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Caribbean Knowledge Management Centre

Knowledge Management "Harnessing the Collective Brain"

thinking manAt the ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean, data, information and the collective knowledge gleaned from research and interaction with counterparts in the CDCC Member States and elsewhere, are the tools with which we work. Data, information and knowledge as articulated in technical reports, programmes of technical assistance, and presentations to seminars, meetings, and workshops, are the major direct products that result from what we do. The Caribbean Knowledge Management Centre is committed to compiling, analyzing, and organizing data into intelligible items of information that create knowledge in the shortest time and with optimal use of our own scarce resources. We aim to ensure that the information that is disseminated fills a real need, is easily accessible, and contributes to a fuller understanding of the development issues facing the Caribbean region.

What is Knowledge Management?

Definitions of "Knowledge" often begin by explaining what it is not. It is not "data" -facts and figures - even though data is an important source of knowledge. Nor is it "information"- defined as processed data presented in a usable form and presented within some functional context. Knowledge is information absorbed, understood and interpreted and used as a basis for action. Explicit knowledge can be documented, but there is tacit knowledge as well, which resides within the people in the organization. Knowledge management begins with an understanding of both. It involves identifying, organizing, preserving and ultimately exploiting for some beneficial purpose, the sources of knowledge in an organization.

At the ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for the Caribbean it was quickly understood that Knowledge Management was not about purchasing a computer software package and configuring it to suit pre-defined data needs. It was about first creating a human network and developing a culture of knowledge sharing and making that process an integral part of the work flow.

Guiding Principles

  • The KM strategy is owned and led at the highest level of the organization
  • The KM Centre is recognized as having the authority to introduce the necessary changes.
  • The expected results are clear and have been communicated to all staff.
  • Expected benefits have been outlined
  • Resources - human, financial, material were available to implement the changes needed.
  • The process begins with fairly simple, tangible outputs
  • Processes have been designed with a built in capacity for expansion.

Who will benefit?

Policy makers, researchers, staff of ECLAC and other users of the web-based information services of the Caribbean Knowledge Management Centre will be the primary beneficiaries. However, our services can be used by anyone interested in the development of Caribbean people.

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