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Knowledge Products and Services: Building a Stronger Knowledge Institution

Knowledge Products and Services: Building a Stronger Knowledge Institution

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This study identifies lessons to help ADB become a stronger knowledge institution. It looks back to assess past accomplishments against expectations, as well as looking forward to determine what features are essential to make ADB more effective as a knowledge institution and how these features can be adapted to the changing context of the Asia and Pacific region. The study seeks to provide timely feedback and help guide the evolution of knowledge management and knowledge products and services within ADB.
This study identifies lessons to help ADB become a stronger knowledge institution. It looks back to assess past accomplishments against expectations, as well as looking forward to determine what features are essential to make ADB more effective as a knowledge institution and how these features can be adapted to the changing context of the Asia and Pacific region. The study seeks to provide timely feedback and help guide the evolution of knowledge management and knowledge products and services within ADB.

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04/14/2014

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18.

To ensure development effectiveness, ADB’s institutional structures should
facilitate quick identification of knowledge needs in the region so as to provide timely,
high-quality KPS to DMC clients. Under the oversight of the newly established
Knowledge Forum,12

the management of KM initiatives, policies, business processes,
and business systems falls under the VPKM. Execution of these and planning and

8

ADB. 2004. Knowledge Management at ADB. Manila.

9

ADB. 2001. Long-Term Strategic Framework (2001–2015). Manila.

10

ADB. 2008. Strategy 2020: The Long-Term Strategic Framework of the Asian Development Bank 2008–
2020. Manila.

11

ADB memo dated 3 April 2012: Planning Directions: Work Program and Budget Framework 2013–2015.

12

The Knowledge Forum was established in April 2012, replacing the earlier TA Strategic Forum, to improve
high-level oversight of the KM agenda. The Knowledge Forum is chaired by the President with the heads of
ADBI, Economics and Research Department (ERD), IED, Department of External Relations (DER), RSDD and
Strategy and Policy Department (SPD) as members. The knowledge departments were brought under the
oversight of VPKM in November 2011.

Following the
approval of
Strategy 2020, a
KM Action Plan
covering the
period 2009–
2011 was
adopted to
ensure
alignment with
the overall
strategic
objectives

ADB’s Knowledge Management Agenda

7

monitoring are vested in the Regional and Sustainable Development Department
(RSDD) and its newly established (2012) Knowledge Sharing and Services Center
(KSSC).13

Importantly, the KSSC would report on progress and issues annually through
the Director General (DG), RSDD and VPKM to ADB’s Senior Management Team to
facilitate necessary adjustments to future budgets and work plans. Figure 2 provides an
illustration of the knowledge-enabling structure at both the departmental and CoP
levels.

Figure 2: Vertical and Horizontal Knowledge Enabling Structure

BPMSD = Budget, Personnel, and Management Systems Department; CoP = community of practice;
CWRD = Central and West Asia Department; DER = Department of External Relations; EARD = East Asia
Department; IED = Independent Evaluation Department; OAS = Office of Administrative Services; OIST
= Office of Information Systems and Technology; OREI = Office of Regional Economic Integration; PARD
= Pacific Department; RSDD = Regional and Sustainable Development Department; SARD = South Asia
Department; SERD = Southeast Asia Department; SPD = Strategy and Policy Department.
Source: Independent Evaluation Department.

19.

Together with RSDD, the Economics and Research Department (ERD); the Office
of Regional Economic Integration (OREI); and the Independent Evaluation Department
form the group of knowledge departments, i.e., the primary departments that produce
the bulk of ADB’s formal KPS. The first three of these are under the VPKM. Closely
associated with the work and function of these knowledge departments is ADBI located
in Tokyo. While not designated a knowledge department, the Department of External
Relations (DER) plays an important role in the preparation, packaging, and
dissemination of KPS, including through ensuring consistency of style and exercising
quality control over some publications such as flagship reports. It also generates KPS
based on inputs from operations departments, such as the thematic Development Asia
series and Impact Stories. Likewise, the regional departments and the Private Sector
Operations Department (PSOD), including their KM coordinators and resident missions
(Box 10), play a critical role in knowledge demand identification through their hands-on
knowledge about clients through direct engagement and dialogue with DMC
stakeholders. Regional departments also play a central role in front-line knowledge
sharing through lending and nonlending operations and related processes. To bring
together people with expertise in various sectors and themes, ADB has institutionalized
a knowledge-enabling matrix function across the operations departments and created
15 internal CoPs. The CoPs’ main role is to support and enhance learning and
knowledge sharing across departments and with external partners. Appendix 4
presents further details of the KM institutional structures in ADB, including a simplified
organization chart of the key units and departments that form the core of the internal

KM Complex.

13

Until April 2012, these functions were shared between a KM Center and a Knowledge Sharing team. The
establishment of the KSSC and its strengthening by transfer of staff from BPMSD intends to provide a
more coherent linkage between training programs to develop ADB staff’s skills and knowledge solutions
being developed by RSDD and the CoPs.

Knowledge
Departments
(ERD, IED, RSDD,
OREI)

Regional
Departments
(CWRD, EARD,
PARD, SARD,
SERD)

Asian Development

Bank Institute

Other
Departments
(BPMSD, DER,
OAS, OIST,
SPD)

15 Internal CoPs

ADB has
institutionalized
a knowledge-
enabling matrix
function across
the operations
departments
and created 15
internal CoPs

8 Knowledge Products and Services: Building a Stronger Knowledge Institution

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