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    DevForum E-Discussions and Communities

     
    DevForum focus story image May 2006

    Tapping into the creative potential of the DevForum tool: A story from the LAC GDLN group
    The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region GDLN team is leading the way in tapping the potential of the DevForum tool in very creative ways. “Two examples of current activities that I have initiated on DevForum include a brainstorming and consensus-building exercise among a small virtual group of GDLN managers where the outcome would be a concrete proposal for a GDLN LAC Strategic Business Plan,” says Daniel de la Morena, consultant to the LAC’s Knowledge Management department. “And I am also assisting in the set-up of a community of practice for people involved in e-business in LAC. This community will be similar to the European e-Business Support Network (eBSN): www.e-bsn.org”, he said.  With his extensive experience in setting up and managing DevForum discussion projects, Daniel finds that one of the keys to success is to “focus on customizing the use of this tool for different audience needs and objectives.” The strategy you would use to reach out to a group of researchers to debate and consult on a draft report would be very different from bringing together a virtual group of project team members who need to produce a concrete output, said de la Morena. Additionally, de la Morena says he has used DevForum to get feedback from participants not only after an event but before the event is launched. “It was interesting how participants guided the agenda in a different direction when we sought their feedback prior to an event,” he notes, “thereby enhancing the impact of our offerings.”

    “I am using DevForum a lot with operations as a part of knowledge sharing strategies for projects and studies,” says Bari L. Rabin, also with the Knowledge Management team. Citing her experience with the LCR Avian Flu team, she says that the LCSES task force has found this tool very useful “as we began gathering data, articles, maps, emails, studies, on a daily basis… [We] not only needed one place to keep it all, but the team also needed one space to direct people to when they wanted more information on the topic.” She is also currently promoting the use of this tool to support an existing community of practice called the Amazon Initiative, says Rabin. “It will be used in conjunction with GDLN for dialogue and learning, as a glue for a group which is a network of organizations over a large area.”

     

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