Improving Digital Equity Through Offline Content

Buffalo, Missouri, is aptly named for the bison that roam the territory. A small group of us at Endless OS Foundation recently visited the land of corn, rice, soybeans, and buffalo. Dallas County, Missouri, a region of nearly 35,000 residents, represents many other places in rural America — small-knit community, home-town pride, and an infrastructure that lacks broadband internet due to complicated features of the terrain. For many of the schoolchildren we visited in the county, electricity, much less the internet, is a luxury. During our visit, we learned that our approach to digital equity through the development of offline content resonated with the school district’s IT administrator, science teacher, and students at the local middle school.

This is one of many stories we’re witnessing in the USA and worldwide.

A Library of Learning Resources

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Endless OS formed as a nonprofit organization to double down on the work we’d been doing for nearly a decade. At that time, a third of K-12 United States public school students, or 16 million, were digitally disconnected (PDF). In that same year, we developed the Endless Key, a curated collection of K-12 learning resources from content partners like California Academy of Science, Common Sense Media, Khan Academy, Museum of Science, PBS Kids, and TED-Ed that can be accessed via a USB drive on Windows computers. Our goal was, and still is, to focus on learners who were regularly missed when it came to digital access. With the Endless Key USB, we introduced digitally disconnected learners to educator-reviewed e-books, interactive games, and YouTube videos that were readily available on the internet, with the hopes of lessening the digital divide that existed.

As we heard from urban and rural communities across the United States, we went back to work to further expand access to the Endless Key. Two years later, we developed a prototype of our Endless Key app, a downloadable app that can be accessed offline on Windows and Chromebook devices. For devices with limited data storage, and learners who want access to content that focuses on their interests, the app offering has been a game changer. As we begin to scale our community of learners, a question that keeps coming up from educators and learners, including at our recent visit to Buffalo, is, “Can I download this to my phone?” A great question, and one we’ve been hard at work on as we optimize our app for Android phones.

Screenshots of the Endless Key

Making the Device More Accessible and Affordable

For many of us, when we think of purchasing a computer, we usually just think of the hardware cost and not the productivity tools, apps, learning resources, and connectivity that make the complete package. We’ve been optimizing our operating system, Endless OS, over the past 11 years on a range of devices from low-powered single-board computers like Raspberry Pi to the latest top-of-the-line workstations — and everything in between, including refurbished PCs. With Endless OS, we ensure a sustainable and easy-to-use system, with thoughtfully curated learning resources and productivity tools to support you as you work, play, and learn, regardless of whether or not you have connectivity — and with no hidden software costs.

Native communities like ones served by Cook Inlet Tribal Council in Alaska recently received laptops preinstalled with Endless OS and selected learning resources from Khan Academy, CK-12, Blockly Games, and PhET. GivePower set an ambitious goal of equipping 15 schools across the Bajura region of Nepal with solar-powered computer labs running Endless OS in 2023. During the pandemic, our partnership with Fundación Harp Helú ensured that indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, were able to include their preselected curriculum within Endless OS.

As part of the open source community, democratizing access to technology means we ensure that users have a system with software tools comparable to, and compatible with, apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe and learning resources that are available offline while also designing safety and privacy controls for families with young learners.

Screenshot of Endless OS

Join Our Community of Learners

As a global organization, we know the need for offline content, an affordable device, and a system that supports the safety and privacy of the users we serve. Whether you already have a device and just need free K-12 learning resources (Endless Key), or you’re looking to install a safe and easy-to-use operating system (Endless OS) that comes with free learning resources and productivity tools, we have a solution for you! We provide these solutions at no cost to the organizations we work with so that they can have as much impact as possible on the communities they serve. If you’re an organization interested in providing our product offerings to your community of users, let’s work together! Please contact us at outreach [at] endlessos [dot] org, and please provide the information about your organization listed below.

