sharing through hyperlinks
by Tom Bentley
In two separate international discussions I have been in this year, the conversation has ended up focusing on how people working on similar problems in different countries can share what they are doing more easily. One was a British Council event on education reform in South East Asia. The other was an OECD project called schooling for tomorrow generating future scenarios for public service reform. What struck me was that, while the logic of knowledge sharing was so strong, it remains so difficult to create platforms that people really want to use.
In both of the conversations, specific bits of content - in one case a set of scenarios, in another a curriculum for leadership development - had in fact spread fast and far, but not apparently through open, online, information exchange. It reinforces the point that electronic platforms have to be integrated with both what the organisations are doing in their own locations, and with the ways in which people are most comfortable absorbing and translating information for themselves. Despite the proliferation of portals in the policy world, very few seem to have achieved both of these things, with the result that virtual exchange often remains a separate sphere from the world of policy decisions, transactions and implementation. Is this a problem?