Mobilising Knowledge for Development programme exceeds funder expectations
Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D) Phase 2, building on the success of Phase 1 (2005-2009) was launched in 2010 and was completed early in 2013. Delivered by IDS Knowledge Services and over thirty partners based in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the programme aimed to support the use of research knowledge in development policy and practice.
MK4D delivered a range of projects such as supporting the National Library Service of Malawi to collect, digitalise and upload documents from research institutes and libraries across the country, or working with the Nepal Armed Violence Reduction Working Group to develop a policy brief which focused on approaches to promoting peace. The programme also supported a number of innovative approaches including using audio-photo videos to disseminate learning on climate change adaption, and running a three-day hackathon bringing together technical developers and agricultural researchers to develop apps for understanding and sharing research findings.
The programme’s funder, DFID, judged two key outcomes as having significantly succeeded expectations. These included the development and use of an Open API (application programming interface) enabling partners to re-use and re-purpose content from flagship research information services Eldis and BRIDGE, creating tailored content applications for their own services. The second outcome was that researchers, librarians and staff at partner organisations participated in, and benefitted from, BLDS’ pioneering work around information capability interventions.
IDS works to ensure that research reaches the right people at the right time and in the right format so that it is used in the most effective way possible. This programme has meant that research knowledge moves beyond research communities and takes its aims from the belief that shared knowledge allows for more informed debate and decision-making. IDS is continuing this work with the DFID funded Global Open Knowledge Hub Programme which will continue working to make research more accessible and usable.