  • Nonprofit organization name
  • Contact name
  • Contact email
  • Country
  • Language of the community you serve
  • Short description of how you want to use Endless Key, Endless OS, or both
  • Estimated number of users for Endless Key
  • Estimated number of users for Endless OS

Students on solar-powered laptops with Endless OS at GivePower Nepal

Important Microsoft Changes: 5 things your nonprofit needs to know

In case you have not heard yet, there are important changes to TechSoup’s catalogue of Microsoft desktop/on-premise licenses this coming April 4, 2022.

What are these changes? How will these affect your organization? Moreover, what does this mean to licenses you received before? Let’s dive right into these one-by-one!

1. What’s changing?

By April 4, 2022, the donated on-premise/desktop licenses from Microsoft will no longer be available through TechSoup for minimal admin fees. This change aligns with Microsoft’s growing shift towards a cloud-first strategy and one that would echo in its philanthropic programs as well.

2. Wait, what are donated desktop licenses again?

To fully understand the implications of this, we first need to understand the 3 different kinds of licenses nonprofits can access through TechSoup:

  • Donated licenses are basic desktop titles such as Windows Get Genuine and Office Standard. These are purchased for minimal one-time admin fees and are subject to allocation limits of 50 per title every 2 years.
  • Discounted licenses (or products marked with ‘Discounted’) are basic and enterprise-grade desktop titles whose one-time fees reflect a charity discount (est. 60-75% of commercial rates). While they are relatively pricier than the donated counterpart, they are not subject to allocation limits.
  • Cloud subscriptions, finally, are free and/or discounted nonprofit subscriptions for cloud suites such as Office 365 and Microsoft 365. While they primarily offer cloud applications (i.e. OneDrive, Teams, Exchange Online, etc.), some packages may also include subscription-based licenses for desktop apps such as Office and Windows.

3. What will happen to my existing licenses that I already received from Microsoft?

The changes will primarily affect future access to donated desktop licenses. That said, it will have no impact to licenses you already received. That goes for donated, discounted and cloud subscriptions. They are all fine and will continue to be usable and valid.

However, the brunt of the impact will be felt in your tech planning. If you have an ongoing need or are in the process of planning to procure more desktop licenses such as Windows OS, Office Standard, Windows Server, etc., it would be in your best interest to start securing those before April 4, 2022. Once the changes take effect, the lower price points brought to you by the donated license catalogue will no longer be available.

4. What happens if I need additional desktop licenses after the changes take effect?

Revisiting question 2, it’s worth noting that TechSoup offers 3 different kinds of Microsoft licenses. While the donated licenses will no longer be available by April 4, 2022, the discounted counterparts will remain accessible to all eligible nonprofits through TechSoup. Additionally, depending on your needs/goals, TechSoup’s experts can also help you map your needs to free or discounted cloud subscriptions as well. Additionally, Windows Pro OS will remain available under the donated catalogue even after the changes take effect on April 4, 2022.

5. Is there anything we should do in the meantime?

Plan. Assess your needs and let’s start planning. What you want to ensure on or before April 4, 2022 is that you have a clear understanding of what your potential need for additional desktop licenses would look like. Can any of these be replaced by cloud subscriptions or are you strictly limited to using desktop licenses?

What you want to ensure here is that you have some level of reserved licenses in case that need comes up down the line. You don’t need to stock up, just have some readily available if in case cloud subscriptions aren’t applicable. Alternatively, if you can shift these to the cloud, it would be highly recommended you start that conversation internally to start planning for it. Our experts are here to help as well, if need. What’s important is you start having that conversation.

All in all, I do hope this helped you make sense of the changes ahead. While drastic, TechSoup’s here to help you navigate these. So, as mentioned, do start having that conversation with your team – and us.

How TechSoup Asia-Pacific is Helping the Next Generation of Young ASEAN Leaders

In March, TechSoup Asia-Pacific (APAC), in partnership with Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), held a month-long workshop series for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Program. Launched in 2013, YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen youth leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.

