So, many of you will have seen a change in my work arrangements recently and started to see me in the KMIS division of ILRI. My name is appearing on emails, programs and documents and I have been participating in ILRI events (e.g APM)– and you may be wondering about it (and about me). Well for those who don’t know me, my name is Nadia Manning-Thomas (but only firstname.lastname@example.org as an email address!). I have recently joined ILRI and the CGIAR ICT-KM program(www.ictkm.cgiar.org) as a Knowledge Sharing in Research specialist. I mention two ‘institutes’ because while I have joined ILRI and am being hosted in the Knowledge Management and Information Services Unit; I will be working a majority of the time for the CGIAR ICT-KM program. I am very excited about this new position and a chance to work across the CGIAR on the one hand but also within the very dynamic and exciting setting context of ILRI (and its active KMIS unit!). I will be sitting in the unit (Office 18 between Meron and Tsehay- Ext. 2462)—and I am very excited to be with this team.
Before this I have been with the CGIAR for almost five years, with three of those on this campus too. I have worked previously with IWMI but also have worked on a secondment with the ICT-KM program to lead the Knowledge Sharing in Research project (2007–2009). I have found myself drawn back again for more.
So to (re)introduce myself into the wider community, give some background, and share a little about who I am, what I do and what I will be doing—I thought I would do the very ICT-KM/KMIS thing and write a message (and then share it with every other social media outlet possible!).
So a little about me…
As I said before, I am Nadia, and have now had the more-lengthy surname of Manning-Thomas for two years since getting married (to David Thomas). I am from the lovely island of Barbados in the Caribbean which leaves me with a sunny personality but also a constant craving for going to the beach. I have been living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the past three years and despite its landlocked nature, I like it a lot. Previously I have lived, studied, worked and travelled all over the globe with highlights being Canada, USA, Tanzania, Namibia, UK, Sri Lanka, Central Asia, India, and all over Africa too.
My academic background includes a BA in Anthropology and Environmental studies from Grinnell College in Iowa, USA and a MSc in Environment and Development studies from the University of Reading’s School of Agriculture. I have worked previously for NGOs — the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia and the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre, based in the Namib Desert, in carrying out the roles of community outreach and trainings for desert margins people, designing and running multi-stakeholder basin management committees, and designing and giving training on the arid zone to all different levels of students. I have been with the CGIAR for the past five years, working with the International Water Management (IWMI) both in Sri Lanka as well as Ethiopia. At IWMI I served in various roles both in the Information and Knowledge Group as well as in the research division — working on knowledge sharing in research, livelihood approaches and water-poverty. I most recently was the first Knowledge Sharing and Uptake Specialist position at IWMI — directly managing research outreach and uptake activities within a large scale research project —4 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded AgWater Solutions project.
And now I am working with the ICT-KM program while being hosted by and embedded into ILRI, particularly in the Knowledge Management and Information Services Unit of the Partnerships and Communication Division, with whom I will also be doing some knowledge sharing in research activities.
What exactly will I be doing?
With a title of Knowledge Sharing in Research Specialist, this could mean every- and anything, right? Well, my major interest is in learning about and promoting appropriate and practical approaches which improve the way in which we collaborate and work together towards achieving agricultural research for development goals, and that facilitate better sharing of knowledge amongst all stakeholders throughout the whole research cycle. I will particularly be working on the global CIARD initiative which seeks to enhance coherence in information for agricultural research for development, which is closely aligned with the CGIAR’s own Triple A approach which seeks to encourage Centres to make their information/knowledge/outputs more Available, Accessible and Applicable.
I hope to bring in the particular perspective on how to target researchers, what pathways work well within the research domain and what can be performed by researchers and research managers.
Along the way I will be doing lots of documentation and sharing via websites, blogs, Twitter…and more-! I will also be participating in, facilitating and supporting a number of events.
I am eager to collaborate with and learn from many of you and I hope that many opportunities will arise to do this. If anyone has ideas on any of this or wants to collaborate-then please get in touch.
Apart from coming to my office for a chat, calling me on the telephone or sending me and email (above) please find me on skype, Facebook, Yammer, and also on Twitter as Bajan_Nads