We wanted to let a Drupal user 'create new group' in civicrm without needing to go in to CiviCRM itself.
Clues from here suggested we might be able to do it without using API etc. The suggestion was that
putting <a class="crm-popup" href="/civicrm/group/add?reset=1"> Create a New Group </a> into block body (Full HTML input format)
may suffice. It didn't as it seems to require 'something' to initialise civicrm