As part of this Program, TechSoup Asia-Pacific helped lead a workshop that connected over 90 youth leaders from across ASEAN to new knowledge and tools to help them advocate for civil liberties and government transparency in their own countries. Some highlights from the workshop include:

  • Youth leaders located in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam attended over 30 sessions stretched throughout the month.
  • Participants had the opportunity to discuss different topics with speakers and experts from varying backgrounds and industries, including technical subject matter experts in anti-corruption and civic engagement; social and political activists, policy makers, and influential change-makers from various sectors of civil society, government and public institutions, and private industries.
  • 10 of the 14 project groups formed during the program were awarded a total of $25,000 in seed grants through a project pitching and panel review process.

In what follows, we’ll take a closer look at this powerful workshop, and illustrate how TechSoup Asia-Pacific along with trusted partners are tackling some of the most pressing issues in the region today.

Preparing New Anti-Corruption ASEAN Leaders
Data collected by Freedom House in 2021 about the health of democracy around the world illustrates how many countries across ASEAN, besides Timor Leste, are seeing a rapid decline in civil liberties. To help strengthen civil society, the workshop enabled youth leaders to promote transparent governance and democracy in their countries by connecting them with like-minded peers, and more than 64 speakers from around the world including passionate anti-corruption and youth activism advocates and dedicated public servants and officials.

Specifically, the plenary included some respected advocates and changemakers like Francesco Checchi of UNODC; Thom of Open Ownership and Bernadine Fernz of Open Contracting Partnership. The national agency that tackles corruption in Malaysia(the one and only such agency in Malaysia) — also shared some of their work on anti-graft busts in that country.

Next Steps Toward Real-World Change
At the end of the Workshop Series, the emerging leaders formed 14 different groups and presented unique project proposals for the chance to win a US$2,500 seed grant to implement their solutions in tackling pressing issues of good governance in their communities. Winning projects aimed to address a variety of challenges:

  • Increase the participation of youth engagement in decision-making on the issue of good governance in Cambodia
  • Engage young leaders on gender-responsive budgeting for a more inclusive government and society
  • Increase young people’s ability of digital advocacy on anti-corruption issues in Indonesia
  • Train young officers to protect their individual welfare in the workplace
  • Nurture a culture of informed and engaged Filipino youth voters
  • Strengthen local democracies by adopting chatbot technology
  • Increase digital literacy to promote good governance practices
  • Improve public participation and awareness in government policy making

About TechSoup Asia-Pacific
As part of the TechSoup Global Network, TechSoup Asia Pacific delivers technology resources, tools, and services to over 45,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across 43 countries in Asia Pacific. TechSoup Asia Pacific works closely with a regional network of X service delivery partners to help small to medium-sized NGOs access necessary technology and solutions. Find out more about how TechSoup Asia Pacific is working to help NGOs leverage technology to better fulfill their missions

Technology for Mental Health

COVID-19 is an absolute game-changer globally, with more than 164 million infections so far and 3.4 million deaths. Before this, mental health cases are growing at around 0.2 to 0.3%, but COVID-19 has expedited this growth to more than 1900%. This means we see close to 6% growth since 2020 and beyond. 

More than 40% of men and 60% of women will have some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Unfortunately, only 25% of them will embark on therapy, while the other 75% will either choose to remain silent or undergo some form of self-therapy. 

Looking at the current mental health trend, Ahealo is founded in 2020 with the mission to aid people with mental health challenges on self and professional therapy through technology. Ahealo has invested a considerable amount of resources, including our team of psychologists, to create technologies based on psychotherapeutic means to aid mental health recoveries. Ahealo believes in the use of technology and psychotherapy will fasten the pace of healing. Besides, Ahealo understand that user may hesitate to disclose their ID during their mental health caring process, actual ID is not mandatory in our platform.

Ahealo differentiates itself from other traditional mental healthcare providers through the use of technology in its self-therapy tools. Additionally, Ahealo also deploys artificial intelligence in its products to better understand the users’ situations and provide better advice to them. 

