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Technical Proposal to Conduct an Investigative Research Study: The Improved

management of Knowledge and Information in the Borena Lowlands

Submitted by: MAE consulting PLC jointly with-------------------------------------

Submitted to: CARE Ethiopia

March 2019

Addis Ababa
Knowledge is an asset and therefore deserves appropriate management. Knowledge management
programmes should have both a “collecting” and a “connecting” dimension. The collecting
dimension involves linking people and institutions with information. It relates to the capturing and
disseminating of explicit knowledge. The connecting dimension involves linking people with
people - specifically people who need to know with those who do know, and so enhancing tacit
knowledge flow through better human interaction and communication processes, so that
knowledge is widely disseminated and not just held in the heads of a few.

Therefore, knowledge management spans from its development\acquisition, capture, storage,

sharing\dissemination and use. Conventionally, there are different knowledge capabilities like
expertise, data, policies and procedures, lessons learned, and knowledge documents.
The knowledge documents represent project reports, technical reports, research reports and
publications. Alternatively, it can be in unstructured forms, which can include: pictures, drawings,
diagrams, presentations, audio and video clips, on-line manuals, tutorials, etc. The strategy for
knowledge documents is to achieve easy identification of relevant sources of knowledge that
enhance learning.
The codifications strategy ensures the creation of ‘‘knowledge objects’’ that allows the reuse of
codified knowledge without the need to contact the individual who originally developed the
objects. Thus, the processes for using Knowledge Documents include cataloging, storage and
retrieval methods. These processes must be designed to access both structured and unstructured
knowledge in its many diverse forms.
Problem Statement [from the terms of reference]
CARE-Ethiopia justified in the terms of reference that the Borena lowlands has been extensively
researched by multiple actors over the last 40 years period. There is the duplication of efforts of
different organizations repeating the same studies over and over again is a significant waste of
resources. The failure to learn from both development successes and mistakes constrains
progressive development pathways and opportunities, leading to organizations repeatedly
reinventing the wheel. This caused results in low impact development outcomes and ineffective
development processes. There is limitation of knowledge management being identified as missed
Research Objectives
The objectives of the knowledge management research are the following:
 Investigate and review research and data sources from government, non-government and
academic organizations concerning research that has been carried out in the Borena.
 Catalogue all research objectives and data available in to a bibliography
 Organize the available data and research under appropriate themes such as animal
production/natural resource management/water resources/customary institutions and social
systems/gender/livelihoods/migration and transition/health and nutrition/population, SRH
and family planning/settlement/crop production/another/…….
 Develop an MIS digital database of key research studies and information resources
 Clearly identifying any research gaps and follow-up actions-linking with appropriate
academic institutions
 Investigated improved KM systems for government, non-government and academic actors,
in particular identifying who will receive and manage the Borena database going forward
(sustaining the research results).
Understanding the Terms of Reference
This proposal is to undertake investigative research on improved management of knowledge and
information in the Borena lowlands. Partly, being as a research of research [review of former
researches], it is a comprehensive conception summarizing and synthesizing accumulated
knowledge for interrelating results from previous studies in a critical manner to produce new,
integrated knowledge. The results produced by this study comprise a broad range of products
that includes: production of new knowledge from the synthesis of the studies selected, including
both empirical findings as well as conceptual and theoretical developments; identification of
connections between different fields of knowledge and central themes of a specific field;
identification of theoretical and methodological approaches with greater explanatory and
comprehensive potential; and gaps in the studies, and the need for future research.
Study Methods and approaches
The investigative research involves review of knowledge documents and primary information.
Review of knowledge documents
Using report review oriented approach the consultant will conduct deep investigation of
knowledge documents from researches, regular reports, monitoring and evaluation documents like
impact logs, outcome and output logs, policy and strategy documents, thematic national and
regional data dashboard, and so forth. To this end, the consultant will make scoping by delineation
of thematic competency [thematic competency], specifying time within which the studies should
cover [temporal delineation], geographical locations districts in which the studies will be legible
for inclusion, scoping of researching organizations since there are organizations which conduct
researches on Borena lowlands in conjunction with other areas even outside of Ethiopia like the
IGAD based programs consider it as the Karamoja cluster, and others like the CGIAR-consortium
groups [ILRI, ICARDA, ICRAF, etc.]
 Set\devise the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the studies for instance Whether to include
studies published in non-English language journals, grey literature, unpublished material,
contact the authors of primary studies for missing data
 Determine how many studies to deal-with, what their results are, and how best to describe the
 Conduct search of on-line resources, manuscripts, print sources, ancestral searches, and
networking of searching, collection, scanning, organizing and collation of hard copy
 Group the studies: for example, by intervention (e.g. by comparisons made, complexity,
delivery); population groups (women, youth, institutions, at-risk community groups like
migrants and displaced); study design; setting; or by outcomes
Primary data
The consultant will gather primary data that helps to complement, convergence, corroboration, and
or cross-validation of the results from the review. Thus, the following outlined tools will be
Key Informant Interview: The consultant makes key-informant interviews with leaders and
experts at zone and district levels in Health Office, Pastoral development Office, Drought risk
Management Office, Women Affairs, Water, Mineral and Energy Office, and Planning and
Economic Development Office. This will be done by preparing a semi-structured key informant
protocol. The consultant will make the most probing them to recall the interventions or research
arena.the consultant also conducts the key informant interviews with the RESET II technical
group\implementing organizations like OSHO and AAH, and the lead implementer, CARE.
Similar key informant interviews will be undertaken with non-governmental development actors
with long development intervention tenure in Borena lowlands like save the children.
In-depth Interview: The consultant will undertake in-depth interviews with literate and long
experienced traditional leaders like Aba Gadas, women group leaders, community
leaders\religious leader, PSNP committee member, or elderly who are assumed to recall events
[to be recommended through snowballing] on thematic issues like water, health, gender, PSNP,
etc. The consultant probes them for recall by asking the most significant changes, or enquiry of
the most appreciated changes that they could not forget.
Delphi Survey: The consultant will develop subject\thematic matter semi-structured
questionnaires and distributes to relevant non-governmental, governmental and academic
institutions who commissioned the research topic sometime in the past 40 years. These
questionnaires will be also sent to selected renowned researchers and content professionals deemed
to have immense knowledge on the thematic area. These organizations will be given three to five
days to write detailed responses and submit the filled questionnaires. For region based
organizations like ILRI, ICARDA, and others, the consultant accomplishes through e-mail and
telephone communications.
Study Analysis
The consultant will adopt both quantitative and qualitative analysis using NVIVO software to
better manage through codification, ordering, chronicling, categorization, pattern structures, and
synchronization. Using the NVIVO, the data analysis consultant will make:

