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SWD KM Framework

Knowledge Management (KM) Framework of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)


Knowledge is a key organizational resource and the DSWD realizes that it should be managed effectively. There is a need to access, share and exchange this knowledge to ensure that the goals of the Department will be achieved.

In the journey toward its vision of a society where the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged are empowered for an improved quality of life, the Department has clearly and purposively committed establish the basic knowledge-drive infrastructures. For instance, by 2030 it will have become the world's standard for the delivery of coordinated social services and social protection for poverty reduction. By 2022, it will have become the hub for best practice, learning exchange, and growth programs in the Asia Pacific Region through its knowledge and resource/learning center and centers of excellence which are set to be attained at the ASEAN level in 2016. Consequently, by 2OLL, it will have successfully led to the adoption of a national government convergence framework and effectively streamlined internal processes. All of these inexorably points to the DSWD in becoming a learning organization.

Toward this end, the capability of the Department for knowledge management must be enhanced. There is a need to harmonize and systematize the processing of knowledge. Practically every Office, Bureau, or Service in the Department has the knowledge to create, share, and store. These are often not adequately documented or stored systematically. There have been rich experiences under various programs that have remained only in the minds of knowledge holders. Thus, it will be an advantage to extract this knowledge and translate them into quality knowledge products for use of employees and partners of the Department.

On the other hand, the employees must also be encouraged to share knowledge and produce new ones so they can respond to the ever-changing needs of partners and constituents. The barriers to knowledge sharing have to be addressed so that the people will trust and be empowered to continue to learn, share knowledge, and produce faster, smarter, and better services to the clients. Therefore, a more comprehensive and appropriate approach in managing knowledge in the Department is in order. It should be one that is able to capture and distribute important existing knowledge and at the same time, one that is able to accelerate the production of new knowledge by enhancing the conditions in which innovation and creativity naturally occur. This approach will enable the DSWD to continuously learn from its experiences, think creatively, adapt to new demands and social practices, and produce innovations in its service.

The knowledge management framework that follows will consist of goals and outcomes, guiding principles, conceptual framework, action plan, and monitoring and evaluation mechanism. It will guide DSWD's transition into a learning organization.


This framework aims to provide directions on how to conduct and implement knowledge management in the Department, specifically on the following:

  1. Develop and manage a system that will facilitate collection, storage, and sharing of existing knowledge in the organization.
  2. Provide venues to facilitate innovation and knowledge creation through facilities like communities of practice/interest, collaboration, discussion, and multidisciplinary teams; and
  3. Implement programs to improve the quality of business processes and information flow in the DSWD, through initiatives such as total quality management, process improvement, and benchmarking for best practices.


  1. Knowledge - is a fluid mixture of experiences, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information
  2. Knowledge management - is about creating an environment in which people's experience and wisdom on Social Protection and Social Welfare programs delivery are valued; and where internal processes are structured to support social welfare policymakers, program managers and service providers in creating, sharing, and using knowledge
  3. Learning - is the process of gaining/acquiring knowledge
  4. Learning Organization - is an organization that acquires knowledge and innovates fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment; a learning organization which: a) creates a culture that encourages and supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking, and risk-taking with new ideas; b) views mistakes as opportunities for learning and values employee contribution; c) learns from experience and experimentation; and d) disseminates the new knowledge throughout the organization for incorporation into day-to-day activities
  5. Knowledge production - is the creation of new ideas, new insights, and innovation as a function of the interaction between people and/or the acquisition of knowledge from outside sources.
  6. Knowledge validation - is the process by which new "knowledge claims" are subjected to peer review and a test of value in practice.
  7. Knowledge integration - is what happens after new knowledge has been validated. It results in the implementation of new knowledge within the organization to whatever extent is applicable.
  8. Organizational knowledge - is generally expressed by what an organization believes, does, or by how it behaves. That is, organizational knowledge is embedded in organizational practice
  9. Knowledge Products - are documents and publications derived from expertise, research, and lessons learned that respond to different demands of users and may cover a wide range of purposes.
  10. Knowledge claims - are products of the knowledge production process and are subject to validation.
  11. Knowledge Portal - refers to a place where users will interact with the system as the first point of entry. From here, the users can access information, send queries and receive responses online, and the like in order to accomplish their tasks.
  12. Communities of Practice - refer to groups of practitioners collaborating in particular fields of endeavor to define a practice and knowledge domain


A. Goal and Outcome

The ultimate goal of the DSWD"s Knowledge Management Framework is to enhance the institutional capacity of the Department for an effective action in carrying out its mission and achieving its vision.

