During 2016, the Dgroups Foundation could count on additional financial support from FAO and UNISDR, through two separate project grants.

FAO is a long standing partner in Dgroups since the early days of the platform, back in 2002-2004. For FAO, Dgroups is an established tool for communication, collaboration and networking in teams and projects, and with external stakeholders and partners. Indeed, there are over 50 FAO dgroups currently active on the platform, with over 27,000 members. We’ve reported before on the success stories emerging from these groups, such as the “Food for the Cities” multi-disciplinary initiative.

The project grant was made available by FAO in the context of their support to Communities of Practice in the field of Livestock, particularly networks and organizations working with pastoralists and community of livestock diversity experts. The grant financed WA-Research work on the Dgroups calendar function and the email attachments; a part of the funds available also were used to support the overall platform improvement. As a result, the calendar now displays as heat-map, also including past events; attachments replaced with links in emails are now more visible for users.

A second project grant was agreed early in 2016 with UNISDR, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. As part of this grant, UNISDR joined Dgroups as a Full Partner and Dgroups provided support in the set up and facilitation of their online communities and groups. Additionally, the grant covered for direct support by WA-Research to their PreventionWeb portal and the integration of Dgroups with their contact directory.

Both these projects show an increasing commitment into Dgroups, and the benefit of partnership and collaboration for the further improvement of the platform. We hope other members will be able to provide similar support and resources in the future.