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Dgroups: An Email and Web Tool
Dgroups is the starting point for groups and communities in international development. Dgroups is a partnership that caters to both individuals and organisations by offering tools and services that bring people together. In Dgroups, one can find the online tools and services needed to support the activities of a team, a group, a network, a partnership or a community. Dgroups is also a place to find
who are interested in the same topics in international development as you.
The organizations behind Dgroups have formed the
to guide and govern Dgroups:
Department for International Development (DFID), UK
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos)
International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)
Natural Resources Institute
Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)
RWSN - Rural Water Supply Network
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
(membership November 2012).
There are an ever increasing number of development organisations that want to have online groups or communities. Instead of creating separate solutions, why not come together and support a platform not just for each other, but for the entire development community? The partners see support for Dgroups as a way to provide such a platform, while at the same time to provide a valuable service to their respective stakeholders and networks, and an easy way for individuals to find the groups and communities of interest to them. Why create something new? Because until today, the partners know of no comparable service which is as simple, non-commercial (no ads), respectful of privacy, and targeted at low bandwidth users in the South.
In July 2012, Dgroups counted
2136 active communities
, with around
195.892 registered users
. It delivers around
400.000 email messages each day
, half of which are exchanged with and within African countries.
When to use
When you need to do a lot of e-mail based team work
When you want more than a listserv (when you need to keep track of the e-mail exchanges)
When you need a tool for low-bandwith
When you want to start a network or a community
How to use
Contact your organisation's partner .
Tips and Lessons Learnt
FARA: The facilitation of a D-group is essential.
3 golden rules
Have an initial concept note around which you can work (in French: un texte matyre).
Indicate clearly to the D-group members when particular discussions will take place: from... till...
Administrators/facilitators need to systematically "REWARD" members who make a contribution.
Examples & Stories
Who can tell me more?
Kristin Kolshus (dgroups [at] fao.org)
Dgroups is managed by the
Board of the Dgroups Foundation
. The Board has contracted
to provide technical hosting and platform maintenance and
for management support. If you wish to get in touch about general question on Dgroups, its platform and partnerhip, please send an email to
Related Methods / Tools / Practices
Dgroups news and blog:
Dgroups service updates on Twitter:
Here is a PowerPoint presentation on D-groups which you can adapt to your needs
You may also wish to first give your public - unfamiliar with Web2.0 tools - an overview of some quick win tips
Management of communication tools2.doc
interview with Giacomo Rambaldi, from CTA
, on Dgroups, September 2011.
A blog post on "
The use of D-Groups at FAO
- interview with Kristin Kolshus" by Francois Stepman
Dgroups help wiki:
groups, email, teams, networking, listservs, communities
Photo or image credits
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"