ILRI / ILRIComms / Knowledge and Information

Knowledge is like rainwater … supporting the NBDC with knowledge and communication

This week, communication people from across the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) meet in South Africa to compare and agree ways to improve communication and collaboration practices within the CPWF and among its partners.

ILRI’s Peter Ballantyne is attending for the Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) – one of the CPWF-supported Basin projects in Ethiopia. To help explain how the NBDC is doing its communications, we developed a poster (see below).

In many ways our approach to knowledge sharing and communication mirrors the overall NBDC approach that is focused on rainwater management.

Our starting point that knowledge is very much like rainwater – it is precious, often scarce, has multiple uses, is easily lost and evaporated, it can be a source of power – and a cause of conflict, and it offers a promise of improved livelihoods:

  • Just as rivers and water do not flow on their own (without gravity or pressure), so our NBDC knowledge is nurtured, guided, pooled, and channeled to reach different people;
  • Just as the NBDC promotes multiple use water systems and services, so our NBDC information, knowledge sharing, and communication tools and approaches are for multiple use, and re-use;
  • Just as the NBDC encourages each rural community to improve the availability, distribution and use of rainwater through improved storage, harvesting and conservation, so our NBDC information, knowledge, and communication strategies draw on the perspectives, experiences and knowledge accumulated and made available by different communities;
  • Just as the NBDC seeks to catalyze platforms for people to meet, innovate and find shared rainwater management solutions, so our NBDC information, knowledge sharing, and communication activities facilitate interaction, dialogue, conversation and linkages among different people and organizations.


See the communication tools we are using.

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