Knowledge Management for Health and Development Toolkit

Please note: This Toolkit is being revised by a working group from the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative. Changes are underway. If you have questions or are trying to locate something that used to be here, please contact Simone Parrish,

What is Knowledge Management (KM)?

Knowledge management (KM) is an umbrella term encompassing the many unique but related facets of creating, organizing, sharing, and using information and experiences. While there is no universally accepted definition of KM, most available definitions have common elements. KM is often described as a “process” rather than one activity or event, and many definitions discuss KM as the practice of delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. Other definitions discuss the specific activities included within KM. For example, one definition of knowledge management is “... the systematic process by which knowledge needed for an organization to succeed is created, captured, shared and leveraged” (Clemmons Rumizen, 2002, p.9).

KM is used within a variety of disciplines and fields, including business, information systems, and library and information science. In recent years, public health and development organizations have been discussing the importance of undertaking KM activities. While raw data are important, it is often more important to focus on “information products that support directly the transfer of useful knowledge to those making decisions” (Goddard et al., 2004, p.112). In other words, if we want our efforts to be effective, we need to share knowledge about what works, why it works, and how others can replicate it.

This toolkit was created to provide practical KM resources and tools for those working in international public health and development; materials come from health and development organizations or are applicable to the field and can be easily adapted. This toolkit is updated regularly, and includes a series of case studies highlighting KM activities within health and development projects. For more information on the group that developed this toolkit, visit the About page and the section on The Global Health Knowledge Collaborative.

Are You…?

Click on these links to find information on your topic

Looking for a primer on KM? 

Developing a KM strategy?

Interested in knowledge sharing strategies?

Interested in how to find knowledge and the best ways to organize it?

Interested in tools to create new insights and knowledge? 

Interested in tools for adapting knowledge to inform and improve policy and program decision-making?

Evaluating your KM activities or program?


Toolkit last updated: May 14, 2015

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