Online Communities

Below is a compiled (and ever growing) list of online communities related to international development. 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.

Definition of online communities: “websites where people congregate online to discuss the topic of international assistance or to identify themselves for possible networking or information-sharing purposes.”

Because “you can’t know what you don’t know.”


International Development Online Communities (general)

***FEATURED*** The Barefoot Guide Connection, a global online community for fresh resources, thoughtful conversations, and sideways approaches to social change.

***FEATURED*** Disrupt & Innovate – Future Civil Society Organizations

Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness

AidMamas, a Facebook group for mothers working in international aid and development

AidSource, the Humanitarian Social Network

Aid Workers Network

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network’s members provide critical financing and business support services to small and growing businesses that create significant economic, environmental and social impacts in developing countries.

beads – passion for facilitation

Beyond Good Intentions, pioneering a major on-line dialogue about international aid effectiveness in an effort to bring about change

The Center for Sustainable Development (CSDi) Development Community, sharing ‘What Works’ between development professionals worldwide.

CIVICUS’ Civil Society Watch, a central hub for monitoring and tracking threats to civil society.

The Communication Initiative Network Groups, 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.

Community Life Competence, sharing our experience with local responses to AIDS and other life concerns.

Conversations for a Better World, a social platform for raising global issues and finding solutions

Dadamac, Integrating Education and Development in Africa and Online

DevComm411, Development Communicators Network, a platform for professionals on the ‘front lines’ of communications work in the international development field

The Development Café, a global network and interactive website for development professionals and social scientists, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development

Development Practitioners Forum

Devex, a global community of 500,000 development professionals and one thousand donors, companies, and NGOs

Disasters Emergency Committee

Eldis Communities, 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

Galway One World Centre, Education for Global Justice, working towards raising awareness and changing attitudes of people in Ireland regarding global development and justice issues

GenARDIS – Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society (in English and French)

Global Alliance for ICT and Development

Global Focus Aotearoa, a specialist provider of information and education on global and development issues

Global Humanitarian Assistance, designed to provide impartial and unedited access to data and information relating to humanitarian aid around the world

The Guardian UK’s Global Development Talk Point, a space to connect with other users and share your knowledge of development issues

Healthcare Information for All, HIFA2015, a global email forum promoting the availability and use of relevant, reliable healthcare information for providers in low-income settings. HIFA2015 has more than 3,000 professional members in 157 countries worldwide.

Hivos Knowledge Platform Communities, aims to debate, inspire, rethink and critically reflect on international cooperation in transition.

The Huffington Post’s feed on International Development

Humanitarian Dating, meet the world in one place

India Civil Society, a meeting place to foster dialogue, share resources and nurture a network of those engaged in development issues particularly HIV in India.

InsideNGO’s Member Community, a forum to gather with NGO finance, grants and human resource colleagues and network, discuss ideas, seek advice, and contribute tools and resources.

International Council of Voluntary Agencies

International Development Communities

INTernational DEVelopment NETwork (Beta site), a professional networking site for students, scholars, professionals, academics, practitioners and activists dedicated to constructive change and development

Kabissa, a network connecting people and organizations working in Africa for peer learning and information sharing

The Knowledge Brokers Forum, a collaborative space to promote knowledge sharing and dissemination around intermediary work in international development. It aims to foster a dynamic community for topical discussions, peer advice, and posting knowledge-related blogs., 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

Mary’s Pence Making Connections, interactive website that allows people to deepen their involvement with the grassroots social justice movement throughout the Americas, a global network of people using mobile technology for social impact

Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS, a blog style website, news service, and email list focusing on developments in M&E methods relevant to development programmes with social development objectives. Managed by Rick Davies, since 1997, established in 2004 and now having 2600+ members worldwide.

MojaLink (Beta site), a professional and organizational network, international altruistic and development directory, and philanthropic communication platform, built to provide collaborative solutions to users and organizations

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.

NIDOS Effectiveness Tool, a guide for self-assessment on good practice in international development

Organization Development Network, an OD International Professional Association

Partnerships for Capacity Development, linking professionals from rural communities to share their grass-root experiences directly

Partos Plaza – 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

Practical Initiatives Network – Stop reinventing the wheel. A “means for organisations to directly share information with one another.”

