What is a Knowledge Fair? What is a Knowledge Fair?

During 2013, a small group of people worked on a project to organise the stories that appear on this site so that we can learn more effectively from the experiences of Local Response described here. These experiences sit at the heart of Knowledge Fairs. We organise the content into what we call Knowledge Assets. This note explains a little more about Knowledge Fairs and Knowledge Assets. At the end, there is a link to more material and examples. 

The idea of Learn-and-share

Learn-and-share is a single process in which we recognise that the sharing of experience always opens the door so that each of us can learn from the experience of the other.

The practice of learn-and-share requires that we recognise these 2 ideas:

  • I have something to learn from you.
    ('I may be a doctor famous throughout the world for my knowledge of HIV/AIDS, but I recognise that you, the hospital porter, know much more about the reality of HIV/AIDS in this hospital than I do.')

This is indeed a difficult challenge. But, for some, what follows is an even greater challenge?

  • I have something to share with you.
    ('Even though you are a doctor famous throughout the world for your knowledge of HIV/AIDS, I recognise that I, the hospital porter, know much more about the reality of HIV/AIDS in this hospital than you do.')

The essential idea of CLCP is that we learn from our experience. The idea of learn-and-share opens up the possibility of learning from the experience of our peers. It requires that we take on the responsibility of sharing our experience with others.

Knowledge Fair

We can consider any opportunity for communities to learn-and-share as a Knowledge Fair. It can take place at any stage in CLCP. It can be small or large. However, we usually think that a Knowledge Fair brings together a significant number of communities so that they can all share their experiences and learn from each other.

The Knowledge Fair often has the air of a celebration. It is a joyous occasion when people celebrate their progress. But if the Knowledge Fair goes no further than a celebration of success and an opportunity for the lucky few to be present at the event to learn-and-share then, at the very  least, it is a waste of a wonderful opportunity. The Knowledge Fair also presents the opportunity to create or to develop a Knowledge Asset.

Knowledge Asset

A Knowledge Asset on the practices of CLCP makes available to a community the experiences of all those around the world that have practised CLCP. It can inspire communities to take actions that they had not thought of before. It can help communities to make the implementation of their actions more effective. It can help to make their response more effective. And it begins at the Knowledge Fair.

A Knowledge Asset on the practises of CLCP is built up from stories that describe experiences of Local Response and the lessons learned from that experience. The Knowledge Asset also explores connections between experiences and lessons to propose broader lessons from groups of experiences. The Knowledge Asset provides links between the lessons and the individual/group concerned so that you can contact them to explore the experience and your situation together.

An example of a Knowledge Asset

You can find more discussion about Knowledge Assets and examples at:


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Comment by Autry Haynes on February 9, 2014 at 4:53pm

Thanks Phil, very thought provoking but informative. This will take time to internalize. But am getting the thought process and understanding.

I am getting that Knowledge fair and Knowledge Asset, while a step of the process, should be inherent in all that we do, if it is to have impact on what we do and benefit communities and their local responses.

Comment by Farellia on February 3, 2014 at 5:24pm

Thank you Phil! And I take the occasion to wish you all the very best for 2014 ^_^ Kindest regards form kinhsasa


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