Web-based networking tool development for international charities

As a direct response to our International Members who attended the last Small Charity Week International Development Debate, Dan Brockington (Sheffield University) is exploring the development of an exciting new web-based networking tool for International charities, interested, want to get involved – read on.

Effective International Development work hinges on strong networks, partnerships and synergies. Yet, one of the challenges facing smaller organisations is understanding with whom they could work. Resources to attend networking events can be sparse. Publicly available data about other charities can be hard to access. In our work mapping the international development NGO sector in the UK, we have seen a demand for better tools to facilitate networking and partnership building, and make the most of synergies possible across the sector.

We are therefore developing a web-based tool that will allow users to map and explore development NGOs (and other NGOs) which are based in the UK. It will make readily useable data which are available in the public domain, but which are not easily transformed into useable, viewable data-sets. It will allow users to explore the sector and possible partners and collaborators.

This tool will provide a free service. No one will have to pay to use it. We need, however, a strong group of potential users to advise on its construction. We want to recruit small focus groups of potential users who are prepared to engage with early versions of the site, be rude about it, and encourage the us to improve it in specific ways. Travel costs to these focus groups and food will be provided.

Two of the focus groups will be held in London. A third will be in Sheffield. They will be organised for the second week of January and first and last weeks of February. We anticipate that each meeting will be 2-3 hours long and will require 30mins to 1 hour of preparation.

If you are interested in taking part please contact Dan Brockington at d.brockington@sheffield.ac.uk by 20th December.