Information and Knowledge Management Strategy
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:54

The Land Resource Division (LRD) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) developed a Information and Knowledge Management strategy (IKM) to improve its internal data and information management and to create mechanisms to benefit more from knowledge and expertise existing among its staff. Organised in nine thematic groups - LRD has grown together from the former Agricultural and Forestry Programs – it presents today a very horizontal organisational structure covering agriculture, livestock and forestry. The Land Resource Division is one of the largest divisions in SPC.

LRD thematic groups are producing data and information in a wide array of formats, ranging from database files and spreadsheets to text documents and handwritten datasheets. Managing this variety of data and information in an efficient and transparent way represents a major difficulty for LRD. In addition to purely thematic data, some of the LRD thematic groups are producing spatial data1, which are not yet analysed in a systematic way.

LRD staff disposes of specific expertise and knowledge in various fields of natural resource sciences and management and develops specific approaches in many of their projects (e.g. DSAP, PGRFP, etc.). These experiences and lessons learned also needs to be recorded and made available. The main tasks of the consulting mission were to critically assess the current situation, evaluate existing information systems and ways of accessing and disseminating information. Assessing the possible use of GIS technology at LRD as well as evaluating the optional integration of country partners into the strategy.

The IKM strategy provides for the management of information and knowledge, based on an organisation-wide assessment of existing information systems, information transfer mechanisms, and shortcomings in information and knowledge management. The role of LRD within SPC, as well as SPC’s role in the pacific region have been taken into account and are reflected in the strategic options and the proposed actions. It was a major requirement to develop a ‘feasible’ strategy that can realistically be implemented by LRD. In addition, the document develops strategic options for SPC based on information-related findings made during the mission. The assessment of the situation at SPC-level might not be as exhaustive as desired, as the mission focussed rather on LRD. Nevertheless, it highlights important issues that might require further attention and investigation.

The IKM Strategy discusses:

- How are data and information currently managed?
- How is information accessed across LRD/SPC?
- What immediate difficulties and shortcomings are perceived?
- To what degree are data and information shared with others?
- What technologies (software) are currently used for the management of information?
- Is there any need perceived for GIS services?

The IKM strategy has been developed in accordance with general directions given by key strategic documents. These documents are setting the scope for any internal information and knowledge management strategy. Consequently, the LRD strategic plan, the SPC corporate plan, the Pacific Plan as well as important reports internal documents7 have been taken into account. The LRD Strategic Plan requires the division to collect, share and provide information and advise in sustainable use of natural resources. It stresses the role of LRD in the dissemination and sharing of information with relevant agencies.

For more information, please contact the LRD Helpdesk.