During the Knowledge for Development Partnership Conference, held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on 12 September 2018, the KM Awards 2018 were presented to outstanding pioneers in the field of knowledge management and knowledge-based development. The organizational award was presented to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The award was presented to IFAD in recognition of:
- Consistent strategic orientation in KM aligned with the mandate and objectives of IFAD, as well as with the SDGs;
- Competent and comprehensive implementation, anchoring KM in the operational processes;
- Strong leadership, commitment and support by the management;
- Continuous improvement efforts and learning from experience, including the current strategy review
- Active contributions to the global Knowledge for Development Partnership and other thematic communities.
The leading role of IFAD in promoting the Agenda Knowledge for Development and national knowledge strategies at the High-level Political Forum for the SDGs at the UN in New York in July 2018 was also recognized and appreciated.
IFAD’s approach has also been commended by the 2016 UN Inspection report on KM in the UN:
In 2007, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) adopted one of the most comprehensive and sustainable approaches to knowledge management in its knowledge management strategy. In the Inspector’s view, the strategy contains all the theoretical and operational elements necessary for knowledge management in an intergovernmental organization. It defines basic concepts and clarifies terminology, based on a needs assessment and an inventory of knowledge assets.
IFAD was also praised for being a champion for local and indigenous knowledge, illustrated by this quote from Gilbert F. Houngbo President of IFAD:
Knowledge is an asset. Many of the smallholder farmers we work with have intimate knowledge of ways to enhance their own productivity. When we combine their expertise with improved access to technology, markets, or other resources, they become wellsprings of creativity, rapidly inventing new techniques to increase their revenues, mitigate the effects of climate change, and so on.
The award was accepted on behalf of IFAD by Dr Sara Savastano, the new Director of Research and Impact Assessment at IFAD. It recognizes that the success of IFAD’s KM is due to the combined commitment and hard work of many staff over the decades to develop KM strategies at a local and global level. However, the award makes particular reference to the important role played by Helen Gillman, Senior Knowledge Management Specialist, who has worked tirelessly with many other colleagues to develop IFAD’s KM strategy and approach while also being a recognized leader in the fields of knowledge management and knowledge management for development.
The individual award was presented to the CEO of the Iranian company MIDHCO, Dr. Ali Asghar Pourmand. Having achieved an outstanding business success in the Iranian Mining Industry as a fully private company. Dr Pourmand has put knowledge at the heart of MIDHCO´s strategy from the very beginning of its foundation in 2007. After only 10 years, MIDHCO has reached a market capitalization of more than 7 billion USD. Knowledge Management is taking place throughout the company, including technological innovation and learning strategies in a less developed region in Iran, where educational and professional opportunities are rare.
Located in the desert of Iran, MIDHCO´s projects and companies create jobs for about 15,000 people directly and 300,000 indirectly, contributing significantly to the sustainable development of this region. With this KM Award 2018 Knowledge Management Austria highlights the achievements of a private sector company taking responsibility in the economic, social and sustainable development of the region and country based on knowledge, values and leadership – specifically of its CEO Pourmand and his management Team. The award for Dr Pourmand was received on his behalf by Dr. Bahram Jelodari).
About the award
The KM Award is a master work of the Austrian artist Helmut Margreiter called the “Column of Knowledge”. It is presented annually by Knowledge Management Austria (KM-A) to a leading organization and a leading individual in the field of knowledge management. Previous winners of the organizational award include:
- UN Joint Inspection Unit
- KM4Dev community
On the featured photograph (l-r)
Alexandra Samoulada, UN Joint Inspection Unit – KM Award 2017,
Dr. Sarah Cummings, Managing Director, Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP) and Research Associate, VU University Amsterdam
Dr. Sara Savastano, IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development KM – KM Award 2018
Dr. Andreas Brandner, Managing Director, Knowledge Management Austria and K4DP
Dr. Bahram Jelodari PhD, MIDHCO – KM Award 2018