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Local knowledge research in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a summary by Emilie Smith Dumont, a recent Bangor graduate and ICRAF researcher


What's new in AKT5?

The AKT5 software has undergone some important changes over the last few years and below is a brief summary. For more details on changes made to each version of the software click here.

2010-2014 changes

Boolean Search was worked on to make it more useful for searching common knowledge. It is now possible to restrict a search to statements with a certain number of sources attached to them. The diagram interface has also undergone minor changes and it is possible to build up a diagram only including statements with a certain number of sources attached to them - this was to make it in line with the Boolean Search facility.

The Welcome Memo was enlarged and many dialog boxes were given scrollable bars to make the software more user friendly.

Object hiearchies now require a memo to record whose knowledge they are based on. This was added to ensure transparency about how common the classification systems are.

2009 changes

We made changes to the tool layout within AKT to make it more user friendly. Some new tools were incorporated into the software, some tools were consolidated, and others were removed because they were no longer useful with newer versions of the software. The tools were split into categories of 'Analysis tools' and 'Consistency tools' and sub-categories entitled 'Single Kb tools' and 'Multiple Kb tools' to show clearly when the tools will prove most useful to users. The previously separate CAFNET tools were also incorporated into the AKT5 software.

2008 changes

1)  Derivations

AKT now has a facility to record the derivation of knowledge from informants. When creating a new statement users will first be asked to select a source (or create a new one as before) and then they are asked for a derivation of that knowledge. There are three standard options available:

  • Unknown. If the informant is unsure of the derivation (or the user is not collecting this type of information). Statements derivations will default to 'unknown' .
  • Observed. Where the informant's knowledge is based on his or her observations
  • Hearsay. Where knowledge is held in the community but not based on first hand experience

The user also has the option to create a new derivation (for example 'from extension workers', 'from media' or 'implicit'). Definitions for new types of derivations can be added in the new Derivation section under the Kb menu. You can also use types of derivations to refine boolean searches.

2)  Fuzzy search facility

A fuzzy button has been added into the boolean search facility. The ‘Fuzzy’ facility enables you to search for a formal term (e.g. ‘coffee’)  and retrieve a list of all statements that contain the term ‘coffee’ and any statements where ‘coffee’ is incorporated within a formal term. This is useful when prepositions has been added to a term to allow that object to be used within a value term e.g. 'in_coffee_plantation'.

3)  The Source Details box has undergone revision to minimise variation in input. The Author creates a list of terms for the values of each Label and then these are selected from a drop down menu (see below). To add another Gender or Value term, the Author needs to right click on the Gender or the Label box that the value will be referring to.


Researcher, Carlos Cérdan, collecting knowledge about ecosystem service provision from shade trees on coffee farms in Guatemala for the CAFNET project in 2008

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