This social media guide aims at promoting African knowledge (in particular about climate change adaptation).
This is the central part of the guide, showcasing key resources for the most important topics around 'promoting African knowledge (about climate change adaptation) through social media.

This section introduces some key resources about promoting social learning in Africa and by Africans. This section comprises a couple of resources that explain in more details the challenges and opportunities of promoting African knowledge and social learning, showcase one initiative that does it rather well and propose a couple of more generic resources on social learning and what it entails in a world of participatory interactions online, notably through social media.

An interview with Kingo Mchombu
This article is older than it should to qualify as a key resource. This section, however, does not focus on fast-changing social media but on deeper issues that are less quickly out of date.

The interview of Professor Kingo Mchombu in the Knowledge Management for Development Journal in 2006 offers a very sharp picture of the challenges of considering African knowledge and associated social learning practices in development work and research.

The author underlines some of the key links between the state of poverty and the segregation of African knowledge from decision-making circles and development initiatives, the crucial challenges of sharing knowledge in Africa, some promising tools and approaches to overcome this and some examples of initiatives that had real impact.

The focus on African knowledge, the current relevance of issues depicted and the good ideas put forward by the author contributed to make this interview a key resource in this section.

Learning from, promoting and using participation: The case of international development organizations in Kenya
This is a working paper from the Information and Knowledge Management Emergent research program, a unique research program on knowledge management for development. This particular paper examines how international non-governmental organizations learn from promoting participation or not - which in the research is strongly positively correlated with the ongoing documentation of activities.

Where those organizations did have a structured learning approach, it was usually not adapted for local community learning approaches (e.g. top-down needs assessments) and in practice only two out of the 20 participating organizations were effectively creating space to learn from external sources. 16 of them did not apply the knowledge they generated through their work with communities.

The study continues by looking at the format of materials developed, information storage and management practices (which strongly contribute to documentation) and the (poor) promotion of participatory material.

Accountability, transparency, power relations, lack of participatory thinking etc. this paper identifies various challenges of social learning in development work and the failure of promoting knowledge from local sources, in this case from Kenya. These lessons can inform very well the gaps that characterize much development and that should be avoided in order to promote social learning in Africa.

Africa Gathering - No one knows African problems like an African."
Africa Gathering is an African knowledge sharing network which "draws inspiration from the traditional, symbolic African Baobab tree: the place where people can gather to share knowledge, exchange ideas and learn from each other (...), from activators to innovators, from artists to technologists (...), celebrate the change-makers and their work, connect them to like-minded people, share their passion for a positive Africa.”

Africa Gathering uses modern technology to bring collective change and improve the lives of Africans. By bringing young African leaders from all walks of life at special events, creating a buzz through social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blog posts) around those events, Africa Gathering promotes a number of positive changes (sustainable development, innovation, freedom of expression etc.) for and by Africans. In the process, it has made a strong and continued use of social media to support its work, aside from the blog which has not been updated since November 2011.

Although it is not targeted at climate change adaptation, this initiative could make itself a sounding board for any climate change initiative that boasts African leadership and innovative thinking and represents a truly modern way to promote African social learning mixing traditional and modern communication channels.

The social learning revolution
This last resource is not from Africa and is not about climate change adaptation. It is a recent blog post written by Jane Hart, an independent consultant working in a networked consultancy collective - the Internet Time Alliance - which focuses on learning in organisations. This blog post makes a very clear and strong case for social learning in the workplace, going well beyond the initial education and training – what most people associate with learning.

The author also demonstrates that learning happens clearly at two mutually reinforcing levels: individually as well as socially – but primarily learning is essentially (though not exclusively) informal, without much imposed structure.

The post highlights how social media in particular have revolutionized social learning in the workplace by encouraging personal development, professional networking, knowledge sharing, collaborative working and productivity/performance improvement – turning organisations into ‘social businesses’.

The workforce development services that Jane Hart reviews many learning and knowledge-intensive functions of any organization and how they are likely to change over time through social media.

Finally, the author mentions some of the tools and skills that allow this social revolution to blossom.

This blog post is crisp and clear, relies on years of research and work and depicts very clearly how social learning can and should be encouraged in modern organizations, mirroring network mechanisms. The clarity and strong argumentation of this resource helped select it as a key resource under this section.