Calling all NGOs in the Anti-Human Trafficking Sector – Step Up For the NGO Incubator Pitch

Working towards social transformation is never a straight road. The painstaking effort undertaken by all actors at various levels of governance such as the policy-making, enforcement and grassroot levels must work as a cohesive unit to truly tackle the issue of human trafficking in order to effectively eradicate what we now understand to be modern slavery.

The NGO Incubator Pitch is the culmination of a series of workshops to strengthen tech capacities of NGOs (non-government organisations) in this area of work where the winning NGO will not only receive a tech gadgets and other resources to help them with their ongoing work, but also the much envied opportunity to develop one’s tech capacity through means and platforms provided by TechSoup for a period of one year!

All eligible NGOs will be competing to showcase how they have put what they have learnt from the workshops on data visualisation and protection as well as creating interactive campaigns on digital platforms, and how these tech knowledge has helped participating NGOs in addressing gaps and deficiencies in their campaigns and lobbying efforts.

The NGO Incubator Pitch is an opportunity for NGOs to become more effective whether it is in engaging with victims of human trafficking or to gain public support in order to create better infrasturcture to victims of human trafficking.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 Who can participate in this workshop?
The eligible NGOs consist of participants from the workshops in this series: ‘Strengthening the Capacity of NGOs working in Anti-Human Trafficking’, and are listed below for easy reference.

  • Alliance of Chin Refugees
  • Amnesty International Malaysia
  • Archdiocesan Office for Human Development
  • Asylum Access Malaysia
  • Change Your World
  • European Rohingya Council Representative in Malaysia ( ERC )
  • Good Shepherd Services
  • Health Equity Initiatives
  • Hentikan Pemerdagangan Malaysia (SHUT)
  • Human Trafficking Watch HTW. Republik Of Indonesia
  • ILO Bridge
  • Issara, Embode
  • Kachin Refugee Committee
  • KINDNESS Malaysia
  • MERHROM (Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation)
  • North South Initiative
  • Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
  • Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  • Project Liber8
  • Rohingya Human Rights Activist In Malaysia
  • SameSkies
  • Sentro
  • SUKA Society
  • Suriana Welfare Society Malaysia
  • Tenaganita
  • UNHCR
  • Women’s Aid Organisation
  • Zomi Association of Malaysia

What does participating in the NGO Incubator Pitch entail?
All participating NGOs will be delivering a pitch to our panel of judges with a focus on techniques learnt from the previous workshops and how they have incorporated it into a campaign. This campaign must be developed and implemented in one or all of these categories:

a) Storytelling via still photography
b) Storytelling through the use of videos
c) A fundraising donor and communication plan

Please note that the campaign mentioned above MUST be related to the issue of human trafficking and cannot be an existing campaign in order to ensure that the results of the campaign is fair and reflective of skills gained from this series of workshops.

Is it possible for a few NGOs to pitch together?
Where there is a lack of resources for smaller NGOs to develop and carry out the required campaigns, one or more NGOs may collaborate and pitch together with the approval of the Organizer. However, the prize will be awarded to the principal NGO as stated in the Application Form. The responsibility of dividing the prize to the partner NGOs will then fall to the principal NGO.

Is it possible for one NGO to submit more than one application?
All eligible NGOs are only allowed to submit one application. A joint-application of two or more NGOs will count as one application and as one participating NGO. The principal NGO will be referred to as the participating NGO. That said, the partner NGO is not allowed to submit another application.

When will the NGO Incubator Pitch be held?
The NGO Incubator Pitch will be held as per the details stated below:
Date: 23 October 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 9.30am – 11.00am
Venue: To be confirmed
The Organizer will inform all participating NGOs of the confirmed venue via email once the venue has been confirmed.

How do I register?
To register, kindly fill up this Application Form. Please note that all applications submitted does not automatically qualify as a successful registration. All applications will be subject to a review and shortlisted applications will be notified and invited to pitch.

The deadline to submit the Application Form is 30th September 2018.

What is the format of the pitch?
Every participating NGO will be allotted 8 minutes to pitch. The pitch must cover the following topics:
– Identifying gaps in their past/ current campaign strategies
– Noting reasons for choosing specific techniques used in the campaign
– The aims of the campaign
– Successes and challenges when it came to developing the campaign, creating content and implementing the campaign
– Reasons as to why your organization should be incubated by TechSoup and Yayasan Salam

This will be followed by a question and answer session where the judges will be able to seek clarification or further information from the participants.

