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Knowledge management in local governments in developing countries

A systematic literature review

Article image

Joshua Rumo Arongo, Judy Backhouse

01 May 2021

Emerald Publishing Limited


Lucille Tetley-Brown

Journal article


South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Kenya, Iran, Indonesia, India, China

The purpose of this study is to examine the state of research into knowledge management within local government in developing countries, to identify themes that have been studied, and to identify important gaps in the literature that can inform a research agenda going forward.


A structured literature review method was used in this study. The authors reviewed academic literature published between 2009 and 2019. A total of 15 articles were identified and reviewed. The findings reveal that few authors have contributed to knowledge management within local government in developing countries and there is little international collaboration between authors.


The review identified themes that have been researched but evidenced a lack of guidelines and frameworks developed to promote knowledge management initiatives within local governments in developing countries. Overall, it was evident that this area was still little explored. As a result, there are many possibilities for future research. This study provides a comprehensive systematic literature review of papers published on knowledge management in local governments in developing countries, identifying themes that have been studied and gaps for further research.


Abstract based directly on original source. Back to the SmartCity.ZA collection.


Website References


Developing countries

Good governance


Government programmes

Human settlements





Knowledge management

Land governance

Local government




Public sector



Service delivery

Smart Cities

South Africa

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