Self-therapy Technology Tools 

a. Ahealo Journal

In the journey of mental health recovery, self-therapy is a critical aspect of healing. The ability to eliminate negative behavior, thoughts, and emotions is crucial for people to regain their path toward everyday life. And one of the critical aspects of getting rid of such feelings and actions is to purge these unwanted thoughts. So, based on recommendations from our team of psychologists, Ahealo creates a mental health Journal that allows users to write their experiences to expel these negativities. Ahealo is proud to offer our Journal FREE of use to all our users. 

b. Goals Setting

Sometimes, things can be challenging. This happens to everyone. So, setting goals and targets will visualize the actions and effort for recovery.  Ahealo is proud to offer our Goal Setting product FREE for our users. 

Every goal can be further broken down into smaller goals in our Goal Setting product. Every baby step counts toward achieving the primary goal, regardless of the required effort. Every step counts. 

c. Mental Symptom Test

Know your symptoms of mental healthExperiencing mental health issues can be devastating, but it’s not the end. Before the user gets diagnose with a specific mental disorder, it will be much easier to take a simple test for symptoms. Ahealo offers more than 50+ symptoms for selection, with the underlying questionnaire on each symptom. Then, results are computed using T-score methods to determine if the person has mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Knowing the positive symptoms of mental health will help to direct specific remedial actions to overcome these symptoms. 

Ahealo offers a FREE symptom test for all our users. So, if the person is suffering from some mental health illnesses, check out the symptom test at Ahealo’s website. 

The Ahealo communities

Ahealo allows our users to analyze, get help, and share every Ahealo Journal record. If the Journal record is negative, the user can share the experience and seek advice from other users and therapists on our platform. But if the Journal record is positive, Ahealo encourages our users to share that positivity with others. Thus, the Ahealo communities create the healing force that every user can give and take to recover mental health. 

Being a part of the Ahealo community helps our users for better healing. Because self-therapy and self-healing can be a lonely journey, and having someone with you helps speed up recovery. Ahealo believes in forging mutual encouragements will better overcome the odds. 

Myths of psychotherapy

Talking with someone about mental health problems is an overly simplistic way to describe psychotherapy. The beauty of psychotherapy lies in the very nature of the relationship in which this “talking” happens. A therapeutic relationship is truly unique in that one human being (the therapist) is solely there for the welfare of another human being (the client). 

Unfortunately, most people don’t get that in real life. No matter how loving their partners, parents, and BFFs might be, people with mental health problems inevitably need someone to play some roles for them as well. In real life, most friendships and relationships are based on some implicit social exchange: “I am here for you, but I also need you to be there for me.” This is why feeling judged or misunderstood is a common experience for those who attempted to have this kind of talk with others in real life. 

This is also why friends can sometimes listen to you unconditionally until they feel like their advice is not being heard. The frame of psychotherapy is extraordinary: “Nothing else but you and your wellbeing matter in the therapy room. In here, the person’s inner experience is the absolute priority”. An effective psychotherapist will not shame the person for their actions, invalidate their inner feelings, impose a life lesson, etc. So, what looks like a straightforward conversation takes on a very different form when it happens in a therapeutic relationship.

Psychotherapy at Ahealo

Ahealo has a wide range of psychotherapists of diversified backgrounds and experience to care for people with a wide range of mental health challenges. Our therapists come from different parts of the world. They can provide the therapy required for mental health recovery without personal identification or information, no traveling, competitive rates, 24/7 availability, etc. 

Mindfulness activities

Mindfulness programs have been widely proven to assist people with mental health challenges as self-therapy. Ahealo understands the importance of mindfulness activities and offers different types of mindfulness activities on our platform. Not ordinary mindfulness activities, but specifically targeting various symptoms of mental health challenges. Ahealo believes in precision targeting mental health symptoms will drive better results and speed up mental health recovery. So do check out Ahealo mindfulness programs as a registered user. 

Ahealo is an intelligent mental healthcare provider who utilizes technology and experienced professionals to provide therapies to people seeking recovery. Designed to work as a marketplace for mental healthcare, Ahealo continues to challenge itself through technology and aggregating more highly trained professionals to provide edge-leading services to our clients. 

