develop and
deploy the
Moun
tain GIS
Portal at national
and regional
levels

Several case studies have
been undertaken by partner
institutions in collaboration
with ICIMOD, which
demonstrate how GIS
applications can be used in
mountain
-
specific situations.

NA

Create
Applications and
Knowledge is being managed
and applications are created

ICIMOD has to incorporate the
Maintenance cost vs.

10

Decision Support
Systems (DSS)


development into their budget.
Even though, the budget gives
MENRIS the largest cut, I foresee
many maintenance ne
eds
(support, fixes, and upgrades
etc)


ICIMOD will have to include in
DSS a module for Customer
satisfaction factor in rating how
well the decisions are

Create a
knowledge base
on major issues
of concern at
local, national,
and regional
levels

NA

Evalu
ation of whether the
reinforcement of the particular
knowledge base will create a
sound assumption to begin
predicting future possibilities.

Policy
-
making

NA

Questions ICIMOD need to ask:

Will policy making be based on
information gathered solely
through
knowledge management
system?


How is the government involved
in this non
-
governmental and
international sponsored venture?


How does IKM affect the IT
supported by the government
and nation?



6.

Conclusion


As the Forrester group’s projection says that IT m
oves from reactive to proactive role, it
has become obvious that GIS and KM will leverage a national development program.
The government has to move to a proactive role in development of the country. Even
though ICIMOD is a non
-
governmental organization,

it is playing the role of the
government in this case (along with some help from the government). Most of the help
is coming from the donor countries and technical ally organizations (such as ESRI,
UNEP, ITC etc.).


In this case MENRIS has been the glue
that has hold together the efforts of all the
NGO, INGO from past and present to create sustainable development in the HKH

11

region. The continuing development and strategic actions of MENRIS will provide
ICIMOD with accomplishing its goals of sustainable d
evelopment in the nation.


The purpose of this paper has been to unravel the MENRIS implementation case while
describing their desired outcomes for the years to come. It goes through the analysis
and planning phase of ICIMOD goals and IKM future. It has

processed their strategic
plan for 2003
-
2007 and made clear the platform ICIMOD will run on. ICIMOD has been
busy creating their platform MENRIS. Once they have implemented MENRIS to
applicable standards, they will have to focus on the decision
-
making t
ools (i.e. Decision
Support Systems). They have planned for the spatial data gathering for this and will
proceed to the actual DSS. This will allow them to make decisions for policy
development. Once they have this whole process, they will face a greate
r problem,
which is making the actual policies. ICIMOD will have to come to agreements with the
government in how to handle this. The important decision
-
making handled by the
government policy makers will have to rely on ICIMOD’s PPD. Thus, the well bei
ng of
the HKH inhabitants will depend on IKM DSS and ICIMOD’s policy experts. So, PPD will
have to play their role using DSS supplied by the IKM.






REFERENCES
:


http://www.icimod.org/index.htm


Partnerships in Sustainable Mountain Development: Securing

the Future of the
Hindu Kush
-
Himalayas

(Overall Strategy 2003
-
2007)

April 2003



Medium Term Action Plan

April 2003


Consolidated Five
-
Year 2003
-
07 Integrated Programme and Action Initiative
Budget Estimate



http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/DAS/dmsd/idrc.html



http://www.icimod
-
gis.net.np/web/menris/strategy.php



http://icimod
-
gis.net.np/ebulletin/abourmenris.htm


12

Graphics 1

ICIMOD
STRATEGIC PLAN
IKM
PPD
MENRIS
Policy-Making
NRM
ARID
WHEM
STRATEGIC PLAN
Scope
CCEG
Domain

Human Resources at different
levels

ICIMOD employed

HR in IKM

HR in HKH regions

Regional Member Countries
(RMC) Partners

Involved nations (ICIMOD
divisions)

Interpretability of integrated
systems

Timeline of Strategic Plan
(decision making)
The implementation of MENRIS needs to provide
ICIMOD strategic leverage in policy-making in order to
benefit the strategic plan of sustainable development in
HKH region.
Problem Statement:
Problem Domain and Scope of ICIMOD Strategic Plan













13


Graphics2
T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

L
i
f
e
Timeline
Technology Lifecycles
IMS Technology and KMS Technology Used by ICIMOD
IMS: Information Management System
KMS:
Information Management System
Emerging
Pacing
Keying
Baseline
Policy Making System













14


Graphics 3
MIS Pyramid: ICIMOD for use of IKM
Time
Structure
Interorganizational
Strategic
Tactical
Operational
Transactional
Integration of systems and programs to promote HKH inhabitants:

Most NGO/ INGOs have a type apprentice-like relationship with
ICIMOD, seen as depending/trusting ICIMOD guidance.

