Diversity and tension in knowledge production and dissemination: a closer look at the activities of 10 Ghanaian civil society organisations
Keywords:knowledge management, civil society, knowledge-based advocacy, contextualized research
AbstractThis paper presents the results of a multiple case study research on the activities of 10 civil society organisations engaged in knowledge production and dissemination in Ghana. The conceptual framework utilized to guide this study included concepts related to contextualized research and research dissemination and utilization models. The findings revealed the diversity of approaches to knowledge production and dissemination, a great source of both richness and tensions related to differences in the quality of the knowledge produced and in the level of effectiveness of the dissemination strategies adopted. The study also highlighted the limited space given to the same organisations to engage in policy discussions. These findings have implications for the participation of organisations in evidence-based policy debates. First, the processes through which stakeholders determine what is relevant knowledge are rarely exempt from power issues. In such a context, the temptation to disqualify the evidence produced by organisations on the basis of quality could become irresistible for those who have the most influence on determining what is an acceptable source of evidence. Second, these findings can help organisations and other development partners develop dissemination strategies to make the most of the knowledge produced.