Tuesday, 21 April 2009

D-groups partnership meeting 2009

On 15 and 16 April, the members of the D-groups partnership met in the Netherlands. The group last met in The Hague in January 2007. The meeting was organised by Euforic in its overall coordination role for the partnership. The members of the Dgroups Partnership elected a new Board to guide the Partnership in the coming years. The organizations elected were: Helvetas, Hivos, ICCO, IICD, Sula Batsu.

The meeting discussed:

  • the new D-groups platform, its usability, hosting, and support provisions
  • priorities for further platform development and enhancements
  • election to the Foundation Board, discharging the current executive committee
  • strategic directions for the coming years' management


New Helvetas Board member Riff Fullan reflects on the discussions:

For Riff Fullan from Helvetas, in spite of the limited amount of time availbale, the partnership meeting managed to get a lot done. The board has now some "concrete avenues to follow" and there's a lot of work to be done, but overall the feeling about this AGM is very positive.

Sarah Kerr has been involved with Dgroups from its early days. She sees Dgroups as a 'teenager', with the discussion focusing now more on the partnership than on the platform. She also highlights the importance of keeping alive the original ideas behind Dgroups, while letting them evolve at the same time. For Sarah, this is happening, and we see now things solidifing and going in the right direction, with the establishment of the Foundation and the election of the Board.

For Christian Kreutz, IICD, it's important that Dgroups partners focus their discussion also on dgroups as a community of experts on development issues. There's huge potential to exploit this element and bring people together to share their knowledge.

Patrick Kalas for the SDC (Swiss Development Cooperation) highlights the difference between Dgroups as a platform and as a partnership. While there's more agreement on the first, the discussion on the partnership needs to be deepened in terms of it's vision and objectives.

What are some of the things that Dgroups users expect to see in coming weeks and months?

  • more usability improvements on the platform;
  • a public directory of groups on the new platform
  • extension of Dgroups help and FAQ resources
  • plans for two Dgroups training and outreach workshops sponsored by ICCO