Knowledge Management in an Organization of the Poor

In “Knowledge Management in an Organization of the Poor” (2009), Aldo Benini and Bhabatosh Nath visit a federation of poor people in Bangladesh that, by its own initiative and unassisted by outsiders, conducted a survey of all extremely poor households in the local government area. The federation then linked this information to a critical resource listing – an inventory of government-owned lands supposed to be allocated to the poor. The creative re-interpretation of the survey concept and a tactically variable involvement in project-related data collection drives earn the federation the title of knowledge manager. Its significance, in a highly stratified world of development expertise, is in the demonstrated ability of poor people to map their own complex environment, on their own terms, and for their own betterment.

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