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
AidMamas, a Facebook group for mothers working in international aid and development
AidSource, the Humanitarian Social 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.
The Center for Sustainable Development (CSDi) Development Community, sharing ‘What Works’ between development professionals worldwide.
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
The Development Café, a global network and interactive website for development professionals and social scientists
DevelopmentCrossing.com, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development
Devex, a global community of 800,000 development professionals and one thousand donors, companies, and NGOs
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
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.
The Huffington Post’s feed on International Development
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.
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.
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
Mary’s Pence Making Connections, interactive website that allows people to deepen their involvement with the grassroots social justice movement throughout the Americas
MobileActive.org, 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.
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
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
Practical Initiatives Network – Stop reinventing the wheel. A “means for organisations to directly share information with one another.”
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.
Sportanddev.org, an international platform and an online resource and communication tool for all those with an interest in Sport and 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.
WiserEarth.org, the social network for sustainability
youthpolicy.org, online home of a new global community and knowledge base on youth policy
Zunia.org, 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.
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 Foundation, 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.
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?
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.
Appropedia, a wiki site for collaborative approaches to sustainability, poverty reduction and international development.
Wikifund, from the International Fundraising Consultancy.
wikiworkx.info, wikis that yield trust and speed up development
Various LinkedIn Groups
International Development (~79,000 members) – This is a group for International Development professionals and NGOs to network and share experiences and resources.
Monitoring & Evaluation Professionals (~43,000 members) – To discuss and share information and practices in the field of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for development programs and humanitarian action. We welcome all M&E professionals willing to learn, discuss and link with other practitioners.
The NGO World (~23,000 members) – “The NGO World” is designed to provide leaders of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as scholars and interested researchers, an ever-expanding resource on the NGOs. Emphasis in particular is placed on practical information of relevance for the success of NGOs.
Rural Development Group (~20,000 members) – This group is for people involved in rural development, whether in developing or developed countries. It is meant to be a forum for exchange of ideas.
Society for International Development (~17,000 members) – The Society for International Development (SID, www.sidint.net) is a global network of individuals and institutions concerned with development, which is participative, pluralistic and sustainable. Founded in 1957, SID plays a crucial role in promoting dialogue between various stakeholders and interest groups, both locally and internationally. This Group exists to support these networks and dialogues on LinkedIn.
Sustainable Development Africa (~11,000 members) – A networking community for people who are professionally involved in Sustainable Development in Africa.
Monitoring & Evaluation for Development (~10,000 members) – NGO, ONG, economic, community, poverty, social, non profit, nonprofit, sustainability, fair trade, co-op, microfinance, social, public policy, green, health, environment, empowerment, energy, humanitarian aid, disaster relief
Base of the Pyramid (~5,700 members) – This is a group for professionals working to develop innovative ideas, programs, business models, concepts aimed at the community at the Base of the Pyramid;draws strongly from CK Prahlad’s and Gary Hart’s path breaking work The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
African Nonprofit & NGO Network (~5,500 members) – African Nonprofit & NGO Network: Impact Investing, Sustainability, International Development, Community, Social, Policy, Grants, Funding, Funds, Philanthropy, Support, Gender, Microfinance, Empowerment, Youth, Children, Employment, Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Energy, Renewable, Society
Nonprofit Collective Impact (~2,700 members) – Supporting, working, or projects for solutions to help end poverty internationally. (water, food, and health security, energy, green, people, community, sustainable development, fair trade, economic, business, solutions, alliance, partnership, world, environmental, social & public policy, NGO
Aid Transparency (~2,400 members) – Transparency in development cooperation is recognized as crucial for aid effectiveness and the involvement of all stakeholders, particularly citizens. This group is a forum to exchange information and ideas about current transparency initiatives such as IATI at the governmental and nongovernmental level, to present ongoing projects of aid transparency and to facilitate discussions on how to increase aid transparency. A key goal of this group is also to provide a forum where organisations and individuals working on aid transparency can present themselves to enhance “harmonisation” and cooperation in this field of work.
Inclusive Development Professionals (~2,000 members) – This group aims to bring together professionals and people interested in inclusive developmental initiatives – like microfinance, sustainable agriculture, rural & urban welfare, etc. – for exchanging ideas and experential learnings, incubating thought leadership and networking.
e-learning Community of Practice (~1,800 members) – Hosted by My M&E and Claremont Evaluation Center – Welcoming all e-learners to share your perspective, comments and best practices with fellow online learners. Search for answers, answer other users’ questions, or post your questions
International Development Professionals Group (~1,700 members) – This is a Group for International Development Professionals to expand our network of people/ideas and increase global awareness on the issues impacting the growth of markets around the world.
PMI International Development Community of Practice (~800 members) – The PMI has created a specific Community of Practice to share knowledge, build win-win relationships among professionals and institutions and, ultimately, to promote PMI’s best practices in this field.
Development Marketplace (~528 members) – This is a group of development practitioners working globally in social entrepreneurship.The group’s core members are Development Marketplace winners and finalists. The community extends to jurors and assessors serving in past and upcoming competitions, investors and foundations, civil society, citizen networks, bilaterals, development banks, academia, and the private sector.
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.