Online communities and e-discussions [Dgroups]

RWSN is about connecting people and to do this online we use a platform called Dgroups, which is run by the non-for-profit Dgroups Foundation, based in the Netherlands. The Dgroups vision is:

A world where every person is able to contribute constructively to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice

A world where every person is able to contribute constructively to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice - See more at: http://www.dgroups.info/about-dgroups/#sthash.1vKx2owy.dpuf

Dgroups vision:

A world where every person is able to contribute constructively to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice

- See more at: http://www.dgroups.info/about-dgroups/#sthash.1vKx2owy.dpuf

Dgroups vision:

A world where every person is able to contribute constructively to dialogue and decision-making for international development and social justice

- See more at: http://www.dgroups.info/about-dgroups/#sthash.1vKx2owy.dpuf

Skat Foundation, on behalf of RWSN, is a member of Dgroups, which gives us a stake in how the platform is run and developed. Dgroups was chosen because it has been designed specifically for development professionals and can be used through email and through a low-bandwidth website, thus making it ideal for communicating with members who have limited internet connectivity.

Our area of Dgroups has a main community of nearly 8,000 members which we use as our membership database. It is tightly controlled and only used for sending out quarterly newsletters and major announcements.

Discussion areas have been set up around the four RWSN themes, and cross-cutting topics and special interests. We consider setting up sub-communities if there is a champion to lead and moderate the group and enough interest from members. 

How to Join

Follow the links below to go the web page for each community and to appy to join, if you are not already a member. Please note that being a member of one community (or the overall network) does not automatically give you access to the sub-communities. Please apply through the web page for each community and the moderator for that community will let you in. Some communities are more active that anothers. Some sub-communities are nested within others that are related, so you will receive emails from and can contribute to both.

E-discussions

The communities are generally there for open discussion and question and answer on the topic of that community (and are moderated to keep them on track). However, usually once a year we have a structrued e-discussion, which typically lasts four weeks and uses weekly questions and summaries to stimate debate on a particular topic. At the bottom of the page you will find links to summaries and syntheses of recent e-discussions.

These are very powerful and effective events at generating knowledge exchange across the world and building up a valuable aggregation of knowledge. In some cases they have helped drive the strategy of the network and our partners.

The RWSN Dgroups directory

Overall RWSN Community

Theme sub-communities
Topic sub-communities
Geographic/Language sub-communities

How to use Dgroups

Download our quick guide, available in [English] and [French]


Related Resources

Reducing Inequalities in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

A synthesis of experiences and lessons discussed in the RWSN Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) Group 2015

Between October and November 2015 the Rural Water Supply Network’s Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) theme enjoyed lively e-discussions on Reducing Inequalities in WASH. This covered practical approaches to improve participation of everyone; inclusive infrastructure designs and information, guidance and support that exist on these. Two webinars were held on these topics, with presentations from World Vision, Messiah College, WaterAid, FCG International, and the University of Technology – Sydney . Disability, gender, menstrual hygiene management, rights to water and sanitation and school WASH from Mali, Niger, Tanzania, Nepal, Ghana, Timor-Leste and Vietnam were covered. During the e-discussions independent consultants and staff from the Church of Uganda, TEDDO, WaterAid, WEDC, Mzuzu University, the Honduran Association of Management Boards of Water Systems, Concern Worldwide, Auguaconsult, the University of Denver, the World Bank, Amref Health, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Messiah College and World Vision shared experiences. These were drawn from their or their organisation’s work in Uganda, Vietnam, Mali, Madagascar, Zambia, Nepal, Chad, Timor Leste, Tanzania, Niger, Honduras and Pakistan. Throughout the e-discussions and webinars the primary scope was rural water supply, but sanitation and hygiene were considered when relevant.

This report synthesises the online discussions, draws on relevant content from the webinars and highlights experiences and lessons learnt. It is not an extensive literature review, but does draw on existing literature beyond what was discussed during the e-discussions. | »

Short Summary on RWSN & World Vision Webinar series on Self-supply

February & March 2015

This short summary highlights some of the issues that emerged from the presentations and discussions. | »

Handpumps: where now?

A synthesis of online discussions (2012-2014)

In 2012, RWSN established Dgroups.org as its online electronic platform for membership and discussion. The groundwater and handpump groups have been among the most active communities. The number and depth of contributions has been rich, and several members have asked for a synthesis of the discussions. They main topics that emerged were:
1. Water Quality - particularly iron and pump corrosion
2. Procurement, Quality Control and Installation
3. Sustaining handpumps - what is the average lifespan of a handpump?
4. Handpump component failures and the need to redesign public domain designs
5. The politics of new pump designs: the Squirrel Cage Pump

Join the debate at on dgroups, using the links below. | »

“What is the current wisdom on the best way to manage cash reserves and to manage the risk of big CapManEx costs in the future?”

RWSN Discussion Synthesis

This document is a synthesis of an online discussion that took place in June 2014 on Dgroups (Management & Support Community) and on the "WSP-RWSN Webinar Discussions" LinkedIn group in response to the following question:

“In Tajikistan a multi-village piped water scheme is successfully collecting user fees from households. This has created a new problem: a sizable reserve. This would seem to be in line with the object of the tariff, however for covering the costs of a big item that may need replacing in the next 20 years or so this raises a challenge: there is increasing pressure to use those reserves in a more productive way (and some less productive ways) sooner. There is also the risk that inflation will mean that a good amount of money today will not be worth the same in 10-20 years when it is needed for a big capital expenditure. From WASHcost and other work, what is the current wisdom on the best way to manage reserves and to manage the risk of big CapManEx costs in the future?” | »

Water Point Mapping: Indicators, pump functionality, accuracy of GPS, using and sharing data

Synthesis of discussion and activities: May & June 2014

The mapping topic was created in August 2012 and has rapidly established as a strong visible element of the rural water supply network. The main component of the mapping topic is the Dgroups platform, which enables members to discuss technical, policy and management issues around water point mapping, monitoring and reporting. Members share data, analysis, insight and knowledge from mapping activities including the indicators, approaches, methodologies, technologies, and mechanisms for sustaining inventories. The group works towards making data available and accessible to all stakeholders, developing the environment where data can be used to inform resource allocation and planning decisions, and monitoring the improvements in equitable and sustained access to rural water supply.

In May and June 2014 the mapping group discussed a range of issues and shared various country specific knowledge, data and research. Key discussions on measurable indicators, GPS accuracy, water point monitoring, pump functionality, and effectively using data are summarised below. Group members discussed the potentials and pitfalls of technologies to collect, update, and share data, and highlighted the importance of resilient processes in all areas of water point mapping and updating data. Members raised the necessity of standardising indicators and better using and sharing data across the sector.

This synthesis aims to present points made in the group discussions and consolidate them within thematic areas, but does not seek to draw conclusions from the content. | »