Indicators That Measure Processes


Processes define how an activity is carried out and process indicators help to determine how well the activity is carried out. A “process” refers to a series of activities that transforms KM from theory to public health practice. The indicators in this section describe activities that organizations undertake to plan and carry out successful KM programs and activities—that is, KM activities that increase the application of knowledge to improve global health and enhance development.

KM inputs feed into five processes that together constitute the knowledge cycle: (1) knowledge assessment, (2) knowledge capture, (3) knowledge generation, (4) knowledge synthesis, and (5) knowledge sharing. These five integrated knowledge processes work together to create the four key KM activities:

  • Products and services – include websites and web portals, resource libraries, searchable databases, eLearning platforms, mobile applications, physical resource centers, and help desks
  • Publications and resources – refer to written documents, such as policy briefs, guidelines, journal articles, manuals, job aids, and project reports
  • Trainings and events – include workshops, seminars, meetings, webinars, forums, and conferences
  • Approaches and techniques – refer to techniques for sharing knowledge, such as after-action reviews, peer assists, twinning, study tours, knowledge cafés, and communities of practice (COPs), to name some of the more popular KM approaches

The indicators in this section also examine the capacity of public health organizations to apply KM tools and methods to their work, and indicate the extent to which user-assessment findings are fed back into KM work. The indicators can help KM programs make sure their activities are implemented systematically, using theory, user feedback, and appropriate collaborative mechanisms.

In this section (and throughout the guide), we use the term “users” to refer to the groups that KM activities intend to engage and interact with—through knowledge resources, technical assistance, COPs, and other activities. In the context of global health, these groups can be health care service providers, decision makers, and program managers. Their clients—health care consumers—will, in turn, benefit from improvements in services made possible through KM.


that measure process are grouped into four subcategories: 1) knowledge assessment; 2) knowledge generation, capture, and synthesis; 3) knowledge sharing; and 4) strengthening KM culture and capacity. Altogether, 13 indicators are mapped to these subcategories (indicators 1 to 13).

Subcategory (Area)Description
Knowledge assessmentRefers to various types of assessment organizations conduct before planning and implementing KM activities in order to understand: 1) the knowledge needs and capacity within the project or organization (internal or organizational KM audit), and 2) the knowledge needs of the intended users (external knowledge needs assessment).
Knowledge generation, capture, and synthesisRefers to the continuous systematic process of combining knowledge from different sources to generate new ideas, capture and document existing evidence, and synthesize information from a variety of sources (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995).
Knowledge sharingMeasures how organizations foster knowledge transfer among groups of people with common interests and purposes in formal and informal settings and through various communication channels.
Strengthening KM culture and capacityMeasures important institutional KM processes: strengthening KM culture and capacity, by raising awareness, providing incentives for knowledge sharing, showing the value of KM, and providing skill development opportunities that can contribute to efficient and effective programs.


ID Indicator
1 Organizational knowledge audit conducted in the last five years
2 Number of instances where health knowledge needs assessments among intended users are conducted
3 Number and type of user feedback mechanism(s) on knowledge needs used
4 Whether user knowledge needs/feedback was used to inform design and implementation of products and services
5 Number of key actionable findings, experiences, and lessons learned captured, evaluated, synthesized, and packaged
6 Number of new KM outputs created and available, by type
7 Number of KM outputs updated or modified, by type
8 Number of KM coordinating/collaborating activities, by type
9 Number of training sessions, workshops, or conferences conducted, by type
10 Number/percentage of KM outputs guided by relevant theory
11 Number/percentage of KM trainings achieving training objectives
12 Number of instances of staff reporting their KM capacities improved, by type
13 Number of KM approaches/methods/tools used, by type
43 Number of operational guidelines developed and adopted to facilitate partnership activities, by type
44 Rating of the coordination roles and responsibilities undertaken by the leadership and management body in the partnership
45 Level of commitment and support for shared vision
46 Level of trust among partner organizations
47 Level of satisfaction with the overall partnership
48 Number of joint activities to produce KM outputs, by type
54 Number of training sessions or activities focused on adaptive practices
66 Number/percentage of group members able to articulate a shared vision
67 Level of shared language among group members
68 Number/percentage of group members who report knowledge sharing as a group norm
69 Level of trust among group members
70 Level of reciprocity in knowledge sharing
71 Number/percentage of members who express sense of identification with a group