All participating NGOs may use powerpoint presentations, handouts or other such props and aids that will help the NGO in making a successful pitch. That said, it is best to keep all props to a minimum so that it does not distract from the actual pitch.

All participating NGOs may choose to send any number of persons to deliver the pitch with the condition that they are listed as contributing members of the team in the Application Form.

What is the criteria of assessment?
The judges will be assessing the participating NGOs for effectiveness, impact and relevance with regards to:

– the application of techniques used
– the challenges identified
– how it relates to the issue of anti-human trafficking in Malaysia
– sustainability of the program and potential for growth

How will the campaign be monitored?
All participating NGOs will be required to post their campaign on ONE of these social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Participating NGOs required to post content to the specified page belonging to their NGO from 14 to 20 October 2018. These posting will be used as a measure of impact. Postings before or after this period will not be considered in the final assessment by the judges.

Who are the panel of judges?
The panel of judges will be revealed once the panel of judges have been confirmed.

When will the winner be notified?
The winner will be notified at the end of the event, along with the runner-up.

What are the powers of the Organizers?
The Organizers reserve the right to modify the terms and conditions of the format of the NGO Incubator Pitch at our discretion. Please note that all participating NGOs will be treated with the utmost respect and consideration.

To help you get started, we have come up with a recommended timeline.

Post-Workshop Support

Move one step closer towards winning the pitch by attending our post-workshop sessions!
These cosy informal mini-workshops function to support the learning process by allowing participants to build,  brush up on skills taught in the previous workshops. Take advantage of this unique setting to ask the speakers for assistance – this may very well give you the edge you need to take your campaigns to the next level.

Wait no more and email lmenon@techsoupglobal.org to secure your seat at the upcoming workshop. Take a look at our calendar (attached below) for details.

Internet Freedom: The Malaysian Perspective

As a 100% born and bred Malaysian, I love my country. I am proud of our history, our people, our cultural heritage and incredible diversity through every imaginable aspect. While I can stand proud for (most) things “Made in Malaysia”, happily chant our “Malaysia Boleh! (Malaysia Can!)”slogan and our latest “Salam Malaysia Baru (Happy New Malaysia)” greeting, I am certainly not proud of this: Malaysia sitting in the bottom half of the World Press Freedom Index 2018 (144 out of 180 countries).

Arguably, this isn’t half as bad as Cuba, where Internet is only accessible to roughly 30% of its population, most of whom are on the ‘approved list of users’ (government officials, journalists and the likes). Unlike Cuba, the Internet penetration rate in Malaysia has risen to 87.5%. But accessibility aside, an important question to ask : how much of this is regulated, how much content is censored, what are our digital rights in this millennial age?

Since our independence from the British in 1957, the Barisan National led government has used various censorship laws to curb freedom of speech – Official Secrets Act 1972, Sedition Act 1948, and the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984.

As a Journalism Major, I recall a media law research paper I wrote about the Internal Security Act 1960[1]. The research that I discovered was horrifying, grotesque and beyond comprehension for a young adult : the Act allowed police to detain suspects up to 60 days in jail, without the right to trial, and subject these individuals to humiliation and torture, both emotional, mental and physical. Prisoners were those posing a ‘threat to national security’ – activists, journalists, student leaders, religious groups. In essence, ‘rebels’ and anyone who expressed a different train of thought to the ruling party. And in the mid 90’s, when the Internet was first introduced in Malaysia, another act was written up : the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.

Just before the General Elections earlier this year, another Act was born. On 11 April 2018, the previous Malaysian administration led by former Prime Minister Najib Razak, gazetted the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 where offenders charged with spreading “news, information, data and reports which are wholly or partly false” including features, visuals and audio recordings, both on digital and print media, could be fined up to MYR500,000 (USD130,000) or jailed up to 6 years.

Fahmi Reza, political cartoonist at a human rights consultative workshop. Fahmi was arrested for portraying the previous Prime Minister Najib Razak as a clown.

During my six-week YSEALI fellowship in USA in April through May 2018, I was fortunate and grateful to experience first-hand freedom of expression with Americans – at Metro stations, waiting in line at stores, dinner parties, street parades, and my favorite place in D.C – the President’s Park aka Lafayette Park in front of the White House. Albeit rather skewed political viewpoints (due to the geographical location I was in), it was still inspiring to see people exercise the First Amendment in many forms.

