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UNESCO National Commissions as Knowledge Brokers. Training Workshop for Documentalists of National Commissions of the Caribbean Castries, St. Lucia, 1-3 December 2004 A xel Plathe UNESCO, Information Society Division n a .plathe @unesco.org. What is a Knowledge Broker?.

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UNESCO National Commissions as Knowledge Brokers

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UNESCO National Commissions as Knowledge Brokers

Training Workshop for Documentalists ofNationalCommissions of the CaribbeanCastries, St. Lucia, 1-3 December 2004

Axel Plathe

UNESCO, Information Society Divisionn


What is aKnowledge Broker?

“An intermediary that links the people who use knowledge and those who create it”

Key functions of Natcoms

Constitution of UNESCO (Article VII)/ Charter of National Commissions

Natcom> Country (internal “clients”)

Inform national agencies & institutions of GC/Ex Board conclusions & recommendations

Disseminate findings of studies and reports

Translate, adapt and disseminate UNESCO publications/documents in national languages

Arouse public interest in UNESCO

Disseminate information on UNESCO (mass media and the general public)

Provide a channel for disseminating information obtained from other countries

Information functions

Natcoms> Secretariat

Inform the Secretariat on national requirements and priorities

Make their views known when surveys or inquiries are carried out

Provide knowledge on national expertise (e.g. consultants)

Information functions

Information channels




UNESCO (HQ & Field)


National Commission

Other IGOs & NGOs

Government & institutions

Other Natcoms

State agencies and services, professional and other associations, universities and other centres of research and education, and other institutions concerned with education, the sciences, culture and information

Information flows

Information creators

Information user


Secretariat(HQ & field)

Information users

Information creators





Expertise in given areas

Institutional (e.g. universities)

Individual (e.g. consultants, experts)

Best practices

Types of information

Your suggestions


E-mail lists



Content managementsystems (CMS)


A weblog, or simply a blog, is a web application which contains periodic, reverse chronologically ordered posts on a common webpage. Such a Web site would typically be accessible to any Internet user.

Your suggestions


Paper publications (e.g.montly/yearly reports)

Documentation centres & libraries



Your suggestions

Information resources


  • UNESCO official documents

  • UNESCO publications


  • News services (on/off line)

Your suggestions

Human capacities

«Information literacy»

Knowledge manager expertise

Documentalist/librarian expertise

Web expertise


Your suggestions?

Technical tools


UNESCO Thesaurus

Internet connection

E-mail tools

CMS (Master website for Natcoms)


Your suggestions

Information or Knowledge?


Information can be considered as a message. It typically has a sender and a receiver. Information is the sort of stuff that can, at least potentially, be saved onto a computer. Data is a type of information that is structured, but has not been interpreted.


Knowledge might be described as information that has a use or purpose. Whereas information can be placed onto a computer, knowledge exists in the heads of people. Knowledge is information to which an intent has been attached.

Seeks to make the best use of the knowledge that is available to an organization

Creates new knowledge in the process

Knowledge Management

"Knowledge Management caters to the critical issues of organizational adaptation, survival, and competence in face of increasingly discontinuous environmental change....

Essentially, it embodies organizational processes that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings.“


Knowledge Management

Organizational process


Data and information processing capacity of IT

Creative and innovative capacity of human beings

Natcoms ?

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