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Dgroups:
Communities of
Practice for
development
Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Chair, Dgroups Foundation
www.dgroups.info
K4D 2017
Outline/overview
1. What is Dgroups?
2. What is the role of Dgroups & CoPs
in AK4D & SDGs?
3. What can we do to maximise the
potential of CoPs?
What is a CoP?
“A community of practice is a group of
people who share a concern or a
passion for something they do, and
learn how to do it better as they
interact regularly.” Etienne Wenger
What is a CoP?
Virtual CoPs
1. What is Dgroups?
The Dgroups vision:
“A world where every person is able to
contribute to dialogue and decision-making
for international development and social
justice”
[add members logos]
[add members logos]
Each Dgroups Partner:
• Membership of Dgroups Council
• www.dgroups.org/YOURNAME
• Unlimited # CoPs
• Unlimited # affiliates
• IT support
• Mutual support from other Partners
to create and sustain CoPs.
Dgroups
>800 CoPs
(~40 CoPs per Partner)
>0.25m members
>0.5m messages/day
Example of a Dgroup: KM4Dev
km4dev@dgroups.org
>2,400 members in 115 countries
Example of Dgroups: HIFA
hifa@dgroups.org
>16,000 members in 176 countries
Dgroups works because…
• Simple, reliable software
(Community Cloud)
• Email-based – very easy to use
• Non-commercial, Multilingual,
Effective…
2. What is the role of
Dgroups and CoPs in
K4D/SDGs?
How to improve communication?
Old way:
1000s of F2F meetings
Environmentally damaging
Expensive
Exclusive
Sporadic
Opaque
How to improve communication?
Old way:
1000s of F2F
meetings
New way:
Fewer F2F meetings,
connected by 24/7 CoPs
Environmentally damaging Environmentally friendly
Expensive Inexpensive
Exclusive Inclusive
Sporadic Continuous
Opaque Transparent
3. What can we do
to maximise the
potential of CoPs?
What can we do?
1. Include CoPs in Agenda K4D
2. Commit to support CoPs
3. Join Dgroups
Join Dgroups
Further info: www.dgroups.info
neil@hifa.org
Thank you

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Dgroups Communities of Practice for Development

  • 1. Dgroups: Communities of Practice for development Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Chair, Dgroups Foundation www.dgroups.info K4D 2017
  • 2. Outline/overview 1. What is Dgroups? 2. What is the role of Dgroups & CoPs in AK4D & SDGs? 3. What can we do to maximise the potential of CoPs?
  • 3. What is a CoP? “A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Etienne Wenger
  • 4. What is a CoP?
  • 6. 1. What is Dgroups?
  • 7. The Dgroups vision: “A world where every person is able to contribute to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice”
  • 10. Each Dgroups Partner: • Membership of Dgroups Council • www.dgroups.org/YOURNAME • Unlimited # CoPs • Unlimited # affiliates • IT support • Mutual support from other Partners to create and sustain CoPs.
  • 11. Dgroups >800 CoPs (~40 CoPs per Partner) >0.25m members >0.5m messages/day
  • 12. Example of a Dgroup: KM4Dev km4dev@dgroups.org >2,400 members in 115 countries
  • 13. Example of Dgroups: HIFA hifa@dgroups.org >16,000 members in 176 countries
  • 14. Dgroups works because… • Simple, reliable software (Community Cloud) • Email-based – very easy to use • Non-commercial, Multilingual, Effective…
  • 15. 2. What is the role of Dgroups and CoPs in K4D/SDGs?
  • 16.
  • 17. How to improve communication? Old way: 1000s of F2F meetings Environmentally damaging Expensive Exclusive Sporadic Opaque
  • 18. How to improve communication? Old way: 1000s of F2F meetings New way: Fewer F2F meetings, connected by 24/7 CoPs Environmentally damaging Environmentally friendly Expensive Inexpensive Exclusive Inclusive Sporadic Continuous Opaque Transparent
  • 19. 3. What can we do to maximise the potential of CoPs?
  • 20. What can we do? 1. Include CoPs in Agenda K4D 2. Commit to support CoPs 3. Join Dgroups
  • 21. Join Dgroups Further info: www.dgroups.info neil@hifa.org Thank you

