Frequently Asked Questions
There are two ways of using KnowledgePoint as a technical support platform: “Basic” access or “Pro” access.
To get “Basic” access, simply here. It only takes a minute and is free. Individuals within your organisation can all sign up and use the platform directly.
Through “Pro” access, your organisation can gain additional features. You can set up a Group which allows you to add some branding and to share questions privately within that Group.
The difference in the two approaches to using KnowledgePoint are summarised below:
To find out more about how KnowledgePoint can support your organisation through our “Pro” access package email us on admin@KnowledgePoint.org.
Anyone can post questions on KnowledgePoint! It’s intended to provide technical support to anyone working in humanitarian or development aid.
If you have experience or knowledge to contribute to a question then you are welcome to post an answer. If you have lots of experience or knowledge on a particular topic then maybe you’d like to become an ‘Expert’? See How do I become an ‘Expert’ in the FAQs.
The answers posted on KnowledgePoint are the opinion of their author only and do not reflect the opinions of the KnowledgePoint moderators or administrator.
KnowledgePoint is intended to find technical solutions to technical problems in all sectors of humanitarian response and development.
By ‘technical’ we mean hard skills – specific teachable abilities such as engineering, logistics, coordination, cash programming or programme management.
KnowledgePoint is not intended to be a space to discuss and debate the academic, hypothetical or theoretical.
We recognise debate is important, but this need is better met by other online forums.
KnowledgePoint is reserved for practical guidance.
To apply to become an Expert on KnowledgePoint please email admin@KnowledgePoint.org stating which KnowledgePoint Groups you belong to, what your area of expertise is and providing a summary of your experience. Typically we would expect more than 10 years of working experience in your field and your expertise demonstrated in your role as a technical adviser, speaker or author.
First, you need to register – it’s free and only takes a minute
To post a question quickly, go to the homepage and type your question into the ‘Ask bar.’ You can select the ‘advanced features’ button for additional features which are helpful in asking lengthier, more complex questions.
Before asking your question, it’s a good idea to search the site for previously asked questions – to avoid wasting time and duplicating work!
You can post an answer to any question by typing into the comment box within the relevant thread and clicking ‘post your answer.’
Type your search terms into the ‘ask bar’ on the homepage and hit ‘search.’
KnowledgePoint has a target response time of 48 hours, recognising that humanitarian and development workers usually need advice urgently. To this end, users who respond with 48 hours are rewarded with a ‘rapid responder’ badge.
Anyone can post an answer on KnowledgePoint. Often a question will receive multiple answers which complement each other. Sometimes, answers may be contradictory.
There are a few ways you can validate the helpfulness of answers
- Look out for ‘Expert’ badges: These badges denote that the person answering is a carefully selected and vetted expert, who has proven expertise in their field of interest.
- Check the helpfulness rating: Users have the opportunity to rate whether they found each answer posted to KnowledgePoint helpful or not. If others found an answer helpful, there’s a good chance that you will too.
If 48 hours have passed and your question has received no answers, there are a few steps you can take:
- Review the best practice guide for asking questions. It may be that your question could use some tweaking to make it easier for others to understand and answer.
- Check your tags. Ensure that you select the most useful subjects and people when posting your question in order to ensure that the most relevant people are notified.
If you feel your answer adds value, depth or a different solution to question that already has been answered, please do post it.
It is rare that spam or inappropriate content gets past our filters and moderators.
But if it does, please notify us by clicking the ‘flag as offensive’ button on the relevant post.
The post will immediately disappear and we will decide whether or not to delete it.
The badge on the right identifies a user who is a verified KnowledgePoint expert.
Experts have at least 10 years of experience in their chosen specialism and must be able to demonstrate that they are recognised within their field of expertise.
Email us to find out more about how to become an expert.
The badge on the right identifies a user who is a ‘rapid responder’.
This badge is awarded to all users who respond to a question within KnowledgePoint’s 48-hour target. The badge expires two months from when the user responded to the question. The clock starts again from the beginning if, during those two months, the user responds to another question within the target.
The badge on the right identifies a user who is a group ‘moderator’.
Every KnowledgePoint group has a designated moderator. Moderators are able to add people to groups, and accept or reject requests to join groups.
See our section on groups to find out more about how these work
Tags help categorise all the questions posted on KnowledgePoint, making it possible for users to find, and receive notifications about, the content they are interested in.
It is down to you to select the most relevant tags when posting your question, this will help ensure your question get good exposure and timely responses.
We have a number of suggested tags, relating to the common sectors in which we receive questions. These include; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Logistics, Security and Alternative Energy. Each of these tags also break down into more specific sub-categories. If you can’t find an appropriate tag among these, you can also add you own.
Yes, you can tag specific users in your KnowledgePoint question by using the ‘@’ sign.
Groups are sub-forums within KnowledgePoint allowing users with common interests, such as working for the same organisation or project, to share knowledge in private.
Users can also customise their group with a degree of branding, which can help integrate KnowledgePoint as their knowledge management tool seamlessly.
When posting a question, a group member can decide whether they want to post a question to the whole of KnowledgePoint or to their fellow group members only.
Email us if you are interested in setting-up a group. We will be in touch to discuss initial set-up costs in relation to your branding, privacy and website integration requirements.
You can request to join any group. The membership of each group is controlled by designated moderators, who will accept or reject your membership as they deem appropriate. Moderators can also invite users to join their group.
No. The vast majority of content on KnowledgePoint is publicly available for all users to access, whether they are members of a group or not. You can still use KnowledgePoint to post questions, answers and browse the knowledge bank without being a group member.
You can change when and what notifications you receive by going to the ‘Account Setting’ on your profile page.
Any personal data relating to you gathered by us in the registration process or during your use of the service will be recorded and only be used in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.
The website uses various registration forms to enable you to request products and register as a user of KnowledgePoint.
In some cases you will need to provide us with information such as your name, date of birth, e-mail address and password.
Any personal data we collect during registration or otherwise is designed to allow us to:
- personalise the site for you
- give you access to, and to provide you with, the right kinds of information related to your enquiry
- enable us to compile statistical information for regulatory or business purposes
- send information (email) or call you about our products and services that may be of interest to you. (We will only provide you with this marketing information with your prior agreement)
If you register, request further information or contact us we may keep a record of that correspondence and incorporate the information it contains into our database(s), which we will keep secure in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
We will not transfer your personal data to any third parties unless:
- we have your consent to do so
- the third party is processing personal data on our behalf securely and in accordance with our instructions or it is otherwise authorised under the Data Protection Act
We keep your data for monitoring and evaluation purposes. The creation of Knowledepoint has been made possible with financial assistance from The Humanitarian Innovation Fund and the KnowledgePoint board. We will use your data to report back to The Humanitarian Innovation Fund and the KnowledgePoint board on the uptake and usage of the system, as well as for internal monitoring.