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Incubating Solutions to Fight Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery or forced labour, affects more than 40 million around the world. As the world’s 3rd fastest form of organized crime, worth an estimated USD150 billion dollar industry, it is easy to see the financial incentive to lure victims into forced labor. Every aspect of this crime is a business – from recruiting, transporting, organizing to monitoring and ensuring the forced labor continues.

Mirroring the stages of the traffickers, the non-profit sector working to combat this issue can briefly be categorized by their main objectives – awareness, prevention, advocacy, enforcement, shelter and resettlement. Although separate in their direction and functional objectives, these NGOs are dedicated in working towards one goal: to end modern slavery.

However, without the right tools, the majority of the non-profit sector working against the crime fall behind the sophisticated techniques used by the traffickers. Without using digitally secure networks, without knowing how to navigate cyberspace without leaving their digital footprints, without using the right communication techniques to speak to their target audience, much of their physical and digital safety is compromised, not to mention their hard work gone to waste.

Over the last few months from August to October, TechSoup conducted a series of workshops for the anti-human trafficking sector. Most participants were Malaysian based NGOs, a handful were unions and organizations set up to address the forced migrant labor issue. The training topics spanned from data visualization, digital security, communication tools, social media insights, fundraising, and even basic photography. The event culminated in an NGO Incubator Pitch, modeled after the “Shark Tank” pitches.

Each participating NGO had 10 mins to pitch their case. Their presentation started with the tech tools used to design and execute a short social media campaign of their choice; an honest sharing of their challenges and successes; and finally, the pitch: why should TechSoup and Yayasan Salam incubate and grow them?

The grand prize, worth USD1,700, comprised a customized training plan, 1-1 support, fundraising service support, mentoring with NGO start-ups, licensed software and a tech gadget of choice.

The winner of the NGO Incubator Pitch was Ziaur Rahman, a Rohingya refugee and a human trafficking victim who has been sold 7 times in his life. Since arriving in Malaysia, and obtaining his UNHCR status, Ziaur has campaigned tirelessly on violence against Rohingyas. The panel of judges were impressed with his ability to demonstrate clearly his goals, his vision for the road ahead, and mostly, that he was able to articulate how this incubation was important in ending modern slavery.

Second prize winner was Tenaganita who received a prize value of USD800, which includes customized training, licensed software and 1-1 support. Honorary mention that won a prize value of USD300 was Friends of Women Organisation, Selangor (Persatuan Sabahat Wanita, Selangor).

The winners will be incubated from November 2018 to April 2019. During this period, the winning NGOs will receive additional resources, support and help for them to campaign more effectively against human trafficking.

The project is funded by the U.S Embassy of Malaysia, and carried out in partnership with Yayasan Salam Malaysia. For more information on the project, please contact Elizabeth Liew at eliew@techsoupglobal.org

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.

TechSoup and Yayasan Salam: Strengthening organizations in anti-human trafficking Malaysia

TechSoup Asia-Pacific and local partner, Yayasan Salam, recently completed a series of digital tech training for non-government organizations (NGOs) working in anti-human trafficking in Malaysia.

Funded by the US Embassy in Malaysia, the project was designed with three key objectives in mind: to promote a cross-country and regional learning platform; to provide and make knowledge, tech resources and tools accessible, and most importantly, to maintain open spaces in shrinking civil society space.

In line with TechSoup’s mission to empower NGOs around the world, the capacity building component of this programme is the essence of the project. However, aside from improving their digital tech capacities, the project also aims to build linkages between local, regional NGOs as well as industry experts. With a larger and stronger network, increased trust and understanding of the various key players, the ecosystem can grow, and

The curriculum is a combination of module-based topics, one-on-one consultancy with facilitators and post-workshop support, was divided into two 2-day sessions, one in August and another in September.

The modules included data visualisation, online storytelling techniques, and basics of mobile photography, basic graphic design and video making tools using open source software, investigative journalism techniques, and fundraising and donor campaigns. Registration stood at 42 NGOs over the total 4 day session, with a mix of NGOs working on awareness, prevention, advocacy, resettlement and shelter.

The series of workshops continued with follow-up trainings on topics in demand, such as graphic design and simple video making tools, conducted by TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s Program Manager Jed Adao.

Malaysia is a popular destination country for traffickers. Victims come from all walks of life around the Asia-Pacific region – some are women who are sex trafficked, or trapped in domestic helper jobs; male migrant labourers who work in the construction sector in modern slavery conditions, many of whom are being held on debt bondage; or refugees who have been sold, resold and exploited in many ways.

