Knowledge Management Reference Group

The Knowledge Management Reference Group (KMRG) is a learning and sharing platform facilitated by the SACN and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to support knowledge management practice in SA Cities, and Municipal Districts. It was conceptualised in 2005 to promote a shared-learning partnership around knowledge management in support of good governance of South African cities. In October 2007, a strategic partnership between the South African Cities Network and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) gave this group new strategic direction.

Knowledge management (KM) offers a generic approach to leveraging learning and expertise across organisations, and indeed across the network of cities. In the context of South African local government, this becomes a crucial capability to develop, given the high turnover of technical and professional staff, limited resources (requiring that risk and cost must be managed effectively to provide the best development impact), and in some cases a strong dependence on consultants, which often leaves the municipalities in a position of having to consistently “re-purchase” advice and intellectual property. In the set of studies undertaken by SACN in the “first generation” of the KMRG, it became clear that the members required knowledge management capabilities aimed at making the municipalities more able to benefit from the know-how they have at hand to enhance efficient and effective delivery performance.

  • Act as a “reference group”, which should include knowledge sharing, providing a sounding board for members, peer support, and playing a general resource / referral function.
  • Promote common KM platforms for cities / municipalities, in particular a KM framework for local government, and shared resources (methodologies, toolkits, exemplars, etc.).
  • Discuss and exchange on practical approaches and experiences to effectively deploying KM, including documenting case studies, sharing good practices and lessons learned.
  • Leveraging synergies through collaboration and resource sharing.
  • Collectively resource and undertake projects of shared interest such as general research, Case studies documentation, a KM evaluation framework, and other Joint research projects.
  • Serve as an advocacy platform for identified topical matters for lobbying and interaction with principles or other stakeholders.
  • Serve as a conduit for knowledge dissemination and exchange. It is envisaged that respective technology platforms should be linked / interoperable to enable this.
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