The CCGHR’s Virtual Platform Laboratory (VPL) project to study online engagement and knowledge-sharing is an initiative of our Networking Program.  Launched in July 2013, the VPL project is testing how development organizations and project teams working on a global level can use easily-replicable, open-access technology to achieve better outcomes in their work.  Supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the project is a response to IDRC’s 2012 Canadian Learning Forum that focused on how virtual platforms can help international development organizations use online tools more effectively.

Over the course of 2014 (the project’s Implementation Phase) we’ll be sharing updates on the progress of the project.  The goal of these updates will be to share our learnings with our CCGHR membership and with the broader development community, encouraging knowledge-sharing and mobilization.  Based on lessons learned throughout the course of the project a selection of guides and tools for developing virtual platforms will be shared via our website for the use of other researchers, research groups, and larger research and development organizations.

Project Objectives:

The project team will:

  1. Create a Virtual Platform Laboratory (VPL) to develop and test strategies and tools to potentially enhance and strengthen communication activities of development organizations;
  2. Develop a work plan guided by the “12 key issues” identified at the CLF-2012;
  3. Explore and test the use of social media as a communications and networking tool;
  4. Create and use issue-specific “work spaces” as trial sites to test tools and best practices for communication, coordination and collaboration;
  5. Develop “how-to” guides and planning strategies so that other groups can learn from project findings and easily create similar platforms;
  6. Involve IDRC Learning Forum participants via direct communication and engagement.

Interested in Learning More?

If you’re interested in learning more about the Virtual Platform Laboratory we encourage you to visit the project website: