Knowledge Management and international organizations: A new perspective on the role of Information professionals
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The rapid evolution of information and communication technology in recent years has seen knowledge management become a key tool for the success of a variety of institutions. Many international organizations have developed knowledge management programs as key to their future development strategies. The number of international organizations that have identified knowledge management as one of their core management tools or formed a new knowledge management department is growing every day. Thus, the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), ILO (International Labour Office), United Nations and IMF (International Monetary Fund) have now created knowledge management divisions within their structures. Yet despite its growing popularity, knowledge management in international organizations remains a complex and challenging task. It calls for the management and integration of knowledge bases across national boundaries, in diverse cultural settings, and within organizations that may possess distinct values and sets of priorities. This study attempts to explicate the importance of including an information pro fession al in all the systematic processes of knowledge management. The objective of the study is accomplished through a case study of the IFRC. It explicitly identifies the roles through which the librarians’ professional training can be leveraged for knowledge capturing, organization, and dissemination in an organization such as the IFRC.