Despite the significant efforts of eliminating human trafficking, Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 2 Watchlist on the 2018 Trafficking in Persons list. Over the year, the government convicted more traffickers, increased criminal enforcement of unauthorised passport retention, granted more freedom of movement, and among the larger moves – the Malaysian government tripled its funding for three NGO-run shelters in the country, and opened its first trafficking-specific court.

The year 2020 holds much significance for Malaysia. Back in 1991, the nation announced Wawasan 2020 : the year that Malaysia would achieve developed nation status level. It has since been pushed to 2050.

In recent years, with the escalation of human trafficking cases that has placed Malaysia in negative international limelight, the government has made significant efforts to improve the situation, increasing enforcement and prosecutions, making amendments to current legislations to protect the migrant communities. By 2020, the government hopes that Malaysia will promoted to Tier 1 on the Trafficking in Persons list.

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.

This series incorporates classroom style learning of theory and hands-on practice, post-workshop support for participants, ultimately culminating with an NGO Incubator Pitch where the winner will not only receive a tech gadget to help them with their 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 applied what they have learnt from the workshops – from data visualisation, graphic design skills and video making tools – to help them address gaps and deficits in their campaigns and lobbying efforts.

The NGO Incubator Pitch is an opportunity for NGOs to become more effective whether it is engaging with victims of human trafficking or to create awareness in order to develop better infrastructure for victims of human trafficking.

USEFUL LINKS:
Download the Application Form
Post-Workshop/Incubator Timeline
Recommended Timeline
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Consultation Calls

COMING SOON!
Panel of Judges
Prizes

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

Bridging HIV Awareness and Technology

In a program led by LINKAGES Indonesia, a consortium of FHI360 and PACT, TechSoup Asia-Pacific and our Indonesia partner NGO Kitabisa  are currently managing a program dedicated to strengthening of the digital outreach capacities of working in HIV prevention.

The program includes a 16-module ICT training that has been divided into four workshops held across a three-month period. The 16-module course was specifically designed to focus on utilizing popular online communication tools, resources and methodologies that outreach workers can use to communicate with key populations.

Partaking in the 3-month training program are 20 local grassroots non-profit organizations within and outside of Jakarta. In preparation for the program, TechSoup and Kitabisa rolled out an ICT Assessment survey, a comprehensive set of questions to determine the organizational ICT capacities, from hardware, gadgets and servers, usage of software licenses, data protection, to their digital outreach capacities. The surveys also measured capacities on two accounts – on an organizational level,  and as individuals from the organization.

Using results from the ICT assessment as a baseline indicator of each NGO’s knowledge and skill sets, TechSoup and implementing partner Kitabisa were able to design a digital outreach curriculum to help the NGOs improve their digital outreach methods.

Through these assessments, results showed:

  • Among the 20 organizations, the pre-assessment shows 80% of the organizations identifying themselves as having low knowledge in digital security measures. Although many of the respondents were aware of their vulnerability to digital attacks,the majority of them do not perform backups on their devices.
  • Around 70% of the NGOs responded positively to social media usage, knowledge and capacity in relation to their digital outreach work. However, despite their familiarity with social media platforms and instant messaging, the biggest challenge for them was a lack of a structured digital outreach plan.

As HIV outreach campaigns primarily deal with sensitive information, this also shows how ensuring proper understanding and employment of digital security measures should also be considered as a top priority – one that is as important as improving digital outreach methods.

Outside of the trainings, participating organizations also received a tailored package of software via TechSoup’s technology donations program. These packages are inclusive of organizational essentials such as operating systems and productivity suites, along with antivirus licenses to help boost their current digital security measures, and Boost Training and Support packages to continuously feed them with learning content even after the workshops have ended.

Overall, while the collaboration in itself seeks to only empower 20 local organizations, the long-term impact of these organizations’ online visibility, and subsequently, outreachto the key HIV populations is very promising.

Strengthening Capacities of NGOs working in Anti-Human Trafficking

 In an increasingly globalized and digitized world, ‘organizing for change’ has moved beyond the mere mobilization of people in a physical space, but also the organizing of data and narrative to make meaningful and compelling statements in line with campaign goals. As civil society take their campaigns online to reach a wider audience, it is necessary that they are also equipped with the necessary tools to design a successful and impactful campaign.

TechSoup Asia-Pacific in partnership with Yayasan Salam is organizing a series of workshops to help improve the tech capacity of NGOs working towards combating human trafficking in Malaysia. Through sharing national and regional best practices, knowledge, tools and resources at the workshop, we also hope to strengthen the knowledge pool and network of anti-human trafficking players.

