Towards a Best Practices Knowledge Management System Presentation by


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Towards a Best Practices Knowledge Management System

  • Presentation by

  • Vincent Kitio

  • www.bestpractices.org


Best Practices’ Concept

  • Have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people’s quality of life;

  • Result from effective partnerships between public, private and civic sectors of society;

  • Are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable.



Genesis of Best Practices

  • The original call for Best Practices was launched in 1996 during Habitat II conference in Istanbul

  • The international community defined what constitutes a best practice and adopted guidelines for their documentation and dissemination.

  • The Habitat Agenda mandates that best practices be used to monitor and assess progress in achieving sustainable urbanization.

  • The Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (BLP) was established as a global network of public, private and civil society organizations



Policy Relevance

  • Best Practices are promoted by UN-HABITAT as a means of:

  • Improving public policy based on what works;

  • Raising awareness of decision-makers at all levels & of the general public of potential solutions to social, economic and environmental problems;

  • Assessing emerging issues, trends and policy responses;

  • Sharing & transferring expertise & experience through networking & peer-to-peer learning city to city collaboration.



Identification of Best Practices

  • Identification is achieved through three principle means:

  • Targeted search by a global network of institutions;

  • Calls for best practices using the incentive of the biennial Dubai Award for Best Practices & collaboration with other award and recognition systems;

  • Ongoing research, operational activities and development project & program.



Documentation of Best Practices

  • Best Practices are documented by people, communities & organizations who are directly involved in their implementation.

  • Documentation process is intended as a capacity building exercise as well as an exercise in self-appraisal.

  • Standardized reporting format for the documentation process has evolved over time due to lessons learned & in response to emerging issues and trends.



Documentation of Best Practices

  • The use of a common set of criteria and a standardized reporting format is useful in identifying and analyzing lessons learned on:

  • How people & communities perceive their problems & what empowers them to undertake or initiate change;

  • What obstacles people & their communities face & approaches effective in overcoming them;

  • What are the: roles, responsibilities & contributions of different social actors & partners;

  • Contributing factors in sustaining an initiative;

  • Promising policy options, effective institutional frameworks & governance systems.



Assessment of Best Practices

  • The evaluation of BP involves a three-step process:

  • validation; technical assessment; and normative assessment.

  • Validation

  • Involves the global network of partners, ad hoc organizations, & individuals representing relevant geographic and/or thematic expertise and experience.

  • The aim is to verify that information submitted is an accurate reflection of reality.

  • The process is carried out through e-mail.



Assessment of Best Practices

  • Technical appraisal:

  • Undertaken by independent technical advisory committee consisting of 15 experts with equal geographical distribution and gender balance.

  • The committee meets physically & its mandate is to differentiate between “best”, “good”, “promising” and “not qualifier”.

  • For each practice the following perspectives are considered:

    • three basic criteria: impact; partnerships and sustainability
    • additional criteria: leadership & community empowerment; innovation within the local context; gender equality and social inclusion; and transferability;
    • Absolute merit within a national and/or local context;
    • Relative merit in comparison to other practices from same region or in same thematic area.


Assessment of Best Practices

  • Best Practices Jury

  • Short-listed practices are forwarded to an Independent Jury made of seniors professional and formal ministers, policy makers, etc.

  • The Jury uses similar approach in deciding on award-winning practices.

  • An international press-conference is organized to announce the award-winners.

  • The short-listed practices are used extensively for research and analysis.



Knowledge Management Framework







Environmental Sustainability

  • Fossato di Vico, Umbria, Italy

  • Context:

  • Population of 2500 people situated in the region of the Umbria, Italy;

  • High level of migration in the 1950s and '60s to USA;

  • Underdeveloped town with poor economic and social state development;

  • Progressive ageing of the population;

  • High unemployment (prevalently female) and lack of opportunities for youth;

  • Violent earthquake in 1997 and the town suffered damages to building and property; 60% in total, of which 12% were totally unusable.



Environmental Sustainability

  • Fossato di Vico, Italy



Environmental Sustainability

  • Fossato di Vico, Italy



Political Sustainability

  • Porto Alegre, Brazil

  • Context:

  • Pervasive slums and social exclusion

  • High levels of urban poverty and unemployment

  • Corrupt and unresponsive local government



Political Sustainability

  • Porto Alegre, Brazil



Political Sustainability

  • Porto Alegre, Brazil



Lessons Learned

  • Process:

  • Process as important as outcome;

  • Process is transferable, not the solution;

  • Matching supply with demand for knowledge, expertise and experience



Lessons Learned

  • Need to combine:

  • Physical improvements and tangible economic benefits;

  • Awareness building and effective mechanisms for participation;

  • Partnerships and improved governance;

  • Decentralisation and capacity-building.



Lessons Learned

  • Need to focus more on up-scaling and transfer of BPs

  • Need to combine BPs with good policies & legislation

  • Need to promote the creation of national/regional best practices knowledge management system;

  • Need to strengthen and mainstream national/regional BPKM systems as a policy tool.



Pointers for the future




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