Ahealo continues to invest substantially in research and development in mental healthcare to ensure more unique ways of aiding mental health recovery are explored to benefit more people. 

*This article is written by Ahealo. Learn more about them here.

Embracing Change with YSEALI Good Governance and Civil Society Workshop

The Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) program is a program that is very dear to my heart. It is more than a program to me as it helped shape my leadership growth since it was launched in 2013. I had the opportunity to co-develop parts of the program and strategize the outreach and expand its presence in the region for almost five years when I was working in the U.S. Mission to ASEAN. The program provides opportunities for youth to enhance their leadership skills as well as contribute positive ripple of effect in the communities. 

As the only thing constant in life is change, I too have to move on and leave the U.S. Mission to ASEAN to move to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. One year later, I came across the opportunity to work on the YSEALI Good Governance and Civil Society workshop with TechSoup.

I am thankful for another journey with YSEALI – this time as part of the TechSoup Asia Pacific team! Little did I know that the journey will be so different on any of my previous YSEALI experiences.

As the only thing constant in life is change, surely a lot of the situation around the implementation period of the program changed. Political situation in Malaysia changed; a pandemic came and changed the meaning of normal; and I embraced pregnancy and later motherhood. And from change came adjustments, learning points, and a lot of room for growth, both personally and professionally. 

As a team we needed to quickly adjust to the pandemic situation, and we’ve decided to have the workshop to be fully virtual. That decision brought us to different yet exciting experiences and ways to manage the program. We designed activities to engage with participants online, using different tools and platforms. We managed mostly everything without meeting anyone in person, solely relying on our internet bandwidth. 

There were things that changed, but there were also things that stayed the same. Clear communications and strong teamwork are still the best ways to support a successful program, regardless if it’s virtual or in-person. Further, passionate and committed participants was one of the vital parts of a meaningful program, and we were so fortunate that the participants of the workshop were very dedicated to not only attending the workshop sessions, but most of all dedicated to work on the issue of transparency and governance. Participants were committed to bring the knowledge gained from the workshop to contribute positive changes in their communities, and it was shown from their engagement in the sessions and through the conversations and discussion initiated throughout the program.  

The participants’ learning journey and the impact they will bring to their communities are some of the key successes of YSEALI, and one of the main reasons why I am attached to the program. Knowing that you have contributed to something bigger, it’s worth all the time and hard work. At the closing ceremony of the project, ten projects were awarded USD 2,500 each to work on their project ideas on the issues of transparency and governance. These ten teams will implement their project from April to June 2021. I look forward to sharing the impact of the projects to you. Stay tuned!

Written by Nalindra Pelekai, Development Project Manager of TechSoup Asia-Pacific.

Personal: Reflections of Lessons Learned from Liz Liew

A year ago, if you had asked me what I thought of hosting a workshop completely online, I’d have said, “Nope, not interested. Can’t see it happening. I am set on f2f. Come on, COVID isn’t going to be here forever. Get real!”

Not only was I wrong about COVID (like, TOTALLY OFF BASE!!) but I’ve also learned so much since we decided to turn it into a 100% online conference. Of all the lessons I learned, the ones below are the biggest ones worth mentioning: 

Humans love human-centric content
I’ve learned how important it is to create human-centric content – dry topics like corruption can be spiced and laced with case studies, to make it more relatable. People want to learn and take home different things : some want frameworks, others want to be able to understand basic principles, and some want to hear how they can apply these techniques in their activism or engagement strategies. But ultimately we love the same things – to be able to relate to people.

Make it relatable
The issue of resonance also emerged : within the region, despite the countries facing similar problems, I needed to make content relatable across the board. We were a region, but were the pressing issues similar, or similar enough to make it a common denominator? Also, could the different countries relate to one another? Could Laos relate to Thailand, and would Myanmar be able to take democratic reform ideas from Indonesia, to implement them in Yangon, over time?  

