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Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): Capacity Development:

Knowledge Management


Knowledge Staircase

The value of increasing knowledge can be described through the concept of a 'Knowledge Staircase', developed by Dr. Peter Ashton of the CSIR. This metaphor illustrates the concept of growing technical value as knowledge increases.

  • An individual is Trained and specific skills are acquired

  • Observation and measurement is undertaken to acquire Data

  • Data is gathered, which is tested and filtered to create Information

  • Information is organised, analysed and interpreted to create Knowledge

  • Knowledge is integrated and comprehended to develop Intelligence and Understanding

  • Intelligence and understanding is combined with judgement to development and impart Wisdom

As the knowledge staircase is 'climbed', objectivity and reliability increase, as does value to society. This concept is intended to show the value gained from investment in scientific and technical endeavours, but it is universally applicable to the gathering of information to support decision-making of all kinds.

The Knowledge Staircase.
Source:Ashton 2004
( click to enlarge )

A River Awareness Kit (RAK) is an example of a knowledge management platform.

The  River Awareness Kit Approach

In many transboundary river basins, information and data specific to the river system and its people are disparate and inaccessible. The River Awareness Kit (RAK) presents a unique approach to develop a range of interactive tools, capacity-development programs, environmental information services, and remote sensing and GIS services. River Awareness Kits (RAKs) present relevant information, graphics and maps about the river basin in an interactive and user-friendly fashion. The user-driven approach employed in developing a River Awareness Kit (RAK) helps to facilitate stakeholder involvement and ownership in the process.

RAKs have been developed for the following transboundary river basins:




Explore the sub-basins of the Orange-Senqu River

Explore the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management applied to the Orange-Senqu

Learn about water governance in the Orange-Senqu basin

Tour video scenes along the Orange-Senqu River related to Governance

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