ICT-KM of the CGIAR

Collaborate, Create, Communicate

Farewell to Dgroups! Welcome, Google Groups!

Dgroups was set up in 2002 as an online platform offering tools and services to bring individuals and organizations together in the international development community. These tools help facilitate collaboration and communication within teams through a group mailing list, an online archive of the discussions, a group calendar and document sharing.

The CGIAR’s Dgroup membership

A member of Dgroups since 2003, the CGIAR had created about 120 Dgroups as of December 2010, of which only 35 were fully active. After some analysis, we found that CGIAR usage of this tool had decreased. At the same time, central funding to support the annual cost of the membership for CGIAR staff was no longer available through the ICT-KM Program. As such, it was decided, together with the CGIAR ICT Managers at the last ICT Managers meeting, to decommission the Dgroups membership in 2011 and explore alternatives for CGIAR staff using the service.

The good news is: there are other options!

Before we made the decision to give up our membership, we explored other tools with similar functions, so staff would have alternatives, enabling them to move their communities away from Dgroups.

Google Groups

One of the best options explored is Google Groups, a free service from Google. Google Groups supports discussion groups (similar to Dgroups) and is also one of the tools supported under the CGIAR’s Google Apps suite available through CGXchange.

To date, most of the active Dgroups (27) have already moved from Dgroups to Google Groups on CGXchange and are fully operational.

If you are a CGIAR member of staff and need a mailing group to support communications for your team, group, network or community, please read the details on how to make a request to create a Google Group on CGXchange. Once your group has been created by the CGXchange team, we will send you the instructions so you are able to manage the group and members yourself.

We would like to thank Dgroups for providing their tools and services to the CGIAR and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Farewell, Dgroups! Welcome, Google Groups!