2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
April 2017 - Magazine No. 211
April 2017 - Magazine No. 211
Written By Nurit Lin

The abbreviation NGO stands for Non-Governmental Organizations. These organization share a common sector, yet are composed of different types of organizations, associations, social businesses and other foundations. The NGO’s also vary as to their size, activities, distribution and budget. Thus, one can find that the term "association" refers to both a young, small organization whose activity is limited to local initiatives and a veteran, multi-branched organization with vast resources deeply embedded into government offices. Nevertheless, when referring to Knowledge Management in NGO’s, these various bodies still share a significant common denominator. It is therefore both possible and beneficial to discuss some characteristics, needs and challenges shared by all NGO’s. Hereby are some central ones:

  • Knowledge development: organizations which run social programs, provide services, or are involved in unique matters are knowledge intensive by definition, since knowledge is at the core of their activities. These organizations hold professional knowledge as their main asset and resource since it provides them with competitive edge and often justifies their existence. Therefore, many organizations might deal with the need to collect and focus the knowledge and its practical implications, developing a setup methodology and instilling practical tools for operating, activation and assessing.
  • Working with volunteers: NGO’s are typically based on volunteers in various aspects of their work. This fact as well as the mobility which characterizes these volunteers' activity (compared to paid workers) raises many challenges in terms of Knowledge Management:
  1. How can we turn the accumulated experience to an organizational asset despite the rapid overturn?
  2. How can we retain and retrieve organizational knowledge?
  3. How best can we cope with the need to provide sufficient training, professional knowledge and complex tools for volunteers manning knowledge-endowed positions?
  • Shared worlds of content: NGO’s face challenges and similar professional practices derived from their type of activity. Transverse inter-organizational Knowledge Management regarding these issues can lead to mutual enhancement and more efficient resource utilization. These worlds of content include: fundraising, working with municipal and government organizations, inter-organizational cooperation, etc.
  • Difficulties in allocating resources for Knowledge Management processes: the lack of financial security and stability may stem from solely relying on fundraising and investments may often set difficulties in long-term Knowledge Management processes or expensive KM technologies and infrastructure.


On the other hand, there are some shared elements which might actually encourage and ease Knowledge Management in NGO’s:

  • Trust: the organizations are usually characterized by a culture and ethos of trust, sense of camaraderie and identification with the shared cause. These are all vital for establishing a culture of Knowledge Management and contribute to the motivation and will to share knowledge and experience.
  • Flexibility: the manner in which these organizations are founded and evolve often leads to a flexible and dynamic organizational structure and role-definition which allow much personal/group initiatives. This tendency can enable Knowledge Management processes to be easily implemented and driven quickly and informally, free of bureaucracy and formality which characterizes the business and government organizations.
  • Innovation: The aforementioned characteristics of organizational culture and structure as well as the workers and volunteers' motivation result in these organizations being characterized by a relatively high level of innovation.


In recent years, it is apparent that part of the internal and external processes in NGO’s which lead to import of managerial practices from the world of business includes the incorporation of Knowledge Management in these organizations. The unique characteristics of this sector, its challenges, ethos and goals indicate that in terms of Knowledge Management simply implementing KM methodologies and practices as-is from the corporate world is an insufficient solution. Unique solutions and methods must be designed and formulated for this sector.


2017 is going to be a fascinating year in the field of mobile technology- quick networks, additional free data and innovative UX design. Hereby are some forecasts for 2017:

• Unlimited video streaming services: due to Trump winning the elections, we can expect to see more unlimited surfing services. The new service provided by AT&T, DirecTV Now, is only one example- video streaming to company customers in an unlimited capacity (regardless of their internet package). T-Mobile provides BingeOn, which is a different format since it also includes unlimited access to external video services such as Netflix and YouTube. Comcast is expected to launch a television streaming service next year which will be publicly available via the internet. While customers are glad to use streaming 'for free', critics warn that these activities might lead to a lack of competition (if you're content with DirecTV Now, why try another service?) which in turn might lead to higher prices for consumers for less innovative services.

• UX design in 2017: User Experience is a major driving force in the field of mobile. Nowadays, brands must focus on providing attractive visual applications. In 2017 we can expect more creative design elements such as opening screens, new graphics and designing micro-interactions. The best UX design must be merged with technology that generates a 'smooth', intuitive and enjoyable user experience. Many brands, therefore, require customized design services and consult UX experts in order to create a unique look for their applications.
• G5 networks are close, yet still not applicable: Speaking of G5, 2017 will be a year of ‘trials’ regarding this technology. AT&T and Verizon have already initiated trials for their G5 networks for 2017, and Sprint and T-Mobile are preparing for testing this technology as well. AT&T already has a client for network trials: Intel in Austin, TX. But before you get all excited, it's important to realize that AT&T and Verizon's plans are to spread the new network at first as a cordless substitute for domestic broadband before branching to mobile devices.
• Video quality control: how many of us can recognize if the video we are watching on a mobile device is of HD or DVD quality? We probably won't have to since T-Mobile and Sprint have already lowered video quality in order to retain data transfer rate and AT&T are expected to do the same next year. All formats are currently optional, yet as soon as the network neutrality threat is removed, video regulation will become the norm. The positive outcome is a more efficient use of the network that may assist consumers in receiving a better deal for a data package. Low quality video is what enables companies such as T-Mobile and Sprint to offer these unlimited data packages. For mobile clients with a limited data capacity, this can ensure enough data for binge watching an entire season of Game of Thrones.

