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Knowledge management and communication to address information access and power asymmetries for resource-poor producers in value chains

Authors: Bode, R. et alii.
Publication date: 2008, In: Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 4(1): 5-20

This paper provides some evidence about the role of knowledge management and communication in establishing effective value chains with resource-poor producers.

It first introduces some terms and definitions regarding value chains, social networks and information, knowledge and communication. This leads to a conceptualization of a theoretical framework on knowledge management and communication in value chains.

The next chapter presents some results of value chain analysis from Colombia and Ecuador, where information and knowledge flows have been analyzed. The guiding question is: (1) who in the chain needs what type of information and knowledge? Different types of information and knowledge problems will be presented as well as the effects they produce.

The third chapter shows some possible solutions in order to overcome the problems. The key question is here: (2) how can communication and knowledge management contribute to bridge the identified gaps and lead to a better coordination and integration of all value chain stakeholders? Two different approaches will be presented: the use of media (traditional and ICT-based media) and a strategy to increase social capital through network-building.

The last chapter sums up some of the lessons learnt through this action oriented research process.