Through all this, one thing is apparent: while Malaysia may be ridiculed for our endless list of draconian laws, and shrinking civic spaces, all is not lost. The emergence of such laws have spurred Malaysian human rights groups such as SUARAM to host multi-stakeholder meetings, in hopes of developing practical recommendations and alternative policies, to the current legislations related to online expression and digital rights.

SUARAM recently organised a one-day consultative workshop, convening civil rights groups, lawyers, cyber law specialists, political activists, tech giant corporations affected by digital rights and the Anti-Fake News Law 2018. Panelists spoke about possibilities of self-regulatory models in social media channels, the challenges of defining fake news, and potential ways for citizens and media to fight the fake news law, should it continue to exist in this new administration.

In the days ahead, the new administration has an uphill battle to fight. Sixty years of a corrupted regime cannot be erased in the first 100 days of a new administration. The list of reforms is endless – empowering the indigenous groups (the poorest in the country), reducing the rural-urban divide, setting up an independent judiciary, repealing the censorship laws and amending the relevant ones instead of allowing it to be a blanket curb for freedom of expression. It is heartening to see the new government supporting the human rights sector, sitting in meetings and being available for discussions. It is always hard, but the first step is acknowledging the reforms and the need for them to be addressed immediately.

For many, these open dialogues may not mean anything. After all, talk is cheap. But to us Malaysians, these dialogues represent hope, no matter how tiny. And it is this tiny flicker of hope that will someday lead us to Internet freedom in Malaysia.

[1] In 2012, the Internal Security Act 1960 was replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. Despite the claim by former Prime Minister Najib Razak that the ISA would be replaced by a law to reflect a modern democracy, the SOSMA has seen a long string of arrests including civil rights activists Maria Chin Abdullah in 2016.

Mapping NGO Capacities Across the Region

Looking at a room of 30 people from all walks of the nonprofit sector, I wasn’t sure my planned session was going to work. The participants represented very diverse causes – from HIV intervention and prevention, cultural restoration and preservation, empowerment of rural farmers, faith-based child protection, food wastage, disability rights, to LGBTQ and gender rights. Would they be able to relate to each other’s challenges, goals and missions?

workshop2

 

 

 

 

 

That first session, and the four more over the next few months worked. Feedback from participants were positive, “This is exactly what we needed : someone to help to identify our pain points, and map out a plan to help us achieve our goals.”

Others echoed the same sentiment: “It is easier when we map out the goals, determine the most important one, then list the things we need to do to achieve the goal. It was helpful to learn to prioritize, and see how much technology is needed in each action. Otherwise, we just don’t know where to start, or how to start.”

workshop 1 Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having designed and facilitated five workshops for a variety of nonprofits from 15 countries in the region, including the Federation of Micronesia, an important theme has become clear:

As TechSoup continues to empower civil society around the world, it has also become part of our goal to help the nonprofit sector map out a sustainability path. By helping nonprofits list out their goals, map and prioritize major steps in their action plan, it is also imperative for TechSoup to help them understand the role of technology in achieving their goal. Ideally, this reduces the fear of having to embrace and implement technology, all at once.

Over time, we hope that these nonprofit organizations with great visions, can take the lessons learned from the small workshop sessions and use that to pave successes ahead.

worrkshop 3 NGO Group workshop breakout

Festival of Good Humans

In welcoming spring in Australia, Connecting Up has developed a unique initiative to bring ‘good humans’ together – the Festival of Good Humans.

Anyone and everyone are welcome to come together, either learn, teach, volunteer or sponsor. There are roles to suit everyone.

In partnership with Fifty Acres & Community Sector Banking, The Festival of Good Humans was designed to connect the non-profit sector with a wider community including corporates, creatives, technologists, academics and government. Connecting Up also hopes this event will spark conversations, develop think tanks and storytelling skills amongst non-profits, and help people experience the importance and the impact of the work of the community sector.

In an ecosystem where people’s talents, skills and passions overlap one another, developing and maintaining a diverse network where people can learn from one another is crucial for continued growth.

A series of interesting and innovative workshops have been lined up over the next one week from 28 Sept-4 Oct. For a small fee, participants can learn ways to develop intriguing storytelling techniques, fundamentals of Twitter, media messaging and positioning, and understanding key elements of communication. For more information on the Festival Of Good Humans click here.

 

Twitter storytelling Content strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to Reforming Human Rights in Malaysia

Growing up in Malaysia, we were used to seeing workers, both local and foreigners being exploited – long hours, low wages, no breaks, cramped living quarters, unsafe working conditions – all common sights when I was growing up.

