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IMARK is an e-learning initiative in agricultural information management developed by FAO and partner organizations.
photo This course provides you with the necessary tools and methodologies to develop the knowledge capacities of your organization or community.
You will learn about:
  • the benefits and costs associated with knowledge sharing initiatives
  • approaches for assessing knowledge assets and developing a knowledge strategy
  • knowledge sharing at team, organizations and community levels
  • how communities and networks support knowledge sharing
  • the wide range of methods available for knowledge sharing and learning
  • how social media can be used to collaborate and to exchange knowledge

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Target Audience

It is aimed at staff working in a wide range of organizations including international organizations, donor agencies, multilaterals, NGOs, research institutes, national governments, regional organizations, and indigenous NGOs.

Module Content

This course consists of 36 lessons, ranging from approximately 15 to 120 minutes duration, grouped into eight units:

Unit 1 - What is Knowledge Sharing and Why is it Important
This unit describes what Knowledge Sharing and related concepts are, and highlights the benefits and opportunities offered by KS to improve work groups and collaboration.

Lesson 1.1 - Why Should You Care about Knowledge Sharing?
Lesson 1.2 - Information, Knowledge and Learning
Lesson 1.3 - The Business Case for Knowledge Sharing

Unit 2 - Putting Knowledge Sharing to Work
This unit describes the social dynamics and facilitation options for building trust and supporting participation.It also presents a range of possibilities for creating content collaboratively, and the related issues around intellectual property rights (IPR). This Unit also gives a panoramic of the possibilities for internet-based communication and knowledge sharing.

Lesson 2.1 - Creating the Knowledge Sharing Organization
Lesson 2.2 - Building and Sharing Content

Unit 3 - Making the most of Communities and Networks
This unit illustrates the potential to improve Knowledge Sharing and Learning through networks and communities, and explains key dynamics between networks and institutions.

Lesson 3.1 - Communities and Networks
Lesson 3.2 - Communities and Networks in support of Knowledge Sharing
Lesson 3.3 - Supporting Network and Community Building
Lesson 3.4 - Barriers and Human Differences
Lesson 3.5 - Communities and Networks in Institutional Contexts

Unit 4 - Establishing Knowledge Sharing in Your Organization
This unit provides guidance on how to design and implement a strategy to identify key knowledge assets, flows and gaps; it describes how KS can be strategically approached within organizations and how to raise awareness of and promote KS in an organization; This unit also describes how IT environments support KS and explains how to articulate the rationale for evaluating KS efforts and to initiate a KS evaluation process.

Lesson 4.1 - Knowledge Audits
Lesson 4.2 - Strategic Approaches to Knowledge Sharing
Lesson 4.3 - Identifying, Motivating and Supporting Knowledge Champions
Lesson 4.4 - Fostering and adopting Knowledge Sharing Approaches
Lesson 4.5 - Ensuring the IT Environment Supports Knowledge Sharing
Lesson 4.6 - Monitoring and Evaluating Knowledge Sharing

Unit 5 - Knowledge Sharing Methodologies
This unit illustrates how to build Knowledge Sharing and learning strategies and frameworks, by describing a variety of methodologies for supporting KS and learning, and identifying the methodologies which best suit various contexts.

Lesson 5.1 - Methods for Developing KS Strategies
Lesson 5.2 - Participatory Visioning Methods
Lesson 5.3 - Methods for Capturing and Organizing Knowledge
Lesson 5.4 - Intentional Learning Methods
Lesson 5.5 - Participatory Knowledge Sharing Methods

Unit 6 - Tools and Services to Support Virtual Collaboration
This unit illustrates a wide range of social media tools and describes how they can be used strategically to more effectively collaborate and exchange knowledge.

Lesson 6.1 - Group Productivity and Collaboration Tools
Lesson 6.2 - Privacy, Intellectual Property and Access to Social Media
Lesson 6.3 - Hosted Services
Lesson 6.4 - Subscriptions, Feeds and Syndication
Lesson 6.5 - Tagging and Social Bookmarking
Lesson 6.6 - Blogging and Microblogging
Lesson 6.7 - Online Video and Image Sharing
Lesson 6.8 - Podcasting and Online Radio

Unit 7 - Facilitating virtual collaboration and interaction
This unit provides guidelines on how to facilitate an online community and introduces the basic concepts of facilitation, compares traditional and online facilitation, and illustrates a wide range of facilitation tasks and techniques.

Lesson 7.1 - Facilitating Electronic Communities and Networks
Lesson 7.2 - Face-to-face and Online Facilitation
Lesson 7.3 - Preparing and Organizing Online Discussions
Lesson 7.4 - Facilitation Techniques
Lesson 7.5 - Facilitation Tasks

Unit 8 - Field-based Knowledge Sharing and Learning Methods
This unit describes a range of field-based methods and tools for supporting KS and learning, identifies the methodologies which best suit various contexts, and explains how to design and create digital products from field information and knowledge.

Lesson 8.1 - Field-based Methods for Knowledge Sharing
Lesson 8.2 - Digital Documentation


Each lesson includes online resources and several lessons provide a list of job aids. Learners can consult a glossary specific to the module, and search within the course materials for specific terms.


The Module curriculum was designed and developed by experts and institutions from an internationally widespread community.

The e-learning course is part of the Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) and has been developed by FAO in collaboration with the Joint Donors’ Competence Development Network (Train4Dev).
Joint Donors' Competence Development Network (Train4Dev) Joint Donors' Competence Development Network (Train4Dev)

Train4Dev partners that have contributed directly to the course are:
EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General EuropeAid Development and Co-operation Directorate-General
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

The Swiss Association for International Cooperation (Helvetas) has provided technical guidance for the course.
Helvetas Helvetas

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