Employing knowledge networks as tools for the development of Caribbean Small Island Developing States
.--I. Introduction.--II. Understanding knowledge networks.--III. Building and managing knowledge networks.--IV. Conclusions and recommendations
Expertise, skills, experiences, understandings and capabilities (knowledge) aid development, not just by informing decision-making, but also by providing ideas for actions and activities that can be taken. Due to their size, and economic and environmental vulnerabilities, Caribbean Small Island developing States (SIDS) faces special challenges when working towards their economic, social and environmental development goals. These challenges have contributed to the creation of knowledge gaps, and that which is already available is located in isolated pockets, throughout the Caribbean. Migration of skilled persons compounds the issue, thereby removing much needed knowledge to beyond the traditional borders of the Caribbean. It is necessary to find ways to connect these dispersed knowledge resources. Knowledge networks are tools that can connect the existing skills, expertise, experiences and understandings accessible and create new ones to move towards greater development in the Caribbean. The purpose of this paper is to explore and highlight the role that knowledge networks can play as an aid in the development of Caribbean SIDS. It offers, with Caribbean examples, definitions and discussions of the components, types, and the advantages and disadvantages they hold for the subregion. The paper goes further to provide some ideas on assembling and analysing the different types of knowledge networks. It concludes with a few recommendations geared toward improving the availability of knowledge in the Caribbean.