NGO Connection Day 2018 in Taiwan

Every year, we tour in different cities in Taiwan to explore new ICT innovation and trends with local nonprofits. These events are co-sponsored by the local Microsoft office in Taiwan.

In 2018, we successfully conducted 3 events: “Office 365 Advanced Training for NPOs” in Taipei and Kaohsiung cities,  and “Basic Data Analysis for NPOs” in Taipei. We had total of 155 attendees from 109 NPOs joining together. These included attendees of varying professions such as including IT professionals, administrative staff, and social workers to name a few. This time around, we invited participants to bring their own laptops and divided them into different groups so that they may learn and discuss in a collaborative nature.

For the Office 365 events in Taipei and Kaohsiung, we focused on helping the attendees learn to discover more about Office 365’s various services, such as SharePoint, Power App and Flow. In addition, we also invited NPO partners to share their own experiences in implementing the solution and their future vision of enhancing organizational management and data accumulation.

On the other hand, in the “Basic Data Analysis for NPOs” event, we focused on giving participants a general idea of how they may use Power BI Desktop to do the data cleaning, analysis, and visualization through its charts and graphs. In addition, participants were also taught how Power BI integrates with Office 365 suites for advanced collaboration and data management.

For more details, please visit TechSoup Taiwan’s blog.

TechSoup in the CSR space, Kuala Lumpur

Over the course of my 12-year career in social responsibility, I have been privileged to have experienced life from both sides: the funder (the giver) and non-profit sector (the receiver). I have also witnessed the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Malaysia, from a hand-out charitable, one-off donation mentality, to inclusive, rights-skewed, educational and action-based projects that empower communities encouraging them to take action.

Ask any non-profit and you’ll hear the same sentiments echoing across: lack of stable funding, lack of human capital and adequate resources, desperately need better organizational effectiveness, better external and internal communication, more social media skills, and so on.

If you turn it around, and ask the corporate sector, you’ll hear “We lack of good projects from NGOs. They have unrealistic impact. Most don’t spend time researching on their funders. No cohesive approach.”

The above were actual comments from the corporate sector who attended the TechSoup Corporate CSR Networking event at Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 7 March 2018.

In the CSR Networking event, the consensus was clear: the non-profit sector needs to strengthen their foundational skills. Some challenges require little technology intervention, others require more.

In the coming months, TechSoup’s goal is to develop projects that will address the priorities in the last three quadrants as shown in the image below.

 

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.

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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.

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.

Sharing at AVPN 2017 in Bangkok

This AVPN Conference brought together a diverse group of funders and resource providers from around the world for this key gathering of philanthropists and social investors in Asia. This year’s theme “Collaborating for Impact” emphasized partnership across sectors and borders when looking to tackle some of Asia’s biggest challenges in education, health, livelihoods, the environment, and more.

Simon Gee and Matt Jung joined the conference and had some insightful sharing and networking among the over 700 attendees, which included foundations, NGOs and CSOs, impact investors, and a variety of social impact practitioners. Simon shared TechSoup’s experience in a roundtable, “Scaling the Impact Technology Social Enterprises in Asia.”

The sessions and panels had some quality content with experienced investors, NGOs and service providers. Impact investor movement are developing in Asia, bringing in more funding alongside more traditional philanthropy. Though impact investors still seek return on investment, more of the conference talk was around impact, and ability to scale. However, there was some consensus that there needs to be more impact funding, and such funders do not feel there are enough investees  social enterprises and NGOs and the likes, that are developed enough for their investment criteria.

The AVPN also organized ‘Deal Share Live – Investment Showcase’, featuring pitches from 30 social purpose organizations, and most of them were nonprofits. Several organizations approached TechSoup, asking for some experience help to leverage technology to further scale their programs.

We aim for the TechSoup network to play a greater role in the development of new impactful programs for Asia.

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.

Techfugees Adelaide – In Aid of Refugees

Ref.u.gee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Tech.fu.gees: Empowering the displaced with technology

In 2016, UNHCR revealed approximately 22.5 million refugees worldwide: the immediate assistance has now expanded beyond finding them a place to resettle.

How do communities help the refugees learn English as a third or fourth language, integrate into society, or hone existing skills and find suitable jobs? How do they find access to legal services, government forms and connect with the communities?

These questions and many more that focused on how to improve the lives of refugees, brought people together in an inaugural hackathon #techfugeesadl organized by Techfugees Australia, and funded by Connecting Up.

The Adelaide Techfugees hackathon saw amazing teams of like-minded hackers, and humanitarians co-designing innovative tech solutions to problems such as access to services, qualified employment opportunities, and making sense of government forms.

Mentors from Connecting Up talked to teams developing solutions that included chatbots, mobile apps, real-time anonymised data, and simple social messaging to raise awareness of the untapped potential of refugees in our community.

Winners of the various rounds receive grants from tech giants such as Microsoft, and many teams go on to become tech start-ups in their own right, developing and implementing their solutions “in the wild”.

For more news from the event, visit Techfugees Australia on Facebook, or Twitter, or look for #techfugeesadl. For information on how to get involved in the next Techfugees Hackathon in your area, visit techfugees.com.

Ageing in a Technological Era

Less than 30 years ago, ageing populations were perceived to be a burden to families and society – their contributions to community were heavily outweighed by the need to look after them.

In recent years, the emergence of new technology solutions, designed and built specifically to address ageing on different levels, be it dementia, Alzheimer’s or a physically restrictive condition, has changed the way societies adapt and manage ageing populations.

Gerontechnology, a new and growing field, works to improve quality of life among the elderly by developing technological solutions to issues they experience in their daily lives.

The Hong Kong government, recognising its growing ageing population, co-hosted the first Gerontech and Innovation Expo Summit (GIES) with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS)

Held from 16-18 June 2017, the objective of GIES is to promote community awareness and knowledge on the application of gerontechnology, and ways to use these solutions to help the elderly.

More than 100 local and international exhibitors showcased their inventions and products at the Expo. Highlights included robotic hand device for stroke patients; automated bathing equipment and Nao, a  programmable humanoid companion robot that could perform simple exercises and read Chinese poems.

Concurrently, the Summit gathered stakeholders from different parts of the world and disciplines to exchange views and share experience in order to shed light on the strategy for further promoting development of gerontechnology in Hong Kong.

More than 20 sessions of workshops and briefings were held, with focuses on specific streams of products or services such as application of robots, elderly food, elderly product design, smart city development, smartphone applications for the elderly, walking aids and digital healthcare.

The event was designed for all sectors of the community and the general public, especially stakeholders in elderly care and the services sector, elderly persons and their family members and caregivers. It has received an overwhelming response from the public, with more than 43,000 people participating in the event.

For more information, please check out the website and Facebook page of GIES.