Fast forward 20 years : in 2016, Malaysia, an almost developed-status country was ranked Tier 2 Watchlist of the Trafficked Persons Report.

Many of the issues still exist, exacerbated by the rapid economic developments of the country that call for an indefinite supply for migrant laborers. As part of its efforts to eliminate human trafficking in the country, the Malaysian government has been working with various civil society groups, engaging in stakeholder consultations to develop reforms, and improve its anti-trafficking laws and enforcement systems.

At the end of July, Project Liber8 a human trafficking awareness non-profit organized Advoc8 Hack, the country’s first ever national hackathon that aimed to develop technology solutions to help raise awareness on human trafficking issues in Malaysia.

IMG20170728212321

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was invited to be on the panel of mentors and preliminary judges for the hackathon. Amidst the sea of coders and developers, UI/UX designers, and people who lived and breathed computer language, I was among the few who brought nonprofit experience to the participants.

Having worked on both a personal and professional capacity with migrants, refugees and trafficked persons, and nonprofits in the sector, I shared practical knowledge and lessons, my experiences with these communities and the likelihood of adoption based on my interactions with them.

Some teams had great ideas, but rated lower on the practical side. I probed them on impact measurement,  parameters of their features, effectiveness based on hypothetical scenarios, potential challenges, helped them organize their thought process and map their ideas so they could see which areas needed more refining.

Mentoring a team – mapping their thought processes, identifying challenges and ‘blind spots’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The same team (above) is shortlisted in the top 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another group I mentored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a first in many ways – first time for TechSoup Asia-Pacific participating in a rights-related event in the region, first for us in presenting our work to the tech community on a national scale, and first for me as a mentor in a tech event.

TechSoup Asia-Pacific has also been invited to be part of the advisory board to help develop the winning team’s idea. Supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs, it is hope that the solution derived from the hackathon will contribute towards the goal of elimination of human trafficking in the country.

When E-hailing Met Crowdfunding

E-hailing has saved lives around the world – used as an ambulance service for its low price, used as a way to deliver emergency medication, and more commonly used as a safe way to get home to prevent drunk driving.

Kitabisa in Indonesia recently developed an innovative solution merging the two tech products : e-hailing and crowdfunding

An 11-second video showing a teacher swimming across an island where he teaches, went viral on social media. A local nonprofit Insan Bumi Mandiri started a fundraising campaign #perahuuntukpakguru (#boatforMr.Teacher) on the Kitabisa platform to help purchase and give boats to teachers, to enable them to teach on islands in East Nusa Tenggara area.

Following the fundraising campaign, on-demand e-hailing transportation company GRAB donated 2 boats (approx 150 million rupiahs or USD15,000) to the campaign, bringing it to a total of 528 million rupiahs (approx USD40,000).

The two boats were painted with GRAB’s bright green logo and color – a creative display of positive social impact and brand enhancement. The first of its kind in the country, it has attracted attention from the philanthropic and corporate sector.

“Since the GRAB donation, Kitabisa has been approached by various companies reaching out to do similar events,” adds Vikra Ijas, Chief Marketing Office for Kitabisa.

Click here for full story and here for Facebook updates.

Building Storytellers in Taiwan

As cyber space becoming increasingly crowded with a myriad of content where everyone is fighting for space and attention, nonprofits have to learn how to capture the essence of their impact in the most visually appealing way.

Over July and August, Frontier Foundation in Taiwan organized another successful series of storytelling workshops for TechSoup Taiwan members. A total of 137 participants from more than 100 organizations across northern Taiwan attended three sessions that showed them basic video making tools.

The first two sessions focused on basic shooting techniques and how to make videos via Power Director 14. The last workshop taught the participants to make short films on their mobile phones using Quik.

For some participants, it was their first time learning video making apps on their mobile phones, an extremely convenient way for most nonprofits who often do not have the resources for a dedicated social media staff.

Participants were also encouraged to send their stories to TechSoup’s Storymakers campaign, an annual campaign designed to encourage nonprofits to submit their short digital stories to let the world see. In addition to submitting their videos to Storymakers, Frontier Foundation has also encouraged nonprofits to deliver their stories to PeoPo, the citizen journalism arm of Taiwan Public Television Service. Winning videos are broadcasted on national television, giving them free access to paid media, which they otherwise would not have.

For more information and photos on the workshop, click on the link here.

