Communities of Practice and Communities of Interest
A Way of Sharing, Connecting and Informing for People Living with Disability
A Community of Interest (CoI) can be described as a network of people who share the same interests, knowledge and understanding of a given subject. People take part to exchange thoughts and ideas about their common interest. A Community of Practice (CoP) generally refers to the use and understanding of a specific common interest or profession. For example, an organised group that shares and practices the same understanding and ways of doing things for a given subject.
This is a paper that JFA Purple Orange has been working on for a long time. It uses real life examples and stories to illustrate all areas of CoPs and CoIs, including how to create and maintain a CoP or CoI and the benefits of CoPs and CoIs for NDIS participants.
We found that CoPs benefit both individuals and organisations in various ways including:
- Enabling people to manage change
- Providing the individual with access to new knowledge
- Fostering trust and a sense of common purpose in the individual
- Adding value to lives
- Informal sharing of valuable information
- Improvements in productivity
- Fostering innovation
- Reinforcing strategic direction