Support emotional and mental resilience
I’ve learned that mental and emotional resilience is often taken for granted : our participants in Myanmar were a beacon of inspiration throughout the workshop. They inspired us with their ability to stay tuned in, remain as focused as possible, and participate in the sessions as much as they could. Despite their extremely difficult circumstances, they had one of the highest graduation rates from the workshop.

Do your best
I’ve also learned that in life, we can only do our best, and very often, this means some people won’t be happy. Indeed, when designing the agenda, I am sure I unintentionally upset a few people. Of all the tasks I have undertaken in my career, designing the YSEALI Good Governance Workshop agenda alone was one of the most challenging and complicated tasks I have taken on. I was juggling time zones, speakers’ changing availability, and their personal situations (some of it unforeseen such as deaths in family and contracting COVID); emerging socio -economic issues, and of course, the socio-political climate of Malaysia.

The fragility of the political landscape of Malaysia and ASEAN, especially with recent events, meant that we had to carefully navigate the situation, selecting topics and speakers who could support us in balancing the fine line of speaking up for justice and promoting freedom of expression, while maintaining neutrality in all forms. 

Uphold your moral fortitude

The end goal for me as an individual, and as an organiser, was to uphold integrity and honesty, stay true to my own moral compass, while keeping everyone’s best interests in mind.

At the end of the day, I did not want to create a packed schedule, filling up useless topics, seeking unrelated speakers, just for the sake of checking things off, just for the sake of hosting a workshop.

Through this process, I was reminded to be guided by my own moral compass. 

Versatility is the engine of success
I’ve learned that versatility is one of the key cornerstones of success : being flexible and open to alternatives, in a project like this, is a MUST. 

As organisers, we needed to be mindful of the endless possibilities (beyond tech hiccups), and be able to react calmly, think out of the box, and also be willing (and courageous) to maneuver unfamiliar terrains. 

Exercising compassion
With all the changes and unforeseen circumstances, I learned how crucial it is to be compassionate. A longtime fan of the Dalai Lama and Patanjali’s Sutras, I am grateful for being able to practise Yoga off the mat.

Sutra 1.3 is a clear example of integrating compassion into our daily lives. Whether it was the way I responded to a speaker’s no-shows; or saying ‘no’ in a kind yet firm way because if I relented, it would have caused unnecessary inconveniences for the team and I; or event drawing boundaries for myself to ensure I looked after my own well-being, practising compassion towards others and myself made a world of difference. 

The Art of Communicating Empathy
Perhaps the biggest personal growths in designing and co-running this workshop was learning the art (and the importance) of communicating empathy (online) to both a small, and large group – when participants express their thoughts, share their work, or open up a part of their lives to the audience – snippets of acknowledgement and validation, be it a like, a ‘reaction’, or a response, regardless how small, matter. 

It matters because it is their only connection to you, with you.

It matters because we realised that for many of these young leaders attending our conference, that the bi-weekly sessions became a short staple of their month of March : the connections, laughs, jokes and pokes they shared, were something special, and something they really looked forward to, given the lockdown restrictions in most parts of the region. 

Maybe one day, when travel restrictions are lifted, when physical distancing isn’t the norm, when we have all been vaccinated (against all strains), and can all meet in person again, the little reactions on Zoom will be history in the life of online workshop facilitation.

Written by Liz Liew, Program Development and Strategic Partnerships of TechSoup Asia-Pacific.

Successful YSEALI Regional Workshop

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Regional Workshop: Good Governance and Civil Society has officially concluded on March 27, 2021.  This is a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department through funding managed by the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur. This workshop was initially planned to be held in Kuala Lumpur but has shifted to a fully virtual program.

With over 40-hours sessions, the program included a combination of panel discussions, fireside chats, lightning talks, up-close and personal sessions with industry experts, virtual interactive group exercises, hands on activities, virtual networking, reading assignments and group project discussions. A total of 90 participants from Southeast Asia joined the online program and actively engaged in different discussions and conversations on topics related to good governance and transparency. The participants had the opportunity to network with and received mentorships from regional leaders and experts from different sectors of civil society, government and public institutions, and private industries.