Vietnam’s New Community Philanthropic Tool

A central part of developing civil societies is to have an accessible integrated platform with relevant philanthropy resources that the local nonprofit sector can tap into.

Based on this concept, LIN Center Vietnam developed a unique bi-lingual platform “Vietnam Causes” marrying the various elements of philanthropy – skilled volunteerism, funding opportunities, a local nonprofit directory and community hub, and philanthropy resources.

Vietnam Causes is mutually beneficial to both the corporate and civil society sector: the extensive nonprofit directory allows corporates to look for partners who are aligned with their goals, match skilled volunteers to on-going community projects and post funding opportunities. Concurrently, civil society players who are registered in the database can list the social problems their organization is working on, the projects that need funding, and share upcoming events and resources that other organizations might find useful.

The LIN Center’s network currently serves more than 250 grassroots nonprofit organizations, more than 200 volunteers, individual philanthropists, and aims to “help local people address local needs”.

For more information on the platform, please contact Fundraising and Communications Manager at vicao@linvn.org

Data4SocialGood Hackathon in Taiwan

In June 24 and 25, Frontier Foundation and DSP held D4SG Workshop at NCCU. Data for Social Good (D4SG) is a long-term project set up by Frontier Foundation and DSP since 2016. Its goal is to provide a platform for data analysts and nonprofits to collaborate.

Originated from Code for Tomorrow in Taiwan, DSP focuses on leveraging the power of data to address social issues. DSP’s main mission is to train and recruit data analysts and provide consultancy services to solve problems across government, profit and nonprofit sectors.

While nonprofits are constantly trying to develop solutions to bring about positive social impact, they’re unable to do so without help to understand, analyze and process the digital data.

Therefore, Frontier Foundation Taiwan co-organized a two-day hackathon held at National Cheng-Chi University in June this year. A total of five nonprofits joined, including services for the disabled, long-term care for elder people, orphanage, community services, and sex abuse rescue.

With advice and support from the various mentors, participants had a chance to understand data collection, cleaning and ways to best use the data. Some of the proposals will be kept for the Data Hero Project, a three-month long project that encourages data analysis on a deeper scale.

Digi-monetization of India

In November 2016, India announced a complete ban on the 1000 and 500 rupee notes, as part of the government’s efforts to crack down on the counterfeit economy.

Operating on a 95% cash transaction basis, the sudden move to a sudden cashless economy left the majority of Indians in a panic – vendors who mostly dealt in cash, households with savings in cash, were lost.

While on a macro level, these changes were being hailed as positive and transformative, the direct impact on the economy and the citizens of India was too large to be ignored.

The government’s think tank comprising The NITI Aayog (earlier called Planning Commission of India), The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, nationalized and private banks, NASSCOM and NASSCOM Foundation, were tasked to contain this crisis. The team quickly developed an action plan to handhold citizens switch to cashless transactions.

Large scale DigiDhan Melas (translated as Digital Money Fairs) were organized across more than 100 cities with all banks and digital transaction players coming forward and showcasing their cashless solutions.

NASSCOM Foundation, provided volunteers from the IT-BPM industry through its MyKartavya (Meaning: My Duty) program to help the citizens visiting these fairs adopt at least one of the available solutions.

In its attempt to further amplify this initiative, NASSCOM Foundation created its own step-by-step, easy to understand curriculum for all categories of digital transactions including eWallets, Unified Payment gateways (UPI – Mobile app based payment solutions for direct bank account transactions), debit cards, Aadhar (India’s Unique ID equivalent to Social Security Number in USA) enabled payment system and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) and organized volunteer drives under ‘Each One Teach Ten’ pedagogy across various cities.

The Foundation engaged with more than 2000 volunteers who in turn were able to train over 18,000 people on different cashless modes of transactions.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT also launched a free TV channel called ‘DigiShala’ (The classroom of Digital Learning and cashless financial transactions) and ‘Cashless India’ website to help the citizens get hands-on practice with cashless transaction tools. In partnership with NASSCOM, the Ministry also set up a free helpline service with a toll free number to help people complete their cashless transactions with ease. This helpline was able to resolve more than 300,000 queries from across the country.

Owing to these efforts, by March 2017, the digital transactions had grown 23 times to 6.4 million amounting for INR 24.25 billion. Today, despite cash being the single largest mode of transaction in India, people are much less dependent on it with the most underserved of the citizens having basic knowledge of how to use an e-wallet or a debit card or a UPI app or similar digital transaction tools – a massive win for a country who is not just witnessing but living a digital revolution.