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Online collaboration: Back to the future

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Presentation by Peter Ballantyne at the KM4Dev Knoweldge Cafe - 21 May 2020

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Online collaboration: Back to the future

  1. 1. Online collaboration: Back to the future Peter Ballantyne km4dev knowledge café, 21 May 2020
  2. 2. Outline 1. Some history … eConferencing, eCollaboration, workspaces, dgroups 2. Dgroups today … a,b,c,d 3. Your help needed
  3. 3. Some [personal] history . . . 1989 – remote electronic meetings (among cgiar people) 1998 – ‘watsan’ think tank and knowledge sharing pilot of World Bank; with: WEDC, IRC, OneWorld, WaterAid; partners of partners … 2000 – dfid strategy consultation [don’t remember what about] 2001 – iicd/dgis and iicd/bdo workspaces on bellanet 2002 – dgroups set up as a joint initiative to scale the bellanet work 2006 – dgroups ‘roadmap’: strategy, governance, directions 2008 – dgroups platform moves from lyris to igloo to wa research
  4. 4. WatSan eConferencing: First Conclusions (2000) Cooperation and capacity-sharing can work Cooperation needs time and trust A neutral forum helps New skills are needed Multi-media approaches extend reach Participation is possible Participants are willing Absorption capacity is a constraint
  5. 5. Creating Dgroups [2001] Need for simple, reliable, and accessible communication and information-sharing tool Communities of practice the basis for knowledge sharing Increasing ‘team’ focus – also with country partners Partners themselves keen to e-discuss, to e-disseminate and perhaps to e-collaborate Technically, avoid in-house development and hosting; focus instead on content and communication and work through partnerships [from an internal IICD ppt]
  6. 6. eCollaboration: Dgroups (2002) • discussion and collaboration spaces – email and web • easy to set up and administer, and participate • for ‘communities’ of interest/practice • tool for other collaborations • joint venture – bellanet, iicd, oneworld, unaids, dfid + others • a tool for ‘us’ . . . . . for our partners - and anyone else! [The most important aspect of Dgroups is that the knowledge so generated belongs to the community, and is not owned by any one organization – Jaya Chittoor, km4dev list, October 2003]
  7. 7. 1999 I think
  8. 8. June 2002
  9. 9. Dgroups Today
  10. 10. More than the platforms … From 2008-2018, dgroups was mostly associated with a ‘platform’ – A springboard for many partners and groups, like km4dev, to vibrantly live our tagline ‘development through dialogue’ In 2019 and 2020, we re-imagined the core of the Dgroups partnership as (once again) being about online collaboration, communication, learning and dialogue … By working together, better, more inclusive collaboration and dialogue leads to better development results.
  11. 11. • Dgroups provides simple, effective and affordable solutions, knowledge and expertise that support online collaboration among organizations, projects, networks and campaigns, and individuals in international development. Mission • Dgroups enables people, communities, projects and organizations to engage in dialogue and collaborate for more effective development and social justice. Purpose • Dgroups is an international development partnership that brings together the best choice of tools, support and experience to engage and collaborate effectively online. Vision
  12. 12. ABCD - what we do •we help facilitate peer- to-peer learning, mentoring, coaching, training and support for effective online collaboration and advocacy • we host online discussions and events on international development • we provide advice, guidance and negotiated preferential access to third-party online solutions and platforms • we help make development communities, their knowledge and expertise accessible Access Brokerage CapacitiesDialogue
  13. 13. A foundation and a partnership • We (the foundation) negotiate and broker preferential access for our partners to different community platforms; • We (the foundation) promote links across our partner groups and communities, we connect you to like-minded communities and people doing the same collaborative things as you; • We (the partnership) help you find, facilitate and manage online community spaces or platforms; • We (the partnership) support online communications, collaboration and dialogue that increase the effectiveness of our collective online experience; • And, through Dgroups, our online interactions can achieve more visibility, reach and impact.
  14. 14. Help needed
  15. 15. Devising a Dgroups dialogue Following the km4dev 2 July event, we want to hold a first Dgroups eConference and dialogue … About online collaboration, dialogue and interaction – what works and what doesn’t in international development … [beyond the pandemic of zoom meetings!] Guided, facilitated, documented, … An ‘experience capitalization’ approach to draw out our individual and collective insights to produce actionable knowledge.
  16. 16. Help us identify critical topics In your groups [someone please capture the key points] 1. Which factors are the most critical to successful online collaboration, conferencing, dialogue and CoPs? [eg: technology, participation, facilitation, connectivity, capacities?] 2. Which issues or topics do we need to know more about? To improve how we operate