KnowledgePoint: Crowdsourcing Humanitarian Expertise
Partners: WaterAid UK; IRC Wash; Practical Action
Type of grant: Core – diffusion
KnowledgePoint is an online Q&A forum offering free and fast expert advice to aid workers in the field. Anyone can post questions. Our network of 150+ technical experts aim to respond within 48 hours.
What is the humanitarian need?
To save lives and alleviate suffering, humanitarian and development agencies need systems and tools to access the best technical expertise urgently. But, without common tools to share expertise, access to information can be fragmented both within and between agencies.
The capacity for agencies to learn, adapt and improve is reduced and the duplication of work is increased, limiting NGO effectiveness.
What is the innovative solution?
KnowledgePoint seeks to solve this problem by providing a common platform for information sharing within the humanitarian and development sector. Since the launch in 2012, it has gained more than 105,000 users in 183 countries, with India, Nigeria, Kenya, the UK and the US accessing the site most. It was used heavily by WHO specialists during 2014-15 West Africa Ebola crisis to share information with field staff in remote locations.
The platform attracts on average 4,000 page views per month and has gained a pool of more than 150 experts with extensive field experience and knowledge in wide ranging thematic areas, including Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), public health and shelter.
All enquiries and responses are publicly available. The system is simple, intuitive and accessible even in low-bandwidth field conditions. This diffusion grant will help to improve access of this vital tool for sharing and storing technical knowledge and increase its visibility with the humanitarian sector
What is the expected outcome?
With the help of the diffusion grant, over six months we aim to:
- Review and upgrade the forum infrastructure
- Reinforce the forum’s digital security provisions
- Improve intuitiveness of the forum for mobile devices
- Increase the level of engagement in the forum by including elements of gamification
- Hire a team of content writers to contribute to a series of in-depth Q&A’s on key technical topics
- Increase visibility in humanitarian sector through new marketing materials, social media activity and attending two conferences
- Gain two new KnowledgePoint partners