Knowledge Hub (www.khub.net) is a free-to-join digital community that enables those working in public services to connect, collaborate and share knowledge and information. Knowledge Hub provides digital collaboration tools to well over 150,000 members in 2,000+ online communities across central and local government, education, health, housing, police and fire services and covering 80 countries.
Knowledge Hub’s technology is an enabler for public service organisations everywhere to learn from each other and reuse knowledge and information digitally. It helps them exchange ideas and solutions, and share good practice and innovation. Members need no longer reinvent the wheel, but can gain efficient, effective and reliable advice from their peers.
During 2016 Knowledge Hub saw more than 6 million page views, 1 million visits, 25,000 conversations and 10,000 documents shared. According to Gartner, only around 30% of private online communities succeed. In Knowledge Hub’s case this increases to around 70%. This is in large part due to the expert community management support the Knowledge Hub offers its members.
Knowledge Hub recognises that successful collaboration is not just down to the technology. For the most part, it depends on people. Embedding a culture of knowledge sharing through engaging members takes time and effort. The Knowledge Hub Team's expertise in community building and knowledge management helps its groups and networks build that culture and encourage behaviour change.
The beauty of Knowledge Hub is its huge and varied membership. It offers rich opportunities for networking across departments, organisations, sectors, geography and subject fields. Members can connect with experts and join groups outside of their own immediate network and organisation, helping them broaden their skills and experience. Knowledge Hub’s wide range of groups and networking opportunities also mean that members can enjoy the serendipity of discovery.
Anyone may join Knowledge Hub free of charge and those working in the public or not-for-profit sectors may create open or restricted (access controlled) groups for free. Private (hidden) groups and larger collaborative networks of groups with organisational branding and control carry an affordable annual fee. Knowledge Hub's underlying technology is available in 44 different languages.
Some current examples of successful digital communities and networks in Knowledge Hub are:
Cross-Government Collaboration in Project Delivery
By using Knowledge Hub, UK Civil Service and NHS project delivery professionals are now able to share, ideas, knowledge and experience, solve problems, stay in touch and make new relationships across organisational and geographical boundaries. In the space of only a few months, more than 2,500 programme and project managers across Government departments and health family organisations have accessed shared resources and expertise to build capacity and skills in the project delivery profession and help retain valuable knowledge and experience within the profession.
Driving consistency and efficiency in local government
Regulatory Services across UK local government have been using Knowledge Hub for several years to develop a consistent approach to legislative enforcement in all areas of trading standards and environmental health. Most recently, a group has been set up to disseminate information on the use of fireworks and explosives, creating a much needed link between trading standards and fire services. Pooling knowledge and sharing how people are tackling issues has helped them iron out inconsistencies in the interpretation of legislation and produce agreed templates and guidance.
Developing leadership in education
A range of Government and professional organisations within education have been using groups and networks on Knowledge Hub to support leadership development within schools. Cohorts of teachers use groups to work through middle and senior leadership and headship course materials and support each other as study groups. Not only has this style of learning helped teaching staff across primary and secondary education in the UK, but courses have also been run for schools in the rest of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Supporting marginalised groups – working with Syrian refugees
A number of groups have been set up to support those working to resettle Syrian refugees in the UK. Local authority officers, Government officials, police staff and others involved in working with refugees are able to communicate issues, share ideas and raise awareness of cultural matters. The groups have been used to share best practice, templates and guidance on subjects as diverse as ESOL funding, data collection, hate crime awareness, forced marriage and unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
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Knowledge Hub is based in United Kingdom and has been running since Oct 2013