This workshop is the first among a series of workshops that incorporate classroom style learning of theory and hands-on practice (see full agenda here), post-workshop support for participants, and a convening for shared learning and successes of the applications of these tech tools to combat anti-human trafficking.Throughout 3 sessions (see more details below), the workshops will tackle various digital literacy topics ranging from proper utilization of data to digital security.

training-series-schedule

Currently, the Series A workshop – for Data Visualization, Security and Protection – is already fully booked and is expected to cater for a number of  leading NGOs that focus on combating human trafficking. This group will be trained by professionals and experts from both the human rights sector, and the field of data science.

To learn more about the expected content, you may see the agenda for the initial workshop below:

If you are working for, or with, an NGO which you think would be interested in the succeeding workshops, please feel free to contact both Liz Liew at eliew@techsoupglobal.org for more information.

NGO Needs Mapping Workshop in Manila

Tech planning, one of the more overwhelming tasks to take on, particularly for NGOs whom typically struggle with their access to IT personnel or expertise. Despite this limitation, our conversations with NGOs – regardless of size and type – consistently reveal their drive towards learning more, and hopefully, being able to manage and update their IT systems independently. Simply, it’s just a matter of knowing how and where to begin their learning process.

In looking to answer the essential question (of where or how do we begin), TechSoup APAC arranged TechSoup Local in Manila, Philippines. TechSoup Local is a workshop style meetup, for this session, the team focused on providing a guided mapping experience of local NGOs’ technology needs. By allowing them to simply voice out all of their concerns, TechSoup is then able to identify larger concerns and introduce to the NGOs the existing donations and discounts that would be relevant for each.

Held last July 5, TechSoup Local gathered some 30 attendees from over 19 local organizations. Throughout an entire afternoon, the team guided them into identifying their tech needs by having them list all the operational pain points they experience on a daily basis. After which, the TechSoup APAC team delivered a guided tour into TechSoup’s catalogue of donations and discounts, simplifying each offer along the way to enable NGOs to better make sense of the tech donations, and how they can be utilized to alleviate their operational pain points.

To cap off the event, the TechSoup APAC team guided the organizations on creating their own work plan that they can follow. This essentially helps them prioritize which relevant donations/discounts – if there are any – they should work on, and the necessary steps to take to furthering their understanding, acquisition and implementation of these new found resources.

Overall, the served as a launching point for NGOs that sought to help direct and nudge them towards the right direction, primarily enabling them to identify what types of tech donations and discounts are out there for them. And most importantly, it also helps begin a conversation, one about tech planning, that they will then continue to grow with both TechSoup and their own teams.

Tech Planning Smackdown in Singapore with Oracle NetSuite

Last 18 June 2018, TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s Program Manager, Jed Adao, joins Oracle NetSuite’s Social Impact team along with some 20+ local charities for the Tech Planning Smackdown workshop in Singapore.

A free half-day workshop, the event was dedicated to assisting charities in identifying the pain points that choke their operations while also enabling them to know how they can choose and implement the proper business solutions to address such issues.

Joining TechSoup Asia-Pacific and Oracle Netsuite was also Spectrum Partner Group, a consulting service in Singapore that caters on charities’ needs, whom delivered a best practices session in implementing new Cloud solutions and also a live demo of Oracle NetSuite’s technology donations which are now available to Singapore Charities.

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.

A guided tour of the Cloud: Empowering NGOs in China with Office 365

As most NGOs would attest to, one of the key limitations that hinder their growth and adoption of relevant solutions is their limited IT team and resources – or in some cases, a complete lack thereof.

Recognizing this issue, NPI – TechSoup’s partner NGO in China – has sought to address this concern by offering NGOs a hands-on training program that seeks to assist NGOs in various stages of implementing Office 365, beginning from the process of applying for the donations up to the actual usage of its various features.

In focusing on Office 365, NPI sees an opportunity to arm, educate and enable any NGO with essential cloud tools to make their operations efficient, that is flexible to any changes in their organizational size & structure, and most importantly, requires very little maintenance.

NPI to this day has been able to pilot this program on 3 separate NGOs, providing them a guided one-on-one experience that encompassed various stages of implementation. This ranged from as early as setting up their domains & user accounts, up to a more feature-focused approach such as training on SharePoint and Teams.

NPI’s initiative is not limited to hands-on trainings though, should an NGO in China want to receive quick support, they may also access NPI’s modules online through the links below: