Martina Eichler implemented following Master Thesis in 2017/2018 as part of her master Integrated Product Development and Innovation Management at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH in Stockholm. The title of the project is; Knowledge Management in Product Development Projects in Developing Countries – A Case Study. Her project was accepted to the Minor Field Study programme, MFS by Sida, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Organizations and companies have an internal way of managing their knowledge and a system to make sure it is not shared to external potential competitors. Non-profit organizations on the other hand wants to share their knowledge with other non-profits to make sure one is not putting efforts into designing solutions that has already been developed. The aim is often to together make improvements to the world and therefore cooperate instead of seeing each other as potential threats. Since the market demand is low for a way of sharing knowledge between companies or organizations, there is little knowledge available regarding how to most efficiently share between the non-profit organizations.
Martina used a volunteer project in Quelimane as a case study to see how one could improve the knowledge sharing from the field study of one volunteer group, to make sure the knowledge they have generated during their time abroad was stored in the most efficient way. Through interviews she investigated the challenges one met with information gathering from all the volunteers who has been working in Quelimane. The interviews were held with the stakeholders; volunteers, non-profit organizations and Quelimane Municipality. She came to realize that one challenge for knowledge sharing in low-income countries is that they often lack resources, such as enough computers and reliable internet connection. In her case study she analyzed how creating an instruction manual was one way of sharing the knowledge from the case study of building a prototype. Another solution could also be to involve people in the building of the prototype, since learning by doing is the easiest way of sharing knowledge especially when having a language barrier between one another.