 Text transcription, and handling of rich\thick notes, literature chunks, audio, video
 Thematic analysis for pattern recognition within the data through re-reading and review of
the data, coding and category construction, and identification of prominent or
recurrent\emerging themes in the included studies, and summarizing the findings of different
studies under thematic headings. This involves coding of text line-by-line, the development
of descriptive themes, and the generation of analytical themes.
 Content analysis to organize information into categories related to the central questions of
the research and convert qualitative data into quantitative form for categorizing data and
determining the frequencies of these categories
 Framework synthesis which involves indexing using numerical codes, and rearranging large
amounts of textual data in the form of transcripts, and observational field notes. Into charts
 Cross-case techniques by using meta-matrices for partitioning and clustering data in
summary tables based on both case-ordered displays and time-ordered displays.
 The application has features for data extraction, data reduction, data comparison and data
displays through which we explore the relationships both within and between included
studies through visualization tools like graphs, forest plots, summary tables
 Meta-Analysis of quantitative studies and assess results across correlations, and effect-size
among study features and outcomes
 Refutational synthesis exploring the contradictions between individual studies
 Reciprocal translation analysis in which translation of concepts and constructs of one
individual study is compared to the other
 Using its node features, we can conduct subgroup analysis to address, such as ‘What works?
For whom, In what setting, With whom does the intervention work better or best?
 Developing conceptual models like ideas webbing, concept mapping and conceptual
 NVIVO has also a high capability to analyze quantitative data obtained from primary or
secondary sources or can import from SPSS\STATA, and has a unique feature to analyze
and compare results from quantitative and qualitative data which facilitates a comprehensive
 It has also a bespoke feature for integration with any database package for handling
knowledge management information system.
Research Quality control
The consultant will ensure the research quality management by setting data extraction pro-forma
that identifies characteristics of research participants, methods of data collection, methods of data
analysis and major findings of each study which involves extracting the titles of the categories and
The consultant also makes cross-validation within methods as well as data sources.
Furthermore, we set criteria for ensuring methodology appraisal\evaluation, robustness and
research rigor.
The consultant also regularly discusses and shares the progress of the study with CARE-Ethiopia,
and follow-up the field survey team through telephones, e-mails.
Format of the study report.
It is expected that generic research report contents like introduction, executive summary,
methodology, presentation and interpretation, conclusion and recommendations, limitations and
implications for knowledge management are to be part of this document. However, there are also
sections to address study selection, inclusion and exclusion criteria, methodology
appraisal\evaluation, and research rigor, and publication standards of the knowledge product.
Hence, the final content structure will be resolved in consultation with CARE-Ethiopia during the
inception\planning phase.
Expected Deliverables
It is expected that the consultant will provide the following as deliverable output.
Inception report with detailed action plan
Mid-term\restitution workshop
Validation\end-term workshop
Knowledge product
Enhanced knowledge management database in Oracle\SQL\MS-ACCESS.

Work plan Schedules and Milestones

The consultant has proposed the following tentative work plan with associate milestones to
accomplish in six months period.

S\N Activity Items Month Month Month Month Month Month milestone
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Signing agreement with the Finalized
client\CARE-Ethiopia binding
2 Inception report and detailed Final inception
study action plan report
3 Commenting and refining of
the inception report
4 Organize and orient Ready-made
consultant team including survey team and
orientation of tools, study logistics
objectives and expectations
5 Equipping the research
consultants with the required
tablets\laptops, logistical
issues and make everything
ready including
communicating and
appointing study participants
6 Field work\study survey Deployed team
7 Mid-point workshop with Restitution
CARE as a restitution for meeting report
preliminary report
8 End-point workshop with Study Validation
Borena development actors report
as a validation of the study
9 Knowledge document Knowledge
production management
classified in to
Curating\enhancement of Oracle\SQL\MS-
knowledge management ACCES
database enhanced
10 Knowledge dissemination Shared
workshop knowledge