• Data Security and privacy: many consumers have expressed their concerns for their privacy yet do not always act on these concerns. A research conducted in the US shows that at least 30% access the internet via public Wi-Fi at least once a week, though a mere 4.8% view public Wi-Fi as "very safe". This doesn't mean that Americans are careless towards their privacy on the internet: a recent McKenzie survey shows that Americans are more sensitive towards sharing data compared to Chinese or Germans. Users were willing to share personal data if deemed profitable. The main conclusion is that as long as all users are somehow granted some benefit (access to Wi-Fi, an efficient application, customized messages, etc.) they will be willing to share their personal data.

• The initial Wi-Fi network that will take the mainstream by storm: This project, similarly to Google's mobile project, can be more central in 2017 due to Comcast's initial Wi-Fi. These networks use a combination of cellular coverage for local Wi-Fi networks in order to provide cheap connectivity to mobile internet. When the Wi-Fi is unavailable, they use wireless networks in order to provide service. The wireless internet project has added support for more devices in 2015 which have assisted in increasing the potential target audience for these services. Users will show greater interest when in 2017 Comcast merges with 15 million Verizon G4 network hotspots. The great question is how Comcast will price their new services: will this service be enticing enough to give up traditional cellular service?

• The optic fiber is still at large: Google's proclamation in 2017 that the distribution of their optic fiber has been postponed crushed many surfers broadband fantasy. This decision is not the last we will hear of the fibers project or of access to high speed internet. Google's project assisted their competition, such as Comcast and AT&T, to enhance their broadband services. Optic fibers are still a central part of the cellular industry's aspirations to setup the G5 service. The big difference between 2017 and previous years is that AT&T and others will seek to provide fast broadband wirelessly directly to domains rather than use fibers.
In conclusion, it can be said that in 2017 we will see a substantial development in the field of wireless networks especially in terms of mobile devices. The G5 network will still be discussed greatly and we might be on the verge of a major breakthrough regarding browsing speed.


Written By Hadas Gil

What more is there to say about User Experience in technologically advanced world and defining the optimal interaction between man and machine? We have grown accustomed to considering the technological aspect of UX, an experience which includes all aspects of the interaction between end users and the organization, its services and its products.

UX involves an attempt to get users to respond positively to questions such as "do you find this website/application satisfactory?"; "is this website/application easy and comfortable to use?" UX and all these questions have a shared obvious goal: to activate people, make them do something.

UX takes into consideration many terms borrowed from the fields of business/marketing/technology, including: Information architecture, Usability, Accessibility, etc. Therefore, given that the basic requisite of an exquisite UX is to initiate activity and generate a positive human experience void of unnecessary complications, loaded with fun and as simple as possible, it seems that this can be attained without utilizing any advanced technology. The following examples remind us that knowledge can be conveyed and retained as can people become motivated to consume knowledge without being confined to the modern definition of User Experience.


"Geshem Geshem Mitaftef" might be the song discussed most recently. Teacher Jihan Jabbar from Taibe drew us back to our childhood years by using a drum to teach Hebrew to Arab pupils  in the most rewarding and experiential method possible. This song has gone viral via the social networks and includes many layers necessary for designing a positive User Experience. It features an element of healthy interaction, a human factor which motivates activity, marketing-oriented writing and a contagious beat, usability, memory and equally important- a psychology-based learning and effective teaching method which considers the target audience.

This learning method is a reminder to anyone who occasionally needs to generate interest in new knowledge and provide a positive user experience and is searching for fun, creative and simple ways to make this knowledge accessible while having the target audience in mind which is ultimately what captivated the heart of anyone exposed to this video. This teacher lead her class to meaningful learning- a term that might seem at times amorphous yet is quite tangible to viewers. Through beat, fun and simplicity these students learn Hebrew using means rooted in their Arabic culture.

In case you missed it, here's the song once more:


Another example is a North Caroline teacher named Barry White, Jr. (to whom you might have been exposed in another video gone viral). White Jr. has come up with a new way to greet his students, when they enter the classroom each morning. Instead of simply saying "good morning", each pupil shares his/her unique handshake with their teacher. White, Jr. says he wished to find an efficient way to make his pupils love and enjoy learning; "before I can begin to teach them loads of material, I must invest in the pupils themselves". This method is also a reminder that interest can be generated and modern UX elements incorporated through simple and effective gestures.

One last example is Japan. Japan, regularly a state quick to adapt to new digital technological tools, is still using board chalks in classes in 75% of the classes (as of Jan. 2015). This might sound outdated, yet the widespread use of chalk "technology" is actually planned and even advanced. Bradley Emerling, head scientist of Pierson studies, has discussed the matter with Japanese teachers and has learned that there are board-writing strategies referred to as "board-writing planning". Each class appoints a student responsible for the cleanliness of the chalkboard prior to class, teachers write neatly and cleanly using every inch of it punctually, make use of differently-colored chalk in order to classify subjects if necessary, etc. using the old fashioned board, teachers can uniquely create new learning experiences without any new technology.


In conclusion, the most precise principle this article attempts to highlight is that, as knowledge managers and conveyers, it is important to consider the appropriate technology and effective UX design. We must consider whether a certain technological choice, advanced as it might be, matches the specific need we wish to address. Perhaps a drum, handshake and chalk suffice?







Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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