• DEC 1
    Submission Period Begins
  • JAN 30
    Submission Period Ends
  • FEB 14
    Peer Review Completed/Top Case Stories Announced
  • MAY (TBD)
    Case Stories Presented at unConference


Are you challenged to...

  • Assess whether your KM activities actually improved performance?
  • Link KM measures to other organizational measurement frameworks?
  • Provide evidence of successful KM processes to support institutional scale-out?
  • Demonstrate the value of KM to senior leaders?

The Knowledge Management Impact Challenge will bring people together to discover better methods to meet these challenges. Figuring out how to effectively measure the results and impact of investing in KM and learning can help us focus our efforts and resources, and make the case for knowledge management to senior managers.KM Impact Challenge


The KM Impact Challenge proposes to:

  • Discover, document and share effective KM impact assessment practices
  • Facilitate a collaborative learning process around what works and what doesn't
  • Identify practical measurement tools and advance shared standards of good practice
  • Strengthen practitioner networking to fuel continued exchange and joint action


Collaborative Discovery
The Discovery process encompasses collaborative research and peer exchange to map and discuss effective approaches to knowledge management impact assessment. An online library and blog will be created and occasional peer-exchange events scheduled.
Timeline: November 2010 – March 2011

Online Challenge
The Online Challenge is envisioned as a structured process to accelerate the identification and collective analysis of effective KM assessment practices. Practitioners from around the world will be invited to submit short case stories online describing their experience with an approach that worked or lessons learned from what didn't. At least five case story authors will receive travel awards to the unConference.
Timeline: December 2010 – February 2011

KM Impact Challenge unConference
The KM Impact Challenge unConference will enable deeper exploration and skill building around effective KM impact assessment practices that are worth developing standards around as a community. The unConference is proposed as a 1 to 2 day participant-driven exchange that will bring together practitioners to highlight findings from the discovery process, showcase top case stories identified through the Online Challenge, and strengthen peer networking for further action.
Timeline: proposed for May 2011 in Washington, DC

Expected Outcomes

The KM Impact Challenge is intended to initiate a dialogue and process of shared learning. It will ideally serve as a spring-board to increased peer-networking and collaborative action. This initial set of activities will lead to various follow-up activities including a round of small grants to further investigate and refine some of the methodologies uncovered by the Challenge that capture return on investing in learning and KM.

Why this Initiative?

Increasing the effectiveness of international development to more aggressively tackle issues such as economic growth, climate change, and health challenges us to consider new ways to organize, network and leverage our knowledge. Knowledge management approaches such as communities of practice, collaborative tools, talent locators and online knowledge repositories have flourished over the last decade, with marked expansion over the last five years.

While many believe that more knowledge-driven programmatic approaches are inherently better, most organizations lack the evidence to clearly and compellingly demonstrate the impact of their KM investments. The inability to adequately measure and communicate impact, limits both the ability of organizations to improve the quality of their KM approaches, as well as their ability to mobilize the sustained investments they merit. Debate over the most effective methods and mixes of quantitative and qualitative approaches continues, while innovative practitioners experiment through trial and error. There is growing demand internationally to understand what works and it is time to take proactive steps to learn as a sector.

Current Sponsors

The Knowledge Management Impact Challenge is an initiative of the Knowledge-Driven Microenterprise Development (KDMD) project under the USAID Microenterprise Development (MD) office. It is being carried out in collaboration with KM4Dev and the Impact Alliance. Additional sponsors are encouraged to join.

Opportunities to Participate—Join Us!

The ultimate impact of this initiative depends upon practitioners from diverse locations and organizations getting involved in the process. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Submit a case story describing your experience
  • Share your favorite articles or web links to valuable resources
  • Promote the Challenge on your web site and through your networks
  • Attend KMIC events or host a parallel event in your city or organization

For more information, please contact kmicinfo@kdid.org.