Practitioners’ Network for European Development Cooperation

Professionalising the Humanitarian Sector

The Reality of Aid Network – A pre-eminent Southern-led North/South Network on reforming aid policies and practices

Silver Lining Creation Ry is a not-for-profit social media organization based in Finland consisting of independent documentary makers, script writers, development activists, freelance writers and students., an international platform and an online resource and communication tool for all those with an interest in Sport and Development

Society for International Development Forum

Sustainable Development Africa Platform, a networking community for people who are professionally involved in sustainable development in Africa

Think! The Knowledge Innovation Forum, a place to share knowledge on how digital technologies may enable innovation processes and sustainable development

Think Tank for Global Sociology, a global platform for reflection and discussion among sociologists, other social scientists, students, activists, journalists and others who aim to promote human rights, equality, and global and local justice.

Ubuntu Toolbox, a meeting place for those engaged in cross-border understanding, conflict resolution and promotion of diversity

Water for People’s Tap Portal, a social networking site to allow collaborative groups to have deeper conversations on relevant water and sanitation topics, 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.), online home of a new global community and knowledge base on youth policy, an online network for knowledge-sharing among development professionals worldwide. It has 60,000+ members and nearly 100,000 publications on a wide range of development issues. It is an information service provided by the Development Gateway.

Learning Communities

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), a sector-wide network which brings together the major actors involved in international responses to conflicts and natural disaster

Common Cause Working Group, helping to test, challenge, develop and refine understanding of cultural values and frames, and to better apply this understanding to social change processes. An initiative of WWF-UK’s Strategies for Change project.

DM&E for Peacebuilding, providing support, tools, and community for people working in the peacebuilding profession around the world.

Evidence Based Policy in Development Network, a worldwide community of practice for think tanks, policy research institutes and similar organisations working in international development, to promote more evidence-based, pro-poor development policies.

Knowledge Management for Development, a community of international development practitioners who are interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing issues and approaches

Learning in NGOs (LINGOs), a consortium of over 55 international humanitarian relief, development, conservation and health organizations. LINGOs provides the latest learning technologies and courses from partners so non profits can increase the skill levels of their employees.

Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD), an informal and open network of individuals and organisations sharing a common interest in improving capacity development practice.

MostSignificantChanges Yahoo group and email list, sharing experiences of the use of the MSC technique, and ideas about future uses. Formed in 2000, now moderated by Tracey Delaney, with 1200+ members worldwide.

Most Significant Change, a networking portal and clearing house for all Most Significant Change related information for the global community of practice. Supported by UNICEF India.

North South Observatory (IHP+Results), network for mutual monitoring and evaluation, analysis and debate of the International Health Partnership and Related Initiatives (IHP+)

Outcome Mapping Learning Community, a virtual hub for you to share experiences, contact other users of Outcome Mapping, and have fun!

Pelican Initiative: Platform for Evidence-based Learning & Communication for Social Change, this space seeks to bring together development practitioners from different disciplines, specialists and policy makers to explore: 1) evidence and learning for policy change, 2) learning in organisations and among partners, 3) society-wide learning among a multitude of stakeholders. The central question is: “How can we learn more from what we do while at the same time having the biggest possible impact on the social change processes in which we engage?

ReliefWeb Communities of Practice (various topics offered)

The SEEP Network, connecting global microfinance practitioners in a global learning community

Socialbrite 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.

Solution Exchange is an initiative of the United Nations Country Team in India that offers communities of development practitioners a UN-sponsored space where they can provide and benefit from each other’s solutions to the day-to-day challenges they face. We are connecting people who share similar concerns and interests, bringing them together virtually and face-to-face towards the common objective of problem-solving.  As a member of one of our communities [in various sectors], you can proceed with the confidence that you are not reinventing the wheel.


Akvopedia, the open water and sanitation resource, 315 files

Appropedia, 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.

Global Scale, 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

My M&E, 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.

Wikifund, from the International Fundraising Consultancy., wikis that yield trust and speed up development

Various LinkedIn Groups

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)
International Development (~1,900 members)
Base of the Pyramid (~1,500 members)
Monitoring & Evaluation Professionals (~1,300 members)
End Poverty (~1,300 members)
Inclusive Development Professionals (~1,000 members)
The NGO World (~900 members)
International Development Professionals (~700 members, focused on growth of markets)
Society of International Development (~600 members)
Sustainable Development Africa (~500 members)
Africa NGO Network (~400 members)
Rural Development Group (~400 members)
Aid Transparency (~300 members)
Development Marketplace (~140 members)
PMI International Development Community of Practice (~110 members)

Research-Focused Networks

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)

Hii Dunia 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.