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Five free knowledge management (KM) toolkits

Looking for guidance or inspiration in regard to knowledge management (KM) tools, techniques, methods, and approaches? The five free resources below cover a broad range of KM areas including organizational KM, KM for development, and evidence-based KM. They are:

  1. ADB Knowledge Solutions: Tools, Methods, and Approaches to Drive Organizational Performance.
  2. ODI Tools for Knowledge and Learning: A Guide for Development and Humanitarian Organisations.
  3. APO Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques Manual.
  4. SDC Knowledge Management Toolkit.
  5. NHS Knowledge Mobilisation Resources.

As well as covering a broad range of KM areas and needing to be freely available, another criteria for selecting these resources is that they are all still accessible. Most have been published as PDFs which, living up to the “portable” in PDF, is readily accessible even when archived.

If you know of any other KM toolkits that also meet these criteria, please suggest them in the comments section below.


ADB Knowledge Solutions: Tools, Methods, and Approaches to Drive Organizational Performance

Knowledge Solutions: Tools, Methods, and Approaches to Drive Organizational PerformanceThe book Knowledge Solutions: Tools, Methods, and Approaches to Drive Organizational Performance covers more than 120 topics in knowledge management as well as competence in strategy development, management techniques, collaboration mechanisms, knowledge sharing and learning, and knowledge capture and storage.

Notable aspects of the book include expert opinion juxtaposed with relevant research to counterpoint or lend weight to key concepts, “cheat sheets” to simplify access and reference to individual articles, and the grouping of many of the topics under recurrent themes.

The table of contents for the book’s 126 chapters can be found in the front matter. The chapters can be downloaded as open access PDFs, or a softcover book is available for purchase.

Author: Olivier Serrat. Publisher: Asian Development Bank (ADB).


ODI Tools for Knowledge and Learning: A Guide for Development and Humanitarian Organisations

Tools for Knowledge and Learning: A Guide for Development and Humanitarian OrganisationsAimed at the international development sector, the publication Knowledge and Learning: A Guide for Development and Humanitarian Organisations profiles 30 tools and techniques divided into five categories: strategy development, management techniques, collaboration mechanisms, knowledge sharing and learning processes, and knowledge capture and storage.

Many of the tools are straightforward and can be readily implemented, while others are more complex and call for significant planning and resources if they are to be delivered effectively.

Author: Ben Ramalingam. Publisher: Overseas Development Institute (ODI).


APO Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques Manual

Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques ManualThe Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques Manual profiles 20 KM methods and tools considered to be essential, as well as six further highly recommended tools. First published in 2010, the Manual was revised in 2020 to take into account new developments in KM including the publication of the KM standard, ISO 30401:2018 Knowledge management systems – Requirements.

Additionally, the Manual maps the methods and tools to the APO KM Framework, which has a five-step process to identify, create, store, share, and apply knowledge. The Manual also includes the APO KM Assessment Tool, which is a survey questionnaire designed to help organizations conduct a rapid initial assessment of their readiness for KM.

Author: Ron Young. Publisher: Asian Productivity Organization (APO).


SDC Knowledge Management Toolkit

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Knowledge Management ToolkitThis Knowledge Management Toolkit features a selection of more than 20 methods and tools for knowledge sharing and learning, applicable at personal, team, and organizational levels. The Toolkit may be used to help people become familiar with a variety of methods and tools, and for planning, reflecting on activities, drawing lessons, and sharing insights and applying them.

The comprehensive 126-page Toolkit is complemented by a field guide and flyer. The field guide is a small, handy pocket guide with short 2-page descriptions of 22 tools, and is available in English, French, German, and Spanish. The flyer is A4 format, 7 pages in length, with 2-4 methods on each page, and is also available in English, French, German, and Spanish.

Editors: SDC Knowledge and Learning Processes Division, and Ernst Bolliger, Agridea. Publisher: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).


NHS Knowledge Mobilisation Resources

NHS Knowledge mobilisationThe NHS Knowledge Mobilisation resources provide guidance in how to use evidence and knowledge to inform policy and practice. While designed for a health service, the resources are widely applicable. They include:

Publisher: NHS England.


Header image source: Adapted from Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes (www.bruceboyes.info) is a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and education professional with over 30 years of experience in Australia and China. His work has received high-level acclaim and been recognised through a number of significant awards. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group at Wageningen University and Research, and holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction. He is also the editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (www.realkm.com), and teaches in the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Certified High-school Program (CHP).

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