Understanding the knowledge sharing process among rural communities in Tanzania: a review of selected studies

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The study investigated how knowledge sharing process takes place among communities in rural areas in Tanzania. Specifically, the study determined how knowledge was created; assessed how rural people shared knowledge; and evaluated the impacts of social-cultural practices, individual and institutional factors on knowledge creation and sharing. The study also assessed how ICTs were used in knowledge creation and sharing among rural people. The study employed a meta-analysis where studies on knowledge acquisition and sharing among rural people in Tanzania were critically analysed. The findings reveal that rural people created and shared knowledge in need for their day to day activities. Knowledge was created through observations, personal experiences and social interactions and shared mainly through discussions and conversations held on several occasions. Individual, institutional, social-cultural practices and technological factors influenced the knowledge creation and sharing process. It was further established that rural people consulted some knowledge sources more and shared knowledge through formal and informal groups. Decisions on sources consulted were influenced by socio-economic, demographic and geographical factors surrounding rural people. However, the poor link between the knowledge-rich and knowledge- poor units limited the knowledge sharing and creation processes. It is recommended that the link between units creating knowledge and those using it should be improved so that rural communities can easily acquire and share it. Because rural people depend on exogenous knowledge from other institutions, institutional knowledge creation and sharing capacities should be improved to enhance knowledge sharing in rural communities. Rural communities should try to eliminate the individual factors and social-cultural practices hindering knowledge creation and sharing process.


Knowledge Management & E-Learning, 2013; 5(2): 205–217.


Knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, Rural areas, Social- cultural practices, Tanzania