How ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud ensure protected collaboration at International Youth Community Services

14 January 2021By Ksenija

Today we are introducing the International Youth Community Services (ijgd) which use ONLYOFFICE Docs in combination with Nextcloud to organize location-independent and comprehensive collaboration. Jakob Hermens, Federal Coordinator for Public Relations at ijgd, tells us about his team’s experience.

How ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud ensure protected collaboration at International Youth Community Services

About ijgd

ijgd stands for International Youth Community Services. It is a non-profit organization working in the field of international youth work and political education, and it’s one of the largest and oldest workcamp organizations in Germany.

ijgd was founded in Hanover in 1949. After the Second World War, schoolchildren organized the first work camps to support reconstruction, to break down misconceptions through international contacts and to look for new, democratic visions for a peaceful future.

For now, ijgd consists of 14 regional associations and one federal association. Around 250 full-time employees work in six departments with 11 regional offices. The organization counts around 220 association members whose interests are represented by one federal and five regional boards.

ijgd arranges short, medium and long-term voluntary services in Germany and abroad. The fields of activity include among others social affairs, ecology, democracy and historic preservation. In 2019, ijgd accompanied around 5,000 young people in volunteer services in Germany, Europe and worldwide.

How ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud ensure protected collaboration at International Youth Community Services

When data security matters

ijgd is a federal association which faces a challenge of organizing collaboration compliant   with data protection standards across national borders and offices. In addition, ijgd is strongly characterized by voluntary commitment.

So the organization was looking for a tool to create a reliable infrastructure for comprehensive collaborative work with flexible rights management. With Nextcloud and ONLYOFFICE, ijgd has found such a solution.

Jakob Hermens:

We pay special attention to data protection. We do so since we find the right to informational self-determination really important. Sometimes we have to work with sensitive data of young people. Therefore, a solution which we host on our own server in Germany is of great importance for us.


For a while ijgd was trying Collabora. But the user experience familiar to the MS Office products with which they otherwise work ultimately convinced the ijgd staff in favor of ONLYOFFICE.

Automatic saving and simultaneous co-editing are the key features for ijgd. Most importantly, document formatting is preserved even when documents are opened in both ONLYOFFICE and MS Office.

Reliability, functionality, and simplicity

According to Jakob Hermens, the ijgd employees mainly use shared file storage and collaborative document co-authoring features.

As for Nextcloud, they use Calendar for cross-office and -branch appointments, Deck for tasks and the survey tool for scheduling.

Collaboration has become much easier. Important concepts for us in this case are reliability, functionality, and simplicity. With a sufficient number of licenses, this works perfectly.

Corona challenges

Jakob Hermens reports that with the Nextcloud-ONLYOFFICE combo, they at ijgd were well prepared for working from home due to the corona pandemic. For the future, it is planned to use ONLYOFFICE and Nextcloud more in the ijgd digital seminars.