INTERVIEW QUESTIONS - WaterWiki.net

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Interview Script and Questions to Access Tacit Knowledge from a Project Experience Base

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INTERVIEW
SCRIPT WITH KEY MESSAGES and
QUESTIONS

TO ACCESS
TACIT
KNOWLEDGE from a PROJECT EXPERIENCE BASE


Water
Governance


Background
:


The interview script and sequence of questions are part of wider efforts to establish a
methodology for accessing
and organizing practical field experience and knowledge in a
particular substantive area important to UNDP. These are included in a transfer package
for a pilot in summer 2005. The package also contains these documents which support
the use of this and
similar instruments:



interview guidelines, adapted from experience;



examples of interview records and interview reports



examples of knowledge products that draw on the resulting knowledge base



links to the output that organizes knowledge collected in the

pilot, the wiki.
1


Introduction:

(Or Opening


I called this block Opening in other feedback


opening section one part of which is an introduction.


Key message 1:

As you know this interview is a continuation of our previous
communications on the pilo
t project. We’re very happy that you are taking part in this
collaboration.

Reference for inclusion in interview guidelines as a suggested or sample
script and question set


the content in key message form of the previous
communications: a) first invita
tion to participate, b) interviewee’s response, c) second
invitation to be interviewed, d) the notes, as prepared, the main interviewee response.
See separate suggestions relating to interview report and interview guidelines for some
ideas that include th
ese interview questions as an example in one of the main sections of
the transfer package.



Key message 2:

Either:
We’re still developing the interview format as a part of the
project, so we would appreciate your feedback or suggestions so we can impro
ve the
format for future interviews.

OR We want to improve use of interviews as a knowledge
collection mechanism so we also appreciate your feedback or suggestions on how to
improve the format for future interviews.


Key message 3:

As you know,
the pilo
t project

is currently being realized in the form of
a wiki, which we call the Water Wiki, an online tool for water governance in the region.
The purpose of the Wiki is to draw

knowledge into the organization “from

the bottom
up”.

OR The results of these
interviews will be part of a wider pilot on knowledge
management which is in the form of a wiki, an online tool for (the substantive area) (in
the region).





1

For information on what a wiki is and the Water Wiki which resulted from the 2005 pilot, see (hyper
-
link
to page).



Interview Script and Questions to Access Tacit Knowledge from a Project Experience Base

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Key message 4:

The results of this interview will be written up and included in the Wiki
for you

to access, change, and add to, as you wish.


Key message 5:

in addition to contributing to the Wiki, this interview will

be profiled at
Juerg’s presentation

at the Stockholm Water Week

next week.

OR In addition to
contributing to the Wiki,
your input in

the interview will be part of … (some other
knowledge product, or use, or output, to be specifically named).



Key message 6:

We

expect the interview to take between 30

and 60

min
utes
.

Thanks
again for making yourself and the time available.



SET 1

Questions
on access to and use of information and knowledge, resources


The first set of questions relate generally to your use and access of information.

The
questions go from general to more specific.


Section A:

General information on access to and

use of information and knowledge,
resources


A1.

How do you keep yourself updated on issues related to water governance?


A2.

Either


Y
ou mentioned a, b, c online resourc
es. In addition to those,
what other


online resources do you use?

Or


Do you use

any online resources?


A3.

a) Specifically, when you were preparing for the IWRM
-
Water Efficiency
project what resources did you use?


A4.


When you couldn’t find information in those resources, where did you go to
find it?

Who would you contact
?

OR Wh
o did you contact?
In that order?

What is the role of (x) in when preparing the project?

Do you get enough information for (x) planning purposes?

Would you contact colleagues from other offices for
information on (x)?


A5.

Were the resources and inform
ation adequate in the preparation of the
project? What else might have helped you and the project?



A6.

Potentially

+
You mentioned a, b, c that x

at the BRC did; are there other ways that the BRC
c
an assist you?

+
Where do you see a role for the BRC i
n assisting you on this project or in
general?
In other words: What would you expect in terms of support from BRC?

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A7.

Are you using or accessing the BRC website? Why/why not? When /what
for?

Or

Building on other responses in earlier questions, Are y
ou using (n) website?

Which parts or functions?

(in the first interview, this question got asked and
recorded earlier on, and then it didn’t have to be asked again here … but for
codification purposes, the answer still needs to be moved here in the notes
and
interview records)


A8.

