The effectiveness of knowledge sharing: The case of ProMusa, a global knowledge platform on banana

ProMusa is a knowledge-sharing platform on bananas managed by Bioversity International through funding from the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas. It brings together scientists and other stakeholders working on banana, with the ultimate goal of helping banana farmers make a better living and ensuring that bananas – in all their diversity – continue to thrive in a healthy environment.

Through ProMusa, scientists and stakeholder can interact and access a variety of online resources and tools, such as an electronic newsletter, an online compendium of banana knowledge, a bibliographic database, an image bank and a contacts database. Discussions are encouraged through an online discussion forum, a community blog, and mailing lists. ProMusa also organizes a biennial scientific symposium to help its members stay up-to-date on the latest Musa research, encourage exchange of ideas and facilitate collaboration between scientists and across disciplines.

In 2013, a study was undertaken to assess the nature and effectiveness of ProMusa from the point of view of its members and subscribers, what outputs are produced and how these are translated into outcomes and disseminated outside the network. The results of the study are now being disseminated.

ProMusa is seen as a hub and dissemination place for information on banana; a common platform that facilitates collaboration and networking in the banana community from researchers to donors, practitioners, farmers and so on, where all sorts of updated information on banana can be easily found, from news to scientific research, diseases alerts, funding opportunities and events.

“According to the respondents of the study, the unique added value of ProMusa is that it provides reliable, well-respected and updated information on banana production and research in one place, and that it connects different people worldwide with the same goal”, says Inge van den Bergh, Bioversity International Senior Scientist and ProMusa coordinator.
Members also appreciate that ProMusa provides a space where information or views that don’t reach journals can be shared, which gives a valuable feel of hot topics and research needs with a variety of opinions.

“ProMusa’s competitive advantage is its global reach, providing access to free and updated information, with live feedback and sharing between experts from different fields all over the world”, concludes Elisabetta Gotor, Bioversity International scientist and co-author of the impact assessment study with Genowefa Blundo Canto.

Read the full study The effectiveness of knowledge sharing: The case of ProMusa

This research is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas.

Promusa

Researchers and farmers in banana field, Uganda. Credit: Bioversity International/P. de Santis

Post originally published on the Bioversity International’s website