The third Knowledge Management training course of the WISDOM project took place from November 16th-18th, 2009 at Can Tho University (CTU). 18 participants from both, WISDOM partner organizations and other institutes attended the training course, which was based on previous capacity building activities of the project. The first day of the workshop centered on theoretical concepts of knowledge management at micro and macro level. Prof. Hans-Dieter Evers from ZEF highlighted the growing importance of knowledge governance within enterprises and organizations; big development agencies, such as the World Bank and GTZ for example, set up specialized knowledge management divisions within their organizations. He also explored the fact that knowledge has become a crucial means of production and a necessary precondition for development in the age of information and communication technologies. The participants acknowledged that nowadays more and more countries base their development strategies on knowledge as a driving force. In the following, case studies on Vietnam stimulated a lively discussion among the participants. The question whether Vietnam is on the right way to build a knowledge-based economy and society was critically explored and gained a lot of interest among the group.
On the second day Prof. Thomas Menkhoff of SMU (Singapore Management University), an expert on knowledge management in Southeast Asia, joint the workshop as a guest lecturer and introduced more practical aspects of knowledge management. Participants had to do practical exercises, in which they dealt with knowledge management practices in their own research institutions. Finally they came up with a proposition of suitable tools to overcome the existing problems and strengthen knowledge sharing.
After two days of intensive studying, the group undertook a field trip to Binh An Seafood Company, one of the 30 seafood processing companies located in Can Tho City. The management board of the company welcomed the group and gave insights into the company’s organizational structure and business activities. The export-oriented enterprise is selling the majority of its (frozen) fish products on the global market. Quality management and marketing research are very important, in particular for ensuring the company’s access to major markets in the European Union and the US. After an intensive exchange with the management of the company, workshop participants had the opportunity to visit the production plant and the newly established research center of the company.
The course closed with an evaluation exercise, in which the participants had to assess the training course with regard to contents and its relevance concerning their daily work. Finally, all participants acknowledged that knowledge management is an important issue that needs to be considered for strengthening the capacity of Vietnam’s research community, not only with regard to the upgrading of information and communication technologies, but in particular with regard to the institutionalization of knowledge sharing.
Following the three-days training course, another training activity on curriculum development was offered to selected participants, all from Can Tho University. The objective of the course was to identify opportunities for integrating a knowledge management course into one of CTU’s bachelor or master programs. Furthermore, the curriculum design was discussed and suggestions came up at which faculty of CTU knowledge management courses could be established most appropriately. To institutionalise knowledge management training within the academic profile of the Can Tho University would represent a really innovative step for the further development of Can Tho University.