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16 July 2019
K*? What are they talking about? Print
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Much debate has been going on in recent months among intermediaries in the research and policy arena about what exactly is meant when we talk about knowledge brokering, knowledge management, knowledge mobilisation, knowledge translation and knowledge exchange. To bridge gaps in understanding, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) Knowledge Broker Alex Bielak coined the term K* (or KStar) as a catchall to describe the work and workers in the field.

The UNU-INWEH recently convened a conference for K* practitioners. The three-day April conference was held in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada from 24 to 27 April. The focus of 60 experts from 20 countries, spanning a score of disciplines, was how to better mobilise knowledge and maximise its usefulness, which is key to effectively improving Research Uptake in Africa.
African participants included Kadenge Lewa of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI); Dominic Mazvimavi from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of the Western Cape; Goolam Mohamedbhai, former Vice Chancellor at the University of Mauritius and former Secretary-General at the Association of African Universities; Nyokabi Musila of the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP); Jackie Olang of the Network of African Science Academies and Charles Dhewa Knowledge Transfer Africa‎.

AFIDEP Executive Director in Kenya Eliya Zulu has expressed his support for the initiative. “I am elated to commit AFIDEP to be part of the conference and contribute to its conceptualisation and other organisational matters. There is ample interest around K* now to warrant regular meetings in order for various practitioners to have a platform for sharing experiences and mobilising the interest of funders in supporting the great work that K* practitioners stand to carry out,” he is quoted as saying in the conference brochure.

The K* initiative aims to connect various K* communities around themes of mutual interest and advance K* theory and practice.

Interesting blogs on K*, the conference and more

K* Conference

What is KStar Initiative and why do we need it? by Alex T Bielak
Kstar with civil society: brokering relationships instead of knowledge?
K* (and * stands for what exactly?) by Enrique Mendizabal
KM on a dollar a day: K*, K what? by Ian Thorpe
Knowledge Brokers` Forum: K* Day One highlights
Knowledge Brokers` Forum: K* Day Two highlights
AfricaAdapt at the AgKnowledge Shair Fair