Are you using or contributing to any online workspaces, such as the UNDP
workspace for energy & environment? Why/why not? How are you using
these?


A9.

Based on the experience you are sharing with us, do you feel like online
m
eans of communicating and sharing knowledge will be a priority for you in
the future?

What is important to you about online resources you feel you
need?

If you could choose, where would you think it makes more sense to have

a
(website, workspace)? Why?



What do you think about the value of country office, sub
-
regional web
-
sites?

If Yes
:

In what specific ways do you see yourself using these?
Do you see any
limitations?


A10.

From how I (we) described the Wiki in our e
-
mail to you, can you picture
you
rself using it?

OR

Based on what you have seen of the demonstration site and the WaterWiki,
as well as our note to you about the Wiki, can you picture yourself
using

this or something like it
?


If Yes:

What specifically about the Wiki appealed to you?

How
do you see
yourself using it


for what specific purposes?

If No:

Why not?


Section B: Insights from experience


lessons learned, good practice, conclusions
and recommendations for consideration by others


Introduction to section B:


An important

part of knowledge management is collecting experience in the form of
lessons learned
and
good

practices.
The next set of questions relates to
this aspect
.
(Specifically) it relates to the (
Kazakhstan
National Integrated Water Management and
Water Efficie
ncy Plan


Project)
that you are currently managing
.

OR equivalent for a
different project and person in a different function …

Interview Script and Questions to Access Tacit Knowledge from a Project Experience Base

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B1 When you started with the IWRM Water Efficiency Project, were
lessons
learned and good practice
from similar experiences a
vailable to you?
NOTE:
If the answer is YES, use this as a cross
-
check for information given in the
first set, on resources made available and information accessed for project
purposes. Some things may be added when what is specifically asked about
is ot
hers’ experience.

If the answer is NO, ask: Would these have been
valuable to you? If answer is no,
or maybe, or ho hum I don’t know,
move
on. If answer is yes, in what form would experience and lessons or good
practice be most useful and valuable to y
ou?
(
always trying to get at use, what
people will use, would use, do use


not only what they
say
they will use …
which isn’t the same thing at all, as sociologists constantly remind us).


B1.

On the IWRM
-
Water Efficiency Project


and aiming specifica
lly at
potentially replicating this good example of a UNDP water governance
project elsewhere, what were the crucial factors that made or still make the
project successful?

ON THE BASIS OF THIS RESPONSE,

and a few later ones,
I THINK YOU MAY
WANT TO CONSI
DER DIVIDING THIS QUESTION INTO
SEVERAL PARTS
AND RESEQUENCING THEM:


B1. On the IWRM Water Efficiency Project, what were the crucial factors that
made or st
ill make the project successful, and which contribute to its sustainability?


B2. What
have bee
n
the challenges

you and the project struggled with most?

i.e.
move up what was question 3 so the sequence is more of a step by step analysis


B3.
What do you feel were some of the more successful ways that you and the
project met those challenges?


B4
.
Aiming specifically at replicating this good example of a UNDP water
governance project elsewhere,
do you have any specific recommendations?
i.e. hold
off on asking specifically about replication until the end of the sequence because
people often thin
k their experience is unique so the response of the first interviewee
to the question as structured won’t the first that starts rejecting replication right
away


ask it after the other ground has been covered.


B
5

What are the top five pieces of advice

you’d give to a colleague on a “DOs”
and “DON’Ts” list?


Do you have a
ny input on
(n)
guidelines?


Do you have any
input on tools or tool boxes, tool kit?


B6

Do you have any experience with the Regional Bureau and Bratislava Centre’s
initiatives on k
nowledge management and communities of practice? If yes, get some
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details
.
(* as the work continues, and expands in some adapted replicated form to other
subpractices and practices, the answer will more and more be “yes”. Then the
interviewers can prob
e a little, find out what the experience has been like, and in
particular, what was practically useful to people, what seemed like a waste of their time
… always looking for
value
-
added
of streamlined knowledge management, wherever it
works. This is the pa
rt of a standard interview suitable for the Centre, beyond the pilot,
that I think needs to be developed by Andrea and the Centre staff, not by the water
governance pilot.

