Knowledge Management

Why we learned to hate small groups (and what to do about it)

Kate Fatta

Improvement Advisor for Knowledge Management, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

A few months ago, I was visiting my dad, and he, like any parent, asked how work was going. “Now, what are you doing again?” he asked. “I work in knowledge management,” I said and waited for the inevitable “what’s that?” I explained to him how we try to learn from what we are doing and use a variety of conversational, small group techniques to do so. “Ugh, I hate small group work,” he replied, and that was that. I realized that what he said rang true for me, too.

Understanding how improvement knowledge should be shared and used

Sidhartha Deka

Program Officer II, USAID ASSIST Project/CCP

A culture of knowledge sharing and exchange is fundamental toward institutional success and this is no different when you are trying to improve healthcare.  Through using effective knowledge management (KM) mechanisms, improvement teams and those who support them should be able to articulate the output from changes that they tested.  Did tested changes yield improvement at a site? What changes did not yield improvement? What evidence supports the success of the improvement? And finally, what kind of “how-to” knowledge should be passed onto other sites to aide their improvement efforts?

Gender knowledge cafes: A technique to improve gender integration practices

Elizabeth Romanoff Silva

Gender knowledge cafe hosted at Creative Associates on November 6, 2014

Through the USAID ASSIST Project, we utilize knowledge cafes as a technique for stimulating the synthesis of knowledge among our improvement teams. I recently had the pleasure of applying the knowledge café model we use through the USAID ASSIST Project to gender integration by facilitating a Gender Knowledge Café at an event hosted by Creative Associates in collaboration with the Washington DC Gender and Development Networking Group. The event brought together DC's most experienced gender and development professionals, together with those just entering a career in gender, to discuss their career paths and exciting developments in the field.

Market Research Needs Assessment: Understanding Health Care Improvement Information Needs of Key Stakeholders in the Uganda Health System

In an effort to support country-wide learning in improvement initiatives, the USAID ASSIST Project conducted an information needs assessment with government and non-governmental organization (NGO) staff working at the national and district...

Why is knowledge sharing now a mainstay of improvement?

M. Rashad Massoud

Director, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Sharing knowledge and exchanging information is critical to improving health care more so now than ever before. Knowledge management (KM) is a key strategy for fostering “evidence-based quality improvement” in the USAID ASSIST Project.  When working deliberately to improve health care, health care professionals gain insights worth sharing with others and can benefit from the insight of others. Scaling up improvement efforts across large portions of a country’s health system – ASSIST’s mandate – requires that we have systems for capturing learning and transferring that learning across multiple sites and improvement teams.  

Storytelling: The most basic form of knowledge management

Sidhartha Deka

Program Officer II, USAID ASSIST Project/CCP

This post by Rebecca Shore originally appeared on the K4Health Project website. Shore writes about the power of storytelling and how it resonates with the receiver of knowledge. Storytelling is especially salient for KM approaches in the ASSIST Project as facility-level teams aim to learn from each others' successes in the implementation of an improvement activity.   

Knowledge management (KM) is something that helps all of us do our jobs. Whether we identify it as KM, the processes by which we organize, disseminate, package, and share information is KM. As a public health professional, before I worked for the K4Health project, I had never considered KM or really knew what it meant. Storytelling always appealed to me as a communicator, but I never considered it as a KM method.

Knowledge Café

A Knowledge Café is a conversational process that is sometimes called World Café . It is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people...


1-2-4-All is a group process from the Engaging Everyone with Liberating Structures guide that facilitates rich conversation in small groups and then brings the small groups together to integrate their ideas around an important question or...

Field Trip Around the Room

The field trip is a technique that can be used in a meeting to organize how members of the group discuss several topics and integrate their ideas for how to address them. It uses small group conversation and successive discussions of the...

After Action Review

After Action Review (AAR) is a brief meeting of team members to reflect on an event or task they have just accomplished. The purpose of the AAR is for the team to learn from its experience in order to take the lessons learned into the next...