HKH region involves other countries who are also part of ICIMOD
in other divisions

Donor Nations contributing resources to this cause
IKM will support and enhance all the other programs:

IKM is cross-cutting

It is embedded within ICIMOD busiess model

Each process in all programs will be realted to IKM
















15


Graphic 4

ICIMOD has set themselves to three main objectives:

A multidisciplinary documentation center;

A focal point for training and applied research activities;
and

A consultative center in scientific and technical matters for
all the countries of the region upon their request.
Components Of ICIMOD Business Model (in relation to IKM)
Concepts: ICIMOD/IKM Opportunities and Strategies
Values: ICIMOD Stakeholders
Capabilities: Execution Of Strategies
ICIMOD has accumulated a wealth of experience in information
archiving and exchange. IKM in the region through the
activities of its two major IKM groups:

MENRIS has played an key role in promoting GIS technology
and applications, and in developing IS for data archiving and
exchange,

The IMCO has processed and distributed over 500 technical
and general publications within a decade, developed and
maintained a large open access library, introduced regional
networking through the Asia Pacific Mountain Network and
later worldwide through its linkages to Mountain Forum, and
introduced ICIMOD's webpage, among diverse other IKM
activities.
ICIMOD oversees their partners and is dependant in fund sources
from contributing countries. Partners are benefiting from the big
brother relationship with ICIMOD and in provide helpful resources.

Networking with partners is key to ICIMOD prospect.

ICIMOD's trademark is to strengthen local institutions to deal
with mountain problems and to incorporate the mountain
perspective

Promote the development of an economically and
environmentally sound mountain ecosystem and inhabitants.
Capabilities
Values
Concepts










16



Graphics 5

X-Axis
Z
-
A
x
i
s
Y
-
A
x
i
s
Low
Low
High
Small
Large
Risk Taken by Cisco while implementing ERP Solution
Degree Of Structure
Experience with Technology
Relative Project Size
Risk 3D Grid -D. Bouchard, Ph. D.
Risk Increases as we move away from the origin
High
Small

MENRIS has 20 years of experience in spatial data and GIS
use.

About 60 employees with expertise and help from technology
provider organization (ESRI, ITC).

Partnership with regional and national organizations allows
dispersion of work and expertise load.

Training is emphasized in technical and outreach of MENRIS
programs

The project has multiple disciplines
and has to be integrated into one
system.

Knowledge Management and
implementing DSS is time consuming/
low degree process.

Many stakeholders involved at
different levels creates complexity in
networking and management

Sustainable Development is already a
complex problem to begin with.

Regional, national and
international partnership
involved which increases size.

5-7 Nations involved in
integration of systems and
processes.

Project has 5 programs that
need knowledge management
increasing the scope of the
project 5 fold.











17



Graphics 6

The Impact of IKM on ICIMOD Strategy and Operations
in terms of sustainable development
I
T

I
m
p
a
c
t

o
n

C
o
r
e

O
p
e
r
a
t
i
o
n
S
t
r
a
t
e
g
i
c

i
m
p
a
c
t

o
f

e
x
i
s
t
i
n
g

S
y
s
t
e
m
s
IT Impact on Core Strategy
Strategic impact of Development Portfolio
Low
High
Low
High
Factory
Strategic
Support
Turnarou
nd
Competitors
Firm
Market






18


Graphics 7

2
9
%
1
7
%
1
2
%
1
7
%
4
%
2
1
%
46%
53%
IKM Budget as % of total budget
IKM
PPD
MENRIS
IMCO
CCEG
NRM
ARID
WHEM