Loft created a global collaboration platform for the Department for International Development’s Climate Development Knowledge Network.
Development programmes do fantastic work around the world, relieving poverty and enhancing quality of life for people, often in areas that are most affected by climate change. However, when one project ends and another begins, what the first project learned can be lost and the second project will have to reinvent the wheel, in a sense. Similarly, projects in different countries don’t always share their findings and a similar thing occurs. The Climate Development Knowledge Network – funded by the Department for International Development, and supported by a variety of companies and non-profits – was set up to aid in the sharing of knowledge between development programmes and projects, over time and across borders.
Via our relationship with PwC, and in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute and Lead International, Loft demonstrated how CKDN could use technology to meet its objectives.
What we did
Loft began working with CDKN in 2009, looking at ways of building a platform enabling various projects to share their findings. Initially, we set out to understand the variety of types of data that would be collected, who the users of the system might be, and the various technological solutions available.
The result was a platform called Compass. Developed by Loft, it enabled international programmes, individual projects and staff working on the ground to document and share their knowledge. Each new project could build on what had gone before, adding new information and helping colleagues to approach development issues while reducing emissions and environmental impact. With an attractive interface, Compass included a Facebook-like dashboard enabling users to post updates, sharing news, achievements and experiences across the network.
Why it matters
Compass was designed to help improve the efficiency and alignment of sustainable development projects around the world. Through its use, decision-makers on these projects were able to avoid re-doing work that had already been done or making the same errors thanks to knowledge shared by others in their field. Its budgetary and evaluation components meant that programme chiefs could track progress and monitor ROI for funding bodies.
By providing a simple and intuitive framework for recording relevant information, the platform Loft developed was a strategic success for CKND and PwC. Compass helped sustainable development bodies reduce admin time spent reporting on projects, and increase time devoted to their valuable work in the field. At the same time, it facilitated easier collaboration between projects and programmes, ultimately leading to a better quality of life for millions of people in developing countries.
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“From design phase to completion the Loft team have provided us with excellent products under tight deadlines without compromising on quality or value for money. In addition, the team have been a pleasure to work with.”
Project Manager, CDKN