Today I discussed the importance of developing a critical consciousness (along side a compassionate consciousness) with someone in the San Francisco Bay area who is supporting a local organization in Malawi.
But how does a person actually go about this, especially someone who may be new to international assistance? As we all know, openness to learning and seeking out advice from others with more experience is vital.
As it just so happens, this week I’ve also been compiling a list of online communities related to international development for a project I’ve just started. Whether you are a seasoned professional or someone just getting involved, I hope the following list can give a glimpse of the growing variety of opportunities available online to connect with others and gain exposure to the various contexts and complexities of international assistance and foreign aid.
For the purposes of this exercise, I have defined online communities as “websites where people congregate online to discuss the topic of international assistance or to identify themselves for possible networking or information-sharing purposes.” Online communities that are locality-specific, such as the Boston Network for International Development, or institution-specific, such as the MIT International Development Network, were not included in this list.
Eventually I intend to add this list as a permanent page on my blog (such as the current links and resources on aid effectiveness and reform
). This list would certainly grow with the inclusion of relief work, community organizing, or human rights networks. So please suggest these and others I may have missed in the comments.
I will continue to update this list on my blog, which you can find here
Why do we engage, whether online or off?
Because, as a wise woman once told me, “You can’t know what you don’t know.”
International Development Online Communities (general)
Aid Workers Network
Beyond Good Intentions
, pioneering a major on-line dialogue about international aid effectiveness in an effort to bring about change
The Communication Initiative
Network, an online space for sharing the experiences of, and building bridges between, the people and organisations engaged in or supporting communication as a fundamental strategy for economic and social development and change
, an online community of individuals working for the welfare and betterment of our society (~2,800 members)
, a global community of 500,000 development professionals and one thousand donors, companies, and NGOs
The Eldis Community
site, a free-to-use online community where you can meet others involved in international development, discuss issues that are important to you and share useful resources
Global Focus Aotearoa
, a specialist provider of information and education on global and development issues
The Huffington Post’s feed on International Development
INTernational DEVelopment NETwork
(Beta site), a professional networking site for students, scholars, professionals, academics, practitioners and activists dedicated to constructive change and development
learningforsustainability.net, a practical resource for those who work with communities (in the wider sense of the term) to help them identify and adopt more sustainable practices
Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS, a blog style website & news service (since 1997), and email list (since 2004) focusing on developments in M&E methods relevant to development programmes with social development objectives. Managed by Rick Davies, and now having 2600+ members worldwide.
New Tactics in Human Rights, an online community of more than 2,500 human rights practitioners in more than 130 countries. Users have access to a database of over 190 specific and successfully-implemented human rights tactics. The website hosts peer-to-peer exchange through monthly Tactical Dialogues, forming an online global community of human rights advocacy.
– Netwerken Voor Internationale Samenwerking (in Dutch)
Peace and Collaborative Development Network
, a free professional networking site (with over 16,400 members from around the world) to foster dialogue and sharing of resources in international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related fields
People in Aid Interactive
, an online network for people management in the aid and development sector
Society for International Development Forum
, the social network for sustainability
The WiserEarth Directory The world's largest free and editable international directory of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and socially responsible organizations (over 110,000 in 243 countries, territories, and sovereign islands).
WiserEarth Community A vibrant community of 41,000+ members making connections, sharing resources, solutions, jobs, and events. (Also includes groups, social movement taxonomy and local face-to-face gatherings.)
Knowledge Management for Development
, a community of international development practitioners who are interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing issues and approaches
Outcome Mapping Learning Community
, a virtual hub for you to share experiences, contact other users of Outcome Mapping, and have fun!
ReliefWeb Communities of Practice
, a learning hub and sharing community that brings together top experts in social media, causes and online philanthropy. We're here to share insights about tools and best practices that advance the social good.
, a wiki site for collaborative approaches to sustainability, poverty reduction and international development. So far contributors have made 140,291 edits
and uploaded 11,859 files
, aiming to create a wiki resource for NGO practitioners where guidelines, lessons learned, tips, links and other help for 'scaling up' effective programs can be found
, a wiki platform to share knowledge on country-led M&E systems worldwide. In addition to being a learning resource, My M&E facilitates the strengthening of a global community, while identifying good practices and lessons learned about program monitoring and evaluation in general, and on country-led M&E systems in particular.
Sustainable Development International Network
- MojaLink™ connects professionals around the world for collaboration. Non Government Organization, NGO, ONG, IGO, economic, community, poverty, social, non profit, sustainability, fair trade, co-op, microfinance, social public policy, green, change, health, environment, empowerment (~4,000 members)
Base of the Pyramid
International Development Professionals
(~700 members, focused on growth of markets)
Society of International Development
Sustainable Development Africa
PMI International Development Community of Practice
Global Development Network
, a leading International Organization of developing and transition country researchers, policy and research institutes promoting the generation, sharing, and application to policy of multidisciplinary knowledge for the purpose of development (~8,000 members)
aims to give everyone with knowledge or experience in the Development sector the opportunity to share their work in the form of academic research, papers or dissertations. Hii Dunia welcomes submissions from non-professional, semi-professional or wholly professional collaborations or projects.