Barbadian citizens, residents and potential investors will soon have access to well-organised sources of knowledge to facilitate personal advancement, organisational learning, and, ultimately, to boost economic growth.

This comes as part of the development of a National Knowledge Management System, which falls under the Ministry of Labour???s Human Resource Development Strategy.

Over 100 invitees gathered recently at Almond Bay, Hastings, for the official launch of the Knowledge Management Sensitisation workshop, where Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer, spoke on the importance of the initiative.

She outlined: ???Barbados, like many other developing societies, may gain competitive advantage, and its citizens become more innovative, when there is easy access to shared information, best practices, ideas, tools and techniques???

“It is crucial that we have access to knowledge of best practices in Government and, similarly, for our private sector to have access to best practices in corporate governance.???

This first day of training consisted of a general overview of knowledge management and by the end of the week, a group of 25 trainees will complete a full programme to become certified knowledge professionals.

According to Senator Byer, it is anticipated that these persons will form a core team to help develop national priorities, policies and guidelines, in conjunction with the team of consultants currently engaged in designing the knowledge management system for Barbados.

???When we talk about doing business in Barbados, we know the runaround when you have to take one form from one department to another to get a stamp, then go somewhere else to get that verified and to have something else checked or added to your form???.

“All of that could be done with the click of a button if the information was at a central location and if the people who are involved in the process understood the significance of knowledge management,??? she reasoned.

Knowledge Management Institute Chairman and the workshop???s Chief Instructor, Douglas Weidner, reiterated the importance of knowledge management sensitisation.

???If you just roll out a bunch of systems then your chances of success are iffy. If you integrate the personnel with it you have a much higher chance of success. We???re here to try to find out how to substantially increase [Barbados???] chances of success in implementing this knowledge management system,??? he stated.

The National Knowledge Management System is being supported through grants from the European Union and technical assistance and loans from the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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