As an outcome, the Department shall transform into a learning organization; thus the Department shall endeavor to:

  1. Improve the procedural aspects of knowledge management at the DSWD, including the assimilation and dissemination by DSWD of relevant and high-quality knowledge to its partners and stakeholders; and
  2. Create and/or enhance the culture of knowledge management within the DSWD, through the provision of an environment for continuing innovation and learning, knowledge sharing, trusting, and communicating.

B. Guiding Principles

The Framework is based on the following guiding principles:

  1. Fostering an environment of sharing of knowledge

    The framework aims to establish a culture of effective knowledge management at the DSWD, encouraging employees and partners to create and share knowledge and introduce innovations in their work. This culture includes employees and partners taking personal responsibility for the quality and integrity of knowledge that they produce and share.

  2. Ensuring results-oriented knowledge management initiatives

    The framework is designed to facilitate the results-orientation of knowledge management initiatives. Results will be monitored and the corresponding improvements in the Department's knowledge agenda will be identified.

  3. Using knowledge to support DSWD priorities

    The framework will focus on knowledge efforts that will support the strategic and operational priorities of the Department. These priorities shall be the basis for the DSWD knowledge management initiatives that include knowledge products to be produced and shared, the core values to be promoted, and the knowledge activities to be undertaken.

  4. Managing the transition of the Department into a learning organization

    The framework should consider that knowledge management involves a process of change that needs to be managed. Thus, the people must have awareness first and be ready to cooperate in knowledge management. An appropriate environment for learning and knowledge sharing must be established. Adjustments in the knowledge management system along the way must be made and the organization must see some evidence of its effectiveness before it can be made fully operational.

C. Conceptual Framework

The DSWD Conceptual Framework on Knowledge Management is illustrated below.

DSWD Conceptual Framework on Knowledge Management

Figure 1: DSWD conceptual Framework on Knowledge Management

(Reference: Omona, w., et al., Using ICT to enhance Knowledge Management in higher education: a conceptual framework and research agenda, International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology, ZOLO, Vol. 6, Issue 4, pp.83-101).

The DSWD's concept of knowledge management is a process of creating an environment wherein people's experience and wisdom on social protection and social welfare programs delivery are valued; and where internal processes are structured to support social welfare policymakers, program managers, and service providers in creating, sharing, and using knowledge

The framework provides directions on how to conduct and implement knowledge management in the Department. It describes the relationships and interdependence of KM inputs and KM processes to obtain the KM outputs. Knowledge, enabled by the leadership, the organization, and the technology, is fed into a transformation process consisting of Knowledge Production, Knowledge Validation, and Knowledge Integration to produce outputs that are of value to the Department and its stakeholders. Viewed as a system, the framework is greater than the sum of its parts. A change in one part affects the entire system. A lack of change in one part still affects the entire system. Therefore, the KM framework shall always be referred to in ensuring a balanced view and integration of the various components of the Department's knowledge management system.

1. Knowledge Management Input

Knowledge Source

The Knowledge Sources at the DSWD are mainly those related to the Major Final Outputs and to the external sources coming from its partners, LGUs, NGOs, POs, academe, beneficiaries, and civil society organizations. These knowledge sources are of two types: explicit and tacit, that the Department may avail of. The explicit knowledge is found in documents and databases. It is in files, publications and registries. The tacit knowledge is in the minds of individuals and groups. Either of the two knowledge sources becomes active when it is applied, shared or brought into discussions with others. However, managing them presents different challenges and may require different ways of dealing with them.

