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New: Online CSDi Development Community

New: Online CSDi Development Community
June 2010 Newsletter

Join Today! The CSDi Development Community invites people active in development or interested in learning, to share resources & collaborate with each other online in developing sustainable, impact-oriented tools and solutions for development challenges.

The Development Community is a cross between a social network for field staff working on-the-ground and a collaborative association for development professionals. Please take a few minutes to visit the site: http://developmentcommunity.csd-i.org/ .

New: Online CSDi Development Community
I have been living and working in Guatemala for the past seven years, which has given me the opportunity to see humanitarian development up close, and to work with over 100 different nonprofits and donors. My work has created intense curiosity on my part in better understanding “What works in development?” This led to the formation of the Center for Sustainable Development.

Through teaching online courses at the Center, I’ve had the honor of working with students from over 60 different countries. What immediately struck me while working with this many different cultures from such diverse locations, is that most of the students were working on projects that had very similar themes. Sometimes their projects were so similar that I have introduced students from different parts of the world so they could pool information and collaborate on designing their projects together.

I have learned an incredible amount from these course participants; they’ve had excellent ideas for their projects and they’ve had access to information that I had not seen before.

These students are of all different ages, genders and professions – donors, executive directors, field staff, business owners with a conscience, students, scientists, consultants and people who would like to transition into development work.

So I wrote to them and asked them if I were to set up a professional development community online what would they like to see it do. Here are some of the things that came up with:

seek solutions
share solutions
share projects; replicate each others’ projects
collaborate on projects
discuss development best practices
problem solve on projects
offer knowledge and expertise
knowledge base: library, resources, best practices, field tools, and resources
special membership for scientific researchers

I realized that since such knowledgeable, talented (yet widely scattered) people showed such strong interest and were working on common problems – that we should move forward with pooling our resources and begin collaborating with each other online to develop tools and solutions to the challenges we find in development.

Practical, simple tools and solutions that have shown evidence of having worked and that can be understood, implemented and maintained by a range of people types. These tools and solutions should be sustainable and impact-oriented. This led to the formation of this new online CSDi Development Community: http://developmentcommunity.csd-i.org/ .

We encourage anyone to visit our community to seek solutions to their development challenges. My hope is that they will be able to access information not only on their own, but also through the generosity of CSDi Development Community members who reach out to help them.

Another goal of this development community is to share and collaborate with members that have similar interests. We have created a dozen ‘starter’ work groups to get us launched:

Subsistence Farming
Education and Literacy
Family Food Security
Community Empowerment
Adapting to Climate Change
Family Water
Community Water
Conservation and Restoration
Community Health and Sanitation
Family Health and Hygiene
Forests and Trees
Feature your Project

There are many groups that need to be started; if you have enthusiasm and expertise – please start a group!

Please visit, join groups, start groups, connect us to your friends and colleagues, participate in discussions, post blogs, and upload documents, photographs, and videos. But most of all let’s work together to fine tune the answers to “What works in development?” http://developmentcommunity.csd-i.org/

See you next month!

Tim Magee

New Online Learning Summer/Fall Catalogue
Our catalogue includes courses in Sustainability, Funding, Climate Change, Organizational Development, and Food Security.

The 65 Countries Where Students Live and Work:
Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia , France, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago W.I., Turkey, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, United States, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.