Posts Tagged dgroups11

New Board, new platform, renewed commitments – Dgroups partners meeting 2011

The Dgroups membership met last week in Rome during the Rome 2011 Share Fair for the 2011 Partners meeting. This was the first face to face meeting of the Dgroups partners since 2009, when we met in The Hague just after the Foundation was created and the migration of the platform to WA-Research was completed.

The meeting was well attended, with half of the Dgroups partners participating and actively engaging in the discussion on Dgroups present, its value and concrete plans for future activity and development.

New Dgroups platform

New Dgroups platform

In the first part of the meeting, Hapee de Groot and Rob Witte from the Dgroups Board reported on 2010 activities and finances. In the discussion that followed, Dgroups partners addressed the issue of how to enlarge the membership and market Dgroups amongst development organisations. Dgroups remains a unique initiative in development cooperation, partly because it is email based and so is suitable for those still numerous areas where Internet access is expensive and unreliable,  but partly because we are independent and so not subject to the same regulations and constraints as Google and other commercial platforms based in the US.  These factors, together with the current site redesign and the budget available for further technical development, will definitely help promoting Dgroups in the months to come.

As part of the business meeting, Dgroups members also agreed to enlarge the Board to  6 members and confirmed the nomination of 3 new Board members . This was also the chance to thank outgoing Board members Riff Fullan (Helvetas) and Maarten Boers (who stepped down last April) for serving as Board members in the first elected Board of the Dgroups Foundation and for their great contributions.

In the second part of the meeting Dgroups members had the opportunity to meet with Damir Simunic of WA-Researchto discuss updates and plans related to the Dgroups platform. The site redesign is almost complete and some existing groups have been already migrated to the new version. There are still some bugs currently being fixed and some more groups will be migrated in the next month to further assess if the platform is robust enough to proceed with the full migration. On the basis of the feedback and information received, the Board will decide on a date when the complete migration can be started.

Dgroups futures exercise

In the last part of the meeting, Dgroups partners looked into Dgroups futures. The session was designed to combine and adapt two facilitation methodologies – appreciative enquiry and ‘future backwards’. In two groups, participants listed Dgroups assets, then they shared and combined them. From this basis, the two groups defined a ‘nightmare’ and a ‘dream’ scenario for Dgroups 2 years from now. Finally, they described the steps that lead to each scenario and reflected on what can be done to influence the path – focusing on immediate, medium and longer term actions.

The complete report of the meeting is currently being drafted and will be circulated to members soon in the coming days.



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New Dgroups Board members nominated

During the 2011 Dgroups Partners meeting that took place in Rome on 27 September 2011, the partnership council nominated 3 new members to the Dgroups Partnership Board:

  • Giacomo Rambaldi, from CTA
  • Kristin Kolshus, from FAO
  • Neil Pakenham Walsh, on behalf of INASP
The three new members join Caroline Figuères (IICD, Chairman of the Dgroups Board), Rob Witte (ICCO, Dgroups Treasurer) and Hapee de Groot (Hivos) to form the Dgroups Board for the year to come. The first meeting of the new Board will take place early November 2011.
After the Partners meeting we had the opportunity to talk with two of the new Dgroups Board members. In the videos below, Giacomo Rambadi and Kristin Kolshus explain why their organisations have decided to take an active role in the Dgroups Foundation and which direction they see for Dgroups in the coming period.



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Dgroups at Share Fair 2011

From next Monday to 29 September 2011 IFAD in Rome will host the the second AgriKnowledge Share Fair.

After the previous Share Fairs in Addis Ababa (2010) and Rome (2009), also the programme and design for this year event looks impressive:  more than 150 sharing and learning sessions on issues related to rural development and agriculture; talks by renowned practitioners in different fields; a vibrant market place; and a series of trainings on knowledge sharing methods and tools on Day0 of the Fair.

Dgroups will also be participating in the Share Fair. Here’s what we have on the menu for next week:

  • On Monday 26 September Hapee de Groot (Hivos) and Damir Simunic (WA Research) are hosting training session on Dgroups (14:00-15:30, room B500)
  • On Tuesday 27 September, Damir Simunic will lead a session on Dgroups going mobile (11:30-13:00, room B200)
  • Also on Tuesday 27 September, the Dgroups Partners Meeting will bring Dgroups members together to discuss present and future developments of Dgroups.
Follow this blog for Dgroups updates from the ShareFair, or subscribe to the ShareFair newsfeed for all news from Rome.

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Dgroups partners meeting 2011

The 2011 Dgroups partners meeting will take place in Rome on 27 September 2011 in the context of the Second Global AgriKnowledge Share Fair.

The Share Fair will be an exciting and “out-of-the-box” event, offering participants creative and innovative learning and sharing opportunities, and equipping them with tools to better influence future rural development activities. We are glad that the Dgroups partners meeting can be held during this international gathering as this will provide Dgroups members with excellent opportunities for networking and learning.

A draft agenda for the Dgroups partners meeting is available on the Dgroups wiki.  The participation and active engagement of current Dgroups members – as well as potential partners and interested organisations – is key to the success of the partners meeting and the discussion on the future development of Dgroups.

Besides the partners meeting, Dgroups will also organise a technical session during Day 0 of the Share Fair on 26 September 2011, which is dedicated to collaboration technologies and knowledge sharing tools and methods. This will be a perfect occasion for Dgroups members and users to participate in a hands on, practical session on the new platform about to be released and already available in beta version at

Dgroups members and users that plan to attend the training session and the 2011 Partners meeting should register using the Share Fair registration form.

More updates on the programme of the  2011 Dgroups Partners meeting will be available in the coming days and the final agenda for the meeting will be circulated by the end of August 2011.

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