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MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative)

The MaFI Knowledge Factory

MaFI members are constantly creating and promoting conversations to solve concrete problems, connect and learn from each other about challenging issues and share job opportunities.  All these conversations take place on a LinkedIn group.

Some of these conversations can gain significant momentum, engaging many MaFI members for long periods of time. They are a valuable resource for practitioners, researchers and policy-makers; however -precisely because of their success-  they become quite long and dense, and therefore, difficult to follow.  With the valuable collaboration of the SEEP Network and a few MaFI members, efforts have been made to synthesise and publish relevant and popular discussions that have taken place in MaFI; however, they have proven unsustainable because they require the inputs of experienced and expensive writers and editors.

The MaFI Knowledge Factory is an innovative, low-cost model that attempts to overcome said challenges by leveraging the energy and experience of MaFI members, academic researchers and post-graduate students, and by decentralising and standardising the knowledge production process around three modules:

  1. Blogs
  2. Syntheses of convergences, divergences, pending questions/issues and resources
  3. Academic papers (produced by the Research Alliance). In this module, original texts of the discussions are provided to post-grad students as inputs for their course work

The production process

The knowledge production process is as follows:

  1. Relevant discussions that have won the Influencer of the Month Awards (and runners-up in some cases) get “VIP” treatment and are prioritised to go through the “production line”.
  2. The top influencers of the month are encouraged to write a blog of the discussion they created with an emphasis on their personal learning journey, opinions and insights. The blog format gives the winners more flexibility; furthermore, a focus on their personal take on the discussion reduces the pressure of having to produce an full synthesis (which can be quite hard, time-consuming and, in some cases, intimidating)
  3. If a top influencer is not willing or able to write the blog, a writer will be provided to support the creator or to write the blog for them. In both cases, the creator of the discussion is involved and consulted throughout the process.
  4. A synthesis of points of convergence, points of divergence, pending questions and interesting issues, and resources is produced by the creator of the discussion, other MaFI members or volunteers (normally working for the SEEP network).  Examples and guidelines will be provided to this “synthesisers” to build their skills in the production of this module.
  5. A text of the raw discussion is made available to post-grad student who want to use it as an input for their research.  Students will be required to describe the research for which they want to use the discussion, and demonstrate that their research is relevant for MaFI, that they are studying in a reputable university or institute and that they have the full support a professor or mentor. Papers with high marks will receive additional support to convert them into peer-reviewed papers.

Note:  This in an ongoing pilot; we will continue adjusting it and improving it according to both the evidence we gather as we implement it and your suggestions and ideas. 


 

Contact: Lucho Osorio (MaFI facilitator): luis.osorio@practicalaction.org.uk

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