USAID / METSS / Ghana - The development of a knowledge management portal for increased collaboration with the private sector, non-government, and government organisations.
To support sustainable and broadly shared economic growth in Ghana, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Monitoring, Evaluation, and Technical Support Services (METSS) program, sought to establish a knowledge management portal, online discussion tool, and electronic library to ensure effective information sharing. The USAID has a Participating Agency Services Agreement (PASA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to coordinate the implementation of the METSS program for USAID in Ghana.
The METSS program performed functions including monitoring and evaluation activities of USAID’s implementing partners, undertaking research and special studies to enhance decision-making, providing information to specific audiences through a coordinated knowledge management system, and facilitating capacity building for identified audiences to support their decision-making and improve their ability to enhance incomes, reduce poverty and improve food security.
Considering these functions, the USAID METSS project collaborated with ministries, departments, agencies of the Government of Ghana, and the private sector. To minimise the duplication of efforts and enhance overall performance across the socio-economic development community, there was a need to ensure effective information sharing.
The design, development, and establishment of a web-based Knowledge Management (KM) portal for USAID Ghana and its partners, was contracted to Bewsys by USAID. In scoping through the requirements of the system, the Bewsys Technical team embedded the existing third-party tools and applications (i.e. Where Analytics and Dashboards, TeamUp Calendaring, etc.) used by the USAID and its partners in Ghana, onto the KM Portal for an effective user experience across multiple audiences and platforms.
In collaborating with the programmatic team of USAID Ghana, the Bewsys team created the KM Portal to be the starting point for a user to begin the exploration of data, information, and knowledge relevant to USAID’s work in Ghana. The portal was custom-built on the registration, monitoring and evaluation, complaint and grievances, document library, system administration, and integrated content management modules of the Bewsys Regulatory MIS.
The portal was designed to feature a structured user membership hierarchy managed and determined by the USAID METSS project to allow multiple accessibility allowances and restrictions. Electronic forums were featured in the development of the portal to encourage information exchange and a community of practice. Spatial data analytics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping functionalities were integrated into the development of the portal to show the events and activities across the economic growth community. Additionally, a collection of published works relevant to USAID Ghana was incorporated into a well-indexed electronic library tool on the portal.
The content management system created considered simplified functionalities to manage and update the portal with new content, and manage navigation with ease. The portal was designed to be optimised for all platforms and devices. Google Analytics was integrated into all pages on the portal to enable easy tracking of performance. In collaboration with the USAID METSS staff, the KM Portal was piloted to ensure usability and feasibility on the field before full scale up and handover to the programmatic team.
Additionally, the Bewsys technical team provided capacity building support and hands-on training to the USAID METSS staff.
The development of the Knowledge and Management Portal provides analytical frameworks and progress on poverty, nutrition, and food security projects across communities in Ghana. It is easier to access knowledge resources including, research articles, project guidelines, research articles, etc. for participatory learning and collaboration.
Additionally, there is increased collaboration with the private sector, non-government, and government organisations. This contributes to building capacity through ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at both the national and district levels, and promoting economic growth.