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Knowledge Management is easy in a formal institution with clear lines of reporting and responsibility. But GWOPA is a network linked by goodwill and a common interest in seeing WOPs scaled up. The GWOPA Secretariat at UN-HABITAT does not implement many WOPs directly. So we need those of you in the field, together with expert institutions like IWA, both to understand your needs, but also so that we can pick your brains. We need VOLUNTARY COLLABORATION with willing partners to document, distill and draw lessons from practice for the benefit of all.
When we talk about WOPs knowledge, the kinds of products or outcomes we are thinking about fall out into three main categories. First, and the most elemental, is knowledge about practice of Water Operators’ Partnerships – peer support between utilities for capacity building on a not-for-profit basis. First, this is includes record-keeping on WOPs – where, when, how, why they take place. But it also includes importantly more analytical products (the Ideas Book) such as impact studies and best practices. Then there are tools, which is essentially knowledge packaged for use. This would include online tools to help operators identify partners, design their WOPs, monitor and so on.And finally, though we have been focusing on knowledge for Water Operators Partnerships in particular, there is also an opportunity to support not-for-profit sharing of knowledge on utility practice. I don’t think GWOPA should be involved in actively developing this kind of knowledge. But we could play a big role in sharing it.
GWOPA just getting started in Knowledge ManagementBut it’s a PRIORITY!
Lately with increased demand we have supported National WOP platforms in Brazil, Mexico, and Pakistan. We will continue to support WOP platforms, however instead of direct institutional and operational support to specific platforms (eg. Secretarial support, direct support to WOPs partnerships, etc.); We will re-direct our support to areas where all WOP platforms can benefit such as: Matchmaking (electronic tools); Benchmarking (GRUBS); Knowledge Mgmt (WOPs database, impact oriented case studies, etc.); and Advocacy