Flyer on K* 2012 : Spanning the Spectrum of Knowledge Management, Brokering, and Mobilization Activities.
- 2010 Special Workshop on Knowledge Translation and Brokering - A workshop on Improving the impact of development research through better research communications and uptake took place in London later in 2010. Facilitated by Louise Shaxson, one of the key partners in the K* initiative, it built on some of the approaches developed in the Montreal workshop
Knowledge Management and Mobilization
The K* (KStar) Initiative
Within the worlds of research and policy there is growing awareness of, and commitment to, the role of intermediaries and intermediary organizations. They are increasingly seen – by various parties including research providers, users and funders - as important in ensuring that:
There is a wide variety of terms used to depict and describe knowledge sharing activities. Terms such as knowledge brokering, knowledge translation, knowledge exchange and knowledge mobilization are all used extensively, but the different terminology has hidden the fact that the actual functions they describe are all systemically related to each other.
K* was coined as an overarching concept and as a useful shorthand to describe the various aforementioned terms along with others used within and amongst the knowledge-focused community.
Knowledge Intermediaries are playing key roles in considering how relationships between policy and practice, research and other types of knowledge can be made to function better. They are practicing Knowledge Management (KM), Knowledge Mobilization (KMb), Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT), Knowledge Brokering (KB), Knowledge Adoption (KA) and a number of other activities under the K* umbrella.
At the same time, however, there is a general recognition of a need for a broader concept that includes all the knowledge-related functions but recognises their differences. In April 2012, a conference hosted by the United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) in Hamilton, Canada, brought together people from different geographies and different sectors who represented these different functions. The aim of the conference was to discuss their similarities and differences in the context of improving knowledge use in policy, industry and practice. K* was coined as the overarching concept, and as a useful shorthand.
There were three outputs from the conference. The K* concept paper sets out the core concept of K* and the principles shared by all its component functions and processes. It also describes a framework for thinking about K*, which will make sharing approaches and lessons learned easier. This concept paper complements the Green Paper that begins to establish our baseline understanding of the global community of K* practitioners, and lists the extensive number of K*-related toolkits that are in use around the world. Finally, the conference participants form the kernel of a global network of K* practitioners who will continue to share experience and learn from each other.