Networks for Prosperity: Achieving Development Goals through Knowledge Sharing
This report is issued under the funding window “Development and the Private Sector” of the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F). Through this window, the Spanish Government together with the United Nations addresses the urgent need for supporting a vibrant and responsible private sector in development processes in order to achieve agreed development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In this context, UNIDO, as the technical convenor agency of the funding window, was requested to establish a knowledge management concept that would support developing countries in acquiring and adapting private sector development (PSD)-relevant knowledge to their specific contexts and development needs, and enhance the knowledge capabilities of the United Nations system and its national counterparts and partners in the field of PSD policy.
Initial discussions on the issue of knowledge management in development activities took place during a global workshop among MDG-F programme coordinators in March 2011 in Panama City.
The report discusses the importance of knowledge networks at various levels, inter-organizational, intra-organizational and international networks, for the economic policy and development of private sector development. It states inter alia that networks are still highly underresearched and under-appreciated among policymakers and development specialists.
In this context, it can be observed that networks are increasingly emerging as a distinct form of governance which includes different types of public and private actors within and across organizational and national boundaries. Different types of networks exist, whether for learning, information exchange or knowledge creation. Networks are a distinct form of governance with important potential for knowledge creation and development performance.
The study underlines, that there could be significant benefits from ensuring that networks are successfully embedded. However, vibrant knowledge networking cannot only depend on existing networks but requires a living “institutional ecology”, with new organisms providing new knowledge and opportunities.