This link or one link it helps lodge the interview questions and
methodology into t
he wider Centre strategy for knowledge management and systematic
capacity development


i.e. focusing on the
systems,

in this case. The following can be
prompts, in an interview, or checklist items in a reporting format.
)

_____ Member of network / contr
ibutor to network

_____ Action Reflection Notes

_____ How
-
to Guides

_____ Use of consolidated replies

_____ Mutual support initiative

_____ Attended community of practice meeting/s


It is a positive thing in relation to survey / questionnaire design if
this question or section
cross
-
checks the information provided from a separate starting point in the opening set


people may not free
-
associate these things specifically with knowledge management


If yes, In what ways did your involvement in these activi
ties influence your work?

Looking for the practical linkage and also convincing arguments to Res Reps for constant
advocacy that knowledge management does, can add value, influence results … need to
store up positive examples


again, this is more part o
f the wider KM agenda than the
pilot specific one. Even though for multiple reasons this wasn’t part of the first interview
or even the first round of interviews, as long as this is an evolving process, I’m flagging
that in here somewhere, as a bridge to
the next question, I think belongs something about
experience with KM at CO, regional and global levels.
Over time, the questions that
are important to the managers of this process in the organization may change. The
interview is such a flexible mechani
sm, the same basic structure and sequence can
be maintained, standards, with regular updating of the specific questions in each set,
reflecting current developments and reality.


B
7
.

At what point during this project do you think it would be most useful

to
capture lessons learned and best practices?

(Or, based on your experience,
at what points during a project do you think it is most useful to capture
lessons learned and best practices?



Who do you think would be the best person to do this?

Could it

be somebody from outside?

Do you think it would be feasible for
someone to come once a year?


What format would suit you best?

Written, online,
email?



What are the best ways for that person to do it, to make sure that good
practice is recognized and rea
l lessons are captured?

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B
8
.

Are there any other types of crucial insights or lessons you have learned so
far in this project that you would tell a colleague?

The whole project is a good experience for me. I would talk about the whole
project. I learn
ed a lot. Everything seemed so perfect at the beginning, not so now.
And we have to come up with a solution. We have good communication
relationship with the government.

This response might have triggered some additional questions from me,
specifically th
ese:

1.

“everything seemed so perfect at the beginning, not so now”.
You also
mentioned that the project was under
-
resourced, and if things were
perfect at the beginning, this wasn’t obvious. So in what ways did things
seem perfect, and specifically what ha
ppened to change it?

Are there
things that any of the partners could have done earlier in the process to
make that easier?

2.

“and we have to come up with a solution”.
When we asked you about
major challenges, you mentioned (a,b,c), including the need to

help come
up with a solution. What is the strategy or what are the steps you have in
mind to take in pursuing or developing that solution?

(NOTE; this is a
point where what the interview as a knowledge access tool can help support
and reinforce is
learn
ing through the CoP, mutual support, possible
involvement of appropriate senior people or practitioners in a problem
-
solving dialogue …
The person interviewed didn’t spontaneously mention
these things, and they’re there on the checklist or menu of options
on the
regional programme, successfully established in other regions, so this is an
opening to explore a bit more with an interviewee what kinds of knowledge
management or capacity building might make it more possible / likely for her
and the project and U
NDP to
actually come up with a solution
to the complex
challenges she’s describing in the interview. This is an opportunity to use the
interview to promote the community of practice
as part of developing that
solution. I’m suggesting u
sing the interview
to proactively pose ways in
which ICTs, the practitioner network, regionally and globally, as well as
the BRC and the practice support can
all
be useful in helping this
practitioner reach that solution.
This is what I think of as characteristic of a
livin
g, breathing, dynamic, successful KM methodology and CoP
development.

3.

“and we have good communication relationship with Government.”
Having
good communications and a good relationship with government is so crucial,
it might be worth picking up on this poi
nt and probing a little deeper for
what’s behind it, as possible transferable information within the CoP
. For
example: You have mentioned two of the critical things for successful
development partnerships


good communications, a good relationship
with Go
vernment. What do you think are the reasons for this, or the
factors influencing it?
What did you do to develop those good
relationships, and how do you maintain them?

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4.

WITH a mention of government, it’s also an appropriate place to include
at
least on
e question
about the resources use / information use / knowledge
management use and interest of
national partners, especially Government,
in light of UNDP’s expanding use of them.
Do you think Government
partners have access to the information resources a
nd knowledge base
they need, in relation to (whatever topic)? What do you think national
partners need in terms of knowledge management access or support from
UNDP?