Editor's Notes

  1. Hello, I'm delighted to be here and very grateful to Sarah and others for inviting me to speak. My name is Neil PW and I’m currently the chair of the Dgroups Foundation.
  2. I have three parts to my talk. The first is to introduce you to Dgroups. The second is to say why Dgroups and CoPs are vital for Agenda K4D and the achievement of SDGs. And lastly I‘ll suggest some actions we can all take.
  3. “A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Etienne Wenger
  4. Communities of practice have existed since prehistoric times as you can see from this meeting 10,000 years ago. Pause. This particular meeting was held just after the last Ice Age and they decided to leave Europe and retreat to the UK. Pause. The rest is history.
  5. Just in the last 15 years there has been a dramatic new development in CoPs. We can now easily set up virtul CoPs. Each CoP can support conversations among hundreds or even thousands of individuals around the world. Some CoPs are based on self-interest such as the Trump Administration or the mafia, while others such as Dgroups are focused on how we can make a better world.
  6. Dgroups was born in Canada in 2002 as a project of Bellanet and the International Development Research Centre. In 2009 Dgroups registered as a non-profit foundation in the Netherlands. So Dgroups has evolved for more than 15 years – ever since email has been widely available. 15 years is a very long time in IT – we’ve been around longer than Facebook - although it has to be said that Facebook has overtaken us in terms of annual turnover.
  7. Our vision is… This is another way of saying: Pluralistic, diverse and inclusive knowledge societies – 1st goal of the Agenda K4D It’s another way of saying “All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership” as we read in the preamble to the SDGs.  So, Dgroups is seeks to contribute to the SDGs, by providing a pluralistic, diverse and inclusive platform for all countries and all stakeholders. The Dgroups Partnership is currently in a phase of growth and we have 16 Full Partners.
  8. Dgroups is a partnership of organisations that manage CoPs for development and learn from one another while doing so. We now have 16 Full Partners whose logos are shown here. Four UN agencies 2 bilateral donors Several NGOs worldwide.
  9. Dgroups is a partnership of organisations that manage CoPs for development and learn from one another while doing so. We now have 16 Full Partners whose logos are shown here. Four UN agencies 2 bilateral donors Several NGOs worldwide.
  10. These 16 partners support more than 800 CoPs, in health, agriculture, economic development, social justice. So that means that, on average, each of the Partners supports around 40 CoPs. These CoPs have more than quarter of a million members. And these members exchange more than half a million messages every day. Some of these are small technical groups which are typically unmoderated. Others are large CoPs with 5 or 10,000 members each and these clearly require moderation
  11. Who here is a member of the KM4Dev Dgroup?
  12. I am passionate about bringing people together to address global health challenges. I started HIFA in 2006 as a global campaign and knowledge network. For me, Dgroups was a no-brainer. I have looked at a lot of other solutions, and my conclusion is that the software that Damir has developed is second-to-none. Using Dgroups, we now support five global forums in 3 languages, with more than 16,000 health professionals worldwide, in collaboration with WHO.
  13. Key features of Dgroups include:
  14. So what has all this got to do with the Agenda K4D and the SDGs? Everything.
  15. The Agenda K4D and all 17 of the SDGs depend on effective communication among individuals and among organisations. Which begs the question: How do we promote effective communication?
  16. So what can we do to maximise the potential of CoPs and accelerate progress towards the SDGs?
  17. "The executive heads of United Nations system organizations should sponsor the use of communities of practice…” Petru Dimitriu, KM in the UN System
  18. So do please check out our website and get in touch. Concluding remark…