Divosa - Knowledge and experience in one place
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Access to specific information and work processes is an important factor for professionals in the social sector. To give the right advice, proper knowledge is necessary. Divosa is the association of executives in the social domain and recognizes the importance. To improve their support for professionals, they developed two tools: a knowledge base, in which all kinds of information are provided and a knowledge guide, which provides daily support. A practical application, that evolved during the development process.
Professionals in the social sector support people, for example in finding work and/or income, and provide counseling in situations of dept or integration. This comes with a big responsibility. Every situation comes with different rules and background information and requires a different approach. Marcel van Druenen is project lead of Divosa’s ‘expertise program’ and was therefore looking for a useful application to provide the right support to professionals in this process.
Knowledge base and knowledge guide
Marcel was looking for two solutions: “First, how can we offer all the knowledge available in our association digitally and in such a way that this knowledge can be expanded in co-creation with and by the professionals in the field? Second, how can we support the professionals in their daily practice with an online tool?”
“There is a lot of information available for people that work in the social domain, about every topic,” Marcel explains. “This information can mainly be found in books, research reports and online, however, spread over many platforms. I wanted to bring all this knowledge together in one platform and offer the knowledge in two forms, the knowledge base and the knowledge guide: the online ParticipatieCampus (engl.: ParticipationCampus).
The basis for a growing knowledge platform
The association wants members to manage the content themselves, add and adjust content in order for the platform to continuously evolve. It fits the self-organizing way of working that the local teams of Divosa already apply. “We develop a basis for a growing knowledge platform.” Marcel explains. “The knowledge base and knowledge guide are filled with information that supports professionals. We don’t want this content to be centrally maintained by us. The platform should be for professionals and the content maintained by the professionals themselves, that creates ownership in the entire social sector.
No distance between technique and content
“I had no idea how that should look like exactly and how we would bring together the different types of content.” Marcel tells. WEM proved to be ideal to realize Marcel’s ideas. ZoomBIM helped creating the technical basis as well as provided support in defining the content structure.
“The team of ZoomBIM was able to quickly embrace our substantive questions. There was no distance between ‘we are technique and you are content.’ They understood very well what we were talking about,” Marcel explains.
Tools in own hands
The knowledge base was built within one month with WEM. Not just the user interface, but also the back-end management system as well as the content management system. Marcel discovered the fun in modeling with WEM: “I enjoy playing in WEM and think about the best solution. I got hooked and want to build more tools with WEM.”
Marcel and his colleague Saskia Schrijver, Divosa’s content manager, followed a three day WEM Training. Now they are not just enabled to place and control content, but also adjust the application’s structure. They have the architecture in their own hands, which allows them to be flexible and immediately react to wishes that arise from users and changes in the social sector.
A seed that can grow
The ParticipationCampus with the knowledge base and the knowledge guide are already used. “We view this as an experiment, from where we can grow,” Marcel tells. “We’ve already been contacted by ministries and foundations that look at our tool as an example to share knowledge. And that’s possible, because the structure is applicable in any sector, only the content needs to be adjusted and assigned to the respective topic and target group.”
“We hope to make more use of technique in the future, so we can offer more proficient support. We’re definitely on the right track with our knowledge base and knowledge guide as a solid basis.”