Exploration of local resources – Knowledge pool


A knowledge pool is a list of names and addresses of local human resources – experience, talent, knowledge and interest – represented independently, as part of a knowledge pool or in another local publication such as a calendar, village book, yearbook, newsletter, programme booklet, noticeboard, etc.
The knowledge pool provides for a direct formulation, expression and handover of local knowledge: it may promote meetings, discussions and consultations about the announced topics or may give rise to the forming of study groups (which may also be created through other means; please see methodology for study groups).

Purpose of the activity

  • To explore in a simple way, systematise and publish formerly hidden cultural values, local knowledge, skills, experience and opportunities to help the community, and thus to launch self-organizing, informal learning processes within the local community.
  • Local knowledge, skills and experience appearing in local publicity will thus become a factor in local development plans.
  • This should increase people’s knowledge of each other, individual and community confidence, and should widen the community networks.

Key terms

knowledge pool; informal learning; self-organization; community education


  • personal: community cultural organizer, experts of community cultural and public collection institutions
  • material: meeting rooms, computer capacity, projector, flipchart and pens, post-it blocs, note paper and pens, printer, A4 sheets
  • financial: room rental fee (if needed)

Applied tools and methods

  1. Outreach – finding contacts in the neighbourhoods:
    The group of initiators will distribute the streets among themselves, and volunteers responsible for particular streets or parts of them will contact the households there. They will explain the reason why they are reaching out to them (e.g. as volunteers of the local community development group), and why they volunteered for this job (e.g. giving everyone the opportunity to join, and that they have drafted an announcement addressing every family; or because there is a lot of talent yet undiscovered in the neighbourhood; or because they find it important to learn something from others).
  2. In case they encounter willingness to collaborate, initiators leave behind a single sheet, an announcement, saying that they will return to pick it up in a few days, but the applicant may also drop it into the collection box, located at this or that address).
    The announcement requests answers to the following questions:
    What is it that you are the best at and that you would gladly teach to others?
    What is it that you would like to learn from others?
    Do you approve of the publication of your name and address in a local list of contacts?
  3. The initiators collect the answers and publish them in the Knowledge Pool (list of names and addresses). Grouping the names of people with expertise or with interest in the same subject will make it clear that interested people will not have to wait for a study group leader or club manager; having the necessary information at hand they may find each other, e.g. for a conversation or for a study group they may want to set up (please also see the methodology for study groups).
  4. This list of names and addresses – the Knowledge Pool – may appear as a separate booklet or as part of another publication (local paper, calendar, monthly programme, etc.). The most important thing is that it reaches the widest possible circle, the entire community.
    In our experience, knowledge pools may have a significant impact on the functioning of community cultural and public collection institutions; study groups and regular meetings may be formed, which will often require, beyond appropriate spaces, help from experts.

Results, expected outcome

  • Local people will be placed in the centre of community thinking,
  • hidden values may be uncovered and made public,
  • community contacts will grow,
  • community and individual confidence will be boosted.


Varga, A. T. – Vercseg, I.: Közösségfejlesztés. [Community Development]. 1998 and 2001, Budapest, Hungarian Institute for Culture Website keeping track of tenders: http://www.pafi.hu/_Kozossegi_Adattar/Azadatt.nsf/99b0698cd023d1018525670c0080e328/ec68caea967c3c04c125679f005b84b7?OpenDocument
Vercseg, I.: Közösségfejlesztő leckék kezdőknek és haladóknak. [Community building for beginners and professionals]. Parola booklets. 2004, Budapest, Hungarian Association for Community Development. http://www.kka.hu/_Kozossegi_Adattar/Azadatt.nsf/0a84037251c6a630c1257075002e65aa/c25665214fdbda8ec1256f1800529729?OpenDocument

This article based on the following document: Community development methodological guide