Post-Workshop Evaluation Survey
As part of the monitoring and evaluation structure of the program, we asked the participants to fill in a post-workshop evaluation survey to understand participants’ overall learning journey as well as their feedback on different parts of the program, including their experience on each session, logistic arrangements, as well as the utilization and effectiveness of Howspace as an online engagement platform.

Summary of the survey highlights are as follows:
1. The top 3 things participants gained from the workshop:
– Networking with other emerging leaders
– Learn tools to drive positive change in communities
– Develop project ideas to tackle corruption and transparency issues.
2. 100% said they have broadened their understanding on good governance, transparency, and anti-corruption issues.
3. 98% said they have gained new connections and network through the program.

Pitching Competition Project Winners
This pitching competition aimed to support participants to develop and implement project ideas, to share their lessons learned with their communities, and give an opportunity to showcase their passion and commitment as change makers of the region. Each team conceptualized solutions on the issues and carved their project ideas. They submitted an infographic with details of their project ideas, implementation strategy and the impact it will contribute to the community. You can check the project winners here.

Workshop Engagement Awards
For the Aspiration Award, individual participants were asked to send their pledge on good governance and transparency, and the top four most meaningful and creative pledge won an award. For the Creative Team Award, we asked each team to submit a video showcasing their country’s culture as a team. One most creative video won an award. You can check the engagement award winners here.

Through this regional workshop, young Southeast Asian leaders who are working on issues related to good governance and civic engagement, were empowered and equipped with knowledge and techniques, enabling them to promote transparent governance and democracy upon returning to their home countries.

TechSoup Job Openings

Are you someone who’s looking for a role that allows you to create a positive impact? Then we’ve got something for you! TechSoup Asia-Pacific is expanding its team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you’re interested with working with TechSoup Asia-Pacific, check out our job openings below:

Project Coordinator (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

This is an excellent opportunity to expand your project coordination skills, whilst working within a dynamic, international team environment. The Project Coordinator will be based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and will form part of an integral small Asia-Pacific team, reporting on a day to day basis to the Project Manager, with close working relationships with the TechSoup Asia-Pacific team and TechSoup (grants and fundraising) team based in the USA, TechSoup’s various NGO partners and stakeholders throughout Southeast Asia.

What You’ll Do:

The project coordinator will be responsible for the overall administration and coordination of the YSEALI Regional Transparency and Anti-Corruption Workshop over a period of 12 months.

The project will bring together 100 youth leaders from throughout ASEAN and Timor-Leste for a week of workshops, masterclasses, networking and cultural offsite activities. You will be responsible for organising and coordination of the documentation of this project, including and not limited to preparing monthly reports, coordinating meetings, tracking project progress and deadlines, and implementing the logistics plan. The role will have you collaborating with TechSoup staff, the YSEALI Alumni network, U.S embassies, our partners and contractors in ASEAN and Timor-Leste.


    • Provide overall administrative support and coordination to the project
    • Maintain all project documentation including reports, quotations, evaluations, analyses, assessments as per project requirements
    • Assist in tracking progress of report deadlines and any other submissions related to the project
    • Assist with website updates, including editing graphics and text
    • Provide support to financial administrator including compiling and coordinating expense sheets and any other related documents related to finances
    • Provide support to project manager for monthly reporting submission
    • Assist with the execution of the logistics plan including researching and confirming event venues, and liaising with the logistics agency on participants and speaker details
    • Organise and document committee meetings, and any other meetings in relation to the project
    • Provide support to the social media coordinator who will be updating social media platforms

Qualifications and Experience:

At least 5-7 years working experience, with at least 5 years’ experience working in a project management capacity, preferably in a nonprofit, social enterprise, or an international development environment.

Knowledge and Skills: 


  • At least 5 years working experience in a project management capacity, preferably in a cross-cultural, regional or international context
  • Highly organized multi-tasker with strong attention to detail and deadline
  • Essential project administration skills, including organising, coordinating and documenting
  • Clear and concise communication abilities, both written