We use Dgroups as the main membership database, discussion platform and for quarterly newsletter distribution for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN).
We migrated our membership over at the beginning of 2012 and around 1,200 members signed up then. Since then we have seen consistent growth of over 100 members a month and as of February 2015, have just under 7,000 members in 142 countries.
For RWSN, Dgroups have been brilliant for creating a family of networks on different topics and themes, and for different countries and language groups. We love the flexibility and simplicity, which allows us to create sharing and dialogue between rural water supply practitioners anywhere in the world.
What people say about Dgroups
I have been the co-ordinator of the Rwanda Association of University Women Network for the past nine years. In that time we have enrolled hundreds of members into the RAUW Dgroup. The large majority of members are Rwandans but we have international members who come from more than 10 countries in four continents. Women who join the group while they are on assignments in Rwanda stay as members of the network because of the benefits of receiving up-to-date news about Rwanda as well as women’s issues around the world. Women have found scholarships, project funding, jobs and conferences on the Dgroup.
I have used Dgroups as a platform for all my collaborative working since about 2002 and I am a huge fan of Dgroups for so many reasons. Some of these reasons are very practical – Dgroups are very easy to use – but many are more fundamental and relate to my ideas about what development is about.
First, Dgroups is supported by a network of development organisations which has huge efficiency benefits: instead of all of these organisations having their own platform for online interaction, they share a platform, reducing the costs enormously. But this is also pleasant for the individual member: one platform, one password, and one set of functionalities. In addition. Dgroups is fundamentally inclusive: it is free of charge to all individual members and is accessible in low bandwidth environments. These aspects make the platform and the networks especially suitable for development organisations and individuals located in the global South. In addition, Dgroups has been proved to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing between individuals and organisations world-wide. These were the results of a research project that I undertook in 2009.
I have been using Dgroups since 2002. Since 2006 my organisation has been supporting five Dgroups with 13,000 members in 170 countries worldwide, in three different languages (En,Fr,Pt) in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Dgroups is simple and accessible to those with low bandwidth.