What someone else might have done in an interview isn’t very useful, BUT I’m
mentionin
g these points because I think that without compromising the basic integrity of
the question sets you’ve developed, it’s possible to push the envelope a little, and:extend
at least one or two questions to get insights on the Government and other partners’
knowledge access, use, possibility of interest in linking with these and other KM
initiatives. I also think it’s essential to get
some institutional knowledge management
hook or link
in here, as suggested with the above. In addition, it may be useful in
the
interview guidelines or examples to show some similar examples to the above of
questions that were drawn directly from the interview,
about a specific response,

as
well as the third set of questions which permits “probing deeper” on key substantive
thi
ngs that surface.


B9. The information you are sharing with us is to be included in / (profiled in, part
of, a contribution to …) a presentation (or some other knowledge product) at (an
event with abc). Is there anything in particular you want emphasiz
ed to that
audience, in that forum?



Section C: Your wider, more general perspectives …



Introduction to
Section C:


We have asked you a lot of
specific
questions, so now we would really like you to
think very generally about Kazakhstan and its role in
terms of water governance,
as well as your own experience

working in this field.


C1.

What would you most like Kazakhstan, as well as yourself, to be recognized
for in terms of experience or successes in the area of water governance?


C2.

If you were ask
ed about UNDP Kazakhstan’s expertise in the field of Water
Governance, what points would you make?

None.

This is another place where the interviewers might have used the response as an entry
point and gone deeper, for example:



You wouldn’t make any point
s because you don’t think UNDP Kazakhstan
has expertise? (Clarify, in light of what you know about who’s there


maybe
there are no staff, so not surprising; maybe somebody is supposed to be doing
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it and isn’t; maybe this isn’t something you’d want to pro
be further on in this
interview but it could do with some expansion) Do you think the CO needs to
build expertise?


C3 If you were asked about the water governance expertise of other international
agencies working in the country, what points would you
make?


NOTE: I modeled this construction on the previous question, but it seems strange to pose
this in a hypothetical way when she
is
being asked a question about these things, so why
not just ask her the question?


C2. What are your views on the capaci
ty or expertise of UNDP CO in Kazakhstan
on water governance?


C3 What are your views on the same capacity of other international agencies
working
on this topic
in the country?


C4 What about the expertise and capacity of national partners in this regard?



C5 Given your inputs about capacity (and the emphasis on how important it is, from your
experience),
what do you think are the
most important
steps UNDP can take
regionally to strengthen capacity and development success on water governance?



Section D:

Comments and Feedback


D1.

Do you have any fin
al comments or
remarks

having gone through
th
is

interview?

Also possible: do you have any questions for us, now that you’ve
been through the
interview and heard our questions
for you?

This can sometimes yi
eld some
good interaction, good insights


asking a good question can be more provocative
than providing a good answer …


D2 For other interviews, are there any questions you think we should add, or
changes you think will improve the interview from your

end or ours?

This
brings back again that this is a pilot in which people are encouraged to contribute
thoughts on the process as well as the substance of the questions. People need to
be reminded, or they probably won’t offer these inputs, even if som
ething does
occur to them when they are asked.


Section E:
Closing


Key message 1:
You’ve been great. Thanks so much for your insights from
experience.
We
really
appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your knowledge
with us;

*(can’t be too effusi
ve in these closing parts of interviews


helps make
everyone feel good … mutual reinforcement, validation


I suggest you not wait
until the end of the closing to extend thanks, do it right away as the first part of
the closing.)

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Key message 2:
The res
ults will now be written up and
returned to you for a rapid read
to make sure there are no inaccuracies. The timeline on this is within two weeks.


Key message 3:
Then, when we’ve finalized the interview report with you, it will be
included in the W
iki.
As soon as this is done I w
ill send you an e
-
mail introducing the
Wiki and giving you guidance on how to start using it. You
will then be

free to change or
add to anything we have posted on the Kazakhstan page, or any other section of the Wiki
where you wi
sh to contribute.


Key message 4
: The results will also be a major contribution to the case study being
profiled in the knowledge product of (a presentation to the EU). (Juerg) is the lead on
this.
When the presentation is available, he’ll forward you
a copy. It will also be
posted on the Wiki and on the Water Governance web
-
site.


Key message
5
:
Please don’t

hesitate to send us additional information or remarks by e
-
mail, if anything comes to mind later on.

This pilot is part of the continuing wor
k of
building a
community of practice
for (water governance) in the region. We look forward
to your ongoing participation in that community of practice and its work on knowledge
management. Thanks again for your contribution in this interview to this pil
ot.