ACCRA Consortium is a free on-line interactive space where you can meet others, discuss issues that are important to you and share useful resources.
Meet other people involved in your fields of interest:
Each member receives their own home space, with a personal blog, and a file sharing facility. You can search for and contact other members via ACCRA Consortium. Our aim is to bring together people working in development no matter how far they are spread across the world.
Discussing topics that are important to you in online groups:
On ACCRA Consortium you can create your own online groups or join existing groups. You can be an active member in the groups or just read what others have to say. If you set up your own group, you can make your group accessible to everyone, limit membership or even turn into a workspace which only members can see.
How you use ACCRA Consortium is, of course, entirely up to you. We have, however, put together a few case studies that might give you a better idea of what ACCRA Consortium can do for you.
Case Study 1 - Discussing a topic and sharing knowledge in a Group
Whether you are a researcher, practitioner, policy-maker or any other development professional, you can set up or join a subject specific group. A group can be used to share knowledge and experience with peers, or to discuss a topic and exchange opinions.
The group may cover a very general topic (e.g. Environment and Development), or be much more specific (e.g. The Role of Farmers in Clime Change Adaptation). Some of the groups might be only active for a short amount of time, while others might be active long term.
There are a number of tools available in a group. You can choose to use only one tool or a combination of them.Blog
Use the blog to post up relevant updates and commentary, for example news related items which are of interest to the group. Each blog entry can also be commented on by others. This is a great way to facilitate interaction between group members. If, however, you are expecting blog entry to attract a lot of discussion with a number of lengthy and substantial responses you should consider using the discussion tool.
Post up a particular question or document and see what your peers have to say about it! The discussion can be a simple exchange of opinions but can also be a great way to share practical experience and knowledge. By sharing experience, knowledge, and opinions, you might build up a valuable knowledge base within the discussion area which could become a very useful information resource for others to look at. To organise the information in the discussion area just create different folders.
Use the calendar to share events and announcements of interest to the group.
In the Filestore you can upload useful background resources for everyone to look at.
Case Study 2 - A personal website for researchers
If you are a researcher, ACCRA Consortium can be a great platform to publish your research and get some feedback on published papers as well as work in progress.
Your Personal Space provides you with a number of useful tools:Filestore
The Filestore in your Personal Space allows you to publish any type of file free and easy online. You can use the Filestore to self-archive your own work, publish work in progress or research drafts, and share any other types of files. Within your Filestore you have the option to make files visible to everyone, only to your friends or only to yourself. Files that are visible to everyone can also be accessed by non-members of ACCRA Consortium.
You can use the blog as your own researcher's diary where you post updates on your research work and encourage others to comment. Any type of file can also be posted as an attachment to a blog entry.
Case Study 3 - Conference and Event Communications
If you have are planning a conference or other type of event, you can set up an online Group to complement the actual event. This is a great way to facilitate interaction amongst participants before, during and after the event. If you make the online group public you can also communicate to and involve those that cannot attend your event.
There are a number of tools available in a group which you might find useful. You can choose to use only one or a combination of any of them.Blog
On the blog you can post up summaries and commentaries of the conference sessions. If you want to post up the presentations of a session or a related conference paper just upload them as an attachment to the blog entry. After the sessions others can comment on the blog entries. That is a great way to keep conference discussions going and also gives non-participants the change to get involved.
You can set up a discussions for the topics covered by the conference. You might, however, also think of using the discussion area to get some feedback on the conference or to create a space where participants get to know each other before the conference and stay in touch afterwards. By creating different folders in the discussion area you can, of course, use the discussion area for all these different purposes.
The Filestore is great for uploading any background resources such as conference papers, participants list, the conference programme, etc.
If you feel like three tools are too much within your conference online group, just use one tool and try to use for all your communications. For example, set up a blog and use it for conference updates as well as posting up background resources and facilitating discussions via the comments fields.
Case Study 4- Online workspace for people working together
Setting up an online workspace is can be very useful, no matter whether your colleagues are spread across the globe or you are based in the same office. An online workspace allows you to systematically store information on your project, alert you to updates, and you no longer have to rely just on email communications which is often difficult to track. You can set your workspace to be hidden, so only invited members who are invited can see the Group exists and can participate.
The blog might be useful to update each other on progress of the project. For example, when you have just finished an important phase of the project you might want to share your findings via the blog rather than just sending out an email. In that way your information is stored in a central place and it is easy to find even weeks later. And via the email notifications your colleagues will be notified that something new has been posted up.
You can use the discussion area to map out different tasks of your project, discuss them and track their progress. The email notifications will let members of the group know when something new has been posted.
In the calendar you can keep track of deadlines and share useful events with your colleagues.
In the filestore you can upload any relevant background material for your project.
Anyone with an interest in development issues can join the site free of charge. On the front page of the ACCRA Consortium Site you find the option to join us and 'create a personal space for yourself' for yourself.
You might also become a member of the ACCRA Consortium site because you have received an invitation to join a particular group or workspace. If you have been invited to a group just follow the link in your invitation which will take you to the registration form. Once you are signed up you will automatically be a member of the group you have been invited to.
ACCRA Consortium has been developed by the ACCRA Consortium team. Since 1995 we have been providing an online information service. ACCRA Consortium is an extension to our existing services. Through ACCRA Consortium professionals can engage with each other and also with us in a very simple and effective way. By providing a platform for knowledge sharing and interaction we hope to increase the value of our existing information service. After all, a lot of useful information and knowledge is shared and created by interaction and is not always published in articles and books.
While we expect a number of our existing audience to use ACCRA Consortium, we are also hoping to reach new audiences which are interested in using interactive online services.