Enabling Technology

The enabling technology in the Department includes knowledge portals, communication systems, emails, and collaboration mechanisms such as the Core Group of Specialists, Social Welfare and Development Forum, Social Welfare and Development Learning-Network, etc. In the context of today's need for faster and better services, the use of an enabling technology will greatly facilitate more effective decisions, project quality, and operational excellence.


Leadership in KM in the Department is manifested in the quality of the Performance Governance system-Balanced scorecard (pGS-BSc) Long Term Plan, leadership directives on the use of KM in the Convergence strategy, and efforts on workforce empowerment. It is leadership that must champion the KM.


The organization must align itself with the goals of KM. At the DSWD, there are efforts to enhance the systems and procedures in the organization and to enable a learning culture. Recently, it has undertaken the Social Welfare and Development Reform Program and is taking steps to make the necessary changes toward organizational effectiveness.

The factors of Knowledge Source, Enabling Technology, Leadership and Organization have to be integrated well as they affect the orientation and performance of knowledge management in the Department.

2. Knowledge Processes

Knowledge Processes are at the heart of the KM framework. The quality of knowledge products, among other outputs, will depend on what is done with initial knowledge. At the basic level, existing knowledge can be collated, codified, and shared through technology. At another level, new knowledge can be generated in direct support of innovation and better organizational performance.

Operating at both levels, the framework takes a life cycle view of knowledge in living systems including human organizations. The life cycle of knowledge includes living systems producing knowledge, validating it, and institutionalizing it.

In the KM framework, new knowledge is created or produced and is then subjected to validation. Knowledge is subsequently operationalized, including codification and transfer. Invariably, the adoption of new knowledge leads to the displacement of old, thereby completing the cycle (Reference: McElroy, M., Second generation KM - a white paper, ZtiOO, Emergence 2 (3):90-100).

Knowledge Production at the DSWD may entail the following activities:

a. Individual and group interaction (e.g. inter-office/inter-agency meetings, Core Group of Specialists, SWD Forum, SWDL-NeI, KM Focal Persons meetings/workshops, etc.)

b. Data and information gathering activities (e.g. Focus Group Discussion, interview, review of documents)

c. Formulation of new knowledge claims (e.9. writing of proposals on certain topics or issues)

d. Classification of the new knowledge claims (e.g. concept paper, lessons learned, how-to-guides, etc.)

e. Initial codification (i.e. converting undocumented information into documented information that will still be subject for final approval). 

In this phase of the process, people collaborate and may rely on information systems to gather and share data. The products of knowledge production are knowledge claims that are subject to approval.

Knowledge validation at the DSWD may undergo the following activities:

a. Knowledge claim approval

b. Formal codification

The knowledge claims are subject to approval. At the DSWD, there is no uniform process of approval. Depending on the nature of the knowledge claim, approval can be anywhere between the level of the supervisor or at the level of the Department secretary. At the start, the knowledge management system may have to set priorities on which codified knowledge will be made part of the system. Eventually, the system should be able to facilitate inclusion of all types of knowledge including tacit knowledge and those that have not been sanctioned yet. This is when the knowledge management system can be classified as fully functional.

Knowledge Integration at the DSWD consists of the following activities:

a. Training and coaching people on plans, and on new systems and procedures

b. Discontinuing old systems and procedures that have been replaced

c. Implementation of new knowledge, or new systems and procedures

d. Monitoring and evaluation of new knowledge implementation

e. Producing knowledge artifacts (e.9. manuals of operation, CDs, videos)

f. Feedback from the end-user (i.e. as a potential source of new knowledge)

At the end of Knowledge Integration, the organizational knowledge becomes embedded in organizational practice supported with policy directives.

3. Knowledge Management Outputs

The outputs of knowledge management include dynamic knowledge products, knowledge-driven individuals, and effective teams.

The dynamic knowledge products on Social Protection and related topics respond to the ever-changing needs of the Department's employees and its intermediaries, partners, and beneficiaries.

Knowledge-driven individuals include the DSWD employees and all of the Department's partners. They have acquired knowledge and are always learning new ones, sharing and using them in their work on Social Protection.

Effective teams are the result of the DSWD employees and partners creating, sharing, and using knowledge through individual and group interaction.

Both knowledge-driven individuals and effective teams come about as they are supported by technology and empowered by the Department's leadership and organizational capability.

4. Knowledge Management Outcome

An effective knowledge management system will propel DSWD into a learning organization, a condition that will enable the Department to fulfill its mission and achieve its vision.

As a learning organization, the DSWD shall acquire knowledge and upgrade fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. It will have a culture of learning and shall disseminate new knowledge throughout the Department for incorporation into day-to-day activities. It will then expect to have improved performance, responsive services, and sustainability over the long term.


The Knowledge Management Framework can be better appreciated through a Context Diagram that follows. The diagram illustrates the Knowledge Management System in its interaction with each of the Department's knowledge producers and users. Each of the knowledge producer or user contributes something to the system while the system provides something of value to them.

The expanded description of the diagram which includes all the Bureaus, Services and Field Offices including the Attached Agencies of the Department and their detailed contributions to the system are found in the Appendix.

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KMS - Knowledge Management System

OSEC - Office of the Secretary

PPG - Policy and Programs Group

OCBG - Operations and Capacity Building Group

GASSG - General Administration and Support Services Group

LGUs - Local Government Units

NGOs - Non-Government Organizations

E. KM Milestones

The start-up phase of the implementation of this framework is guided by the three-year strategic actions on knowledge management are shown below. There is a theme for each year that will govern the KM efforts.

Milestones on Knowledge Management

F. Monitoring and Evaluation

The monitoring and evaluation system for knowledge management will be based on the following guidelines:

a. Progress reporting on the achievement of KM goals, performance indicators

and targets

b. Recognizing knowledge users as the final arbiters of the effectiveness of the KM practices in the Department. Only when knowledge users are satisfied with implemented KM practices and strategies that they will voluntarily participate in creating and sharing knowledge in the organization.

G. Benefits

The benefits of implementing the DSWD Knowledge Management Framework will be. the improvement of processes for capturing, storing, accessing, and sharing information leading to operational efficiencies. The KM framework will enrich the knowledge of the DSWD staff and partners by giving them faster access to crosscutting knowledge leading to improved project quality. Moreover, the Department will be able to strengthen teamwork in the organization.

As a result, the Department can provide faster, smarter and better services to its partners, clients and stakeholders.

V. Institutional Arrangements

Learning is the responsibility of every member and unit of the organization and its partners, intermediaries, and stakeholders. In terms of institutional responsibilities, the following are the roles of the Office, Bureaus and Services and the partners/intermediaries :

1. The Social Welfare Institutional Development Bureau (SWIDB) shall be the lead Bureau in providing the venues, the systems, and the programs that will facilitate knowledge creation, innovation, and sharing, monitoring and evaluation.

2. The Management Information Systems Service (MISS) shall provide the technical assistance in operating the Knowledge Management System and the Knowledge Exchange Center.

3. The Office, Bureaus, Services, the Field Offices, and National Project Management Offices (NPMOs) of Special Projects shall be sources of data and knowledge as well as a partner of SWIDB in knowledge product development and sharing.

4. The Field Office-Institutional Development Unit shall act as a partner of SWIDB in knowledge audit, knowledge product development and sharing, and management of the regional learning resource centers.

5. The partners/intermediaries will act as partners of SWIDB in knowledge product development and sharing and are a source and user of data and knowledge.

VI. Effectivity

This Administrative Order shall take effect immediately and shall supersede all guidelines, issuances, or their specific provision/s inconsistent hereto.

Issued this 31st day of August 2011 in Quezon City.


Secretary Soliman

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The DSWD KM Portal is a dynamic facility founded to promote the development and sharing of knowledge within the DSWD and its partners. The Portal has vast collection of DSWD Knowledge Products (KPs) and other learning resources on social welfare and social protection.