Visit Kini: www.kini.waterpartnership.org.au
Kini (Malaysian for ‘current’, signifying the flow of knowledge) is a new AWP initiative that seeks to facilitate dialogue about solving water problems throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific. It is about providing opportunities for those who are unable to take part in more concerted, well-funded ‘project’-style activities, to connect with one another and share knowledge.
By its nature Kini is most likely to resemble an online ‘community of practice’. The scope of knowledge to be shared is broad, encompassing all aspects of water reform and management that are both relevant to the Asia Pacific and correspond to Australian expertise. The potential range of water professionals or stakeholders is also relatively wide, comprising anyone from Australia and the Asia-Pacific with sufficient awareness and impetus to start a dialogue. Finally, the resources that the AWP can commit to each individual dialogue is small. Together these factors suggest online channels will be used for communication, and where reports or similar materials are involved, they will primarily be sourced from web-repositories.
Kini is not, however, a new one-stop web ‘knowledge hub’ or a new social media channel to connect water peers. There are numerous web resources and social media channels already in use by our target audience; adding more of these will not create much value. Instead, Kini seeks to add value in the manner of all AWP activities – by placing the knowledge shared in the context of both the needs of the Asia-Pacific (for greatest impact) and the Australian water reform narrative (where Australia has the strongest experience and expertise to contribute to solutions). Kini connects people and resources in the context of the knowledge needs of the Asia-Pacific and the knowledge represented in the Australian water reform narrative.
Kini staff, led by Karen Delfau of the International Water Centre Alumni Network, are engaging ‘water champions’ (people who already act as knowledge brokers within the Asia-Pacific) to characterise demand for water reform knowledge. Kini staff then work with the AWP to distill and refine elements of the Australian Water Narrative to be delivered to meet that demand. Initially, staff will also work to connect individual water professionals and stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific with their peers in Australia. Activity begets activity; over time we hope that these connections – and links to relevant web-based resources – will grow and occur more organically in the manner of an active online community of practice.
Karen Delfau has conducted an industry scan and literature review of knowledge sharing mechanisms. She has conducted interviews of 14 water champions from the Asia-Pacific (7 women and 7 men) to learn about how water professionals and stakeholders access knowledge and what the current needs or topics of interest are. This material has been captured in a report that forms the basis for further planning.
Karen is now in a phase of raising awareness about Kini, and preparing material to act as knowledge ‘seeds’ to generate activity via Kini. Karen introduced Kini for the first time at International River Symposium in New Delhi in September. A number of people in the Asia-Pacific water sector came forward to get involved. She has also presented on Kini at the World Water Congress & Exhibition which was held in Brisbane on 9–14 October 2016.
If you are a water practitioner or stakeholder from Australia or the Asia-Pacific then you are invited to be a contributor and/or follower of Kini: www.kini.waterpartnership.org.au