Dgroups: An Email and Web Tool

Please see http://www.dgroups.org or http://www.dgroups.info/ .

Brief Descriptiondgroups.jpg

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 groups who are interested in the same topics in international development as you.

The organizations behind Dgroups have formed the Dgroups Partnership to guide and govern Dgroups: Alfa Redi, CIDSE, Department for International Development (DFID), UK, ECDPM, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Helvetas, Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos), ICCO, International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), Natural Resources Institute, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), SAP International, SDC, RWSN - Rural Water Supply Network, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and UNECA (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:

  1. Have an initial concept note around which you can work (in French: un texte matyre).
  2. Indicate clearly to the D-group members when particular discussions will take place: from... till...
  3. Administrators/facilitators need to systematically "REWARD" members who make a contribution.

Examples & Stories

CSO-CGIAR Forum: http://www.dgroups.org/groups/cgiar/cso-cgiar-forum/index.cfm

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 WA-Research to provide technical hosting and platform maintenance and Euforic Service for management support. If you wish to get in touch about general question on Dgroups, its platform and partnerhip, please send an email to dg-coordination[AT]dgroups.org

Related Methods / Tools / Practices

Discussion Forums



groups, email, teams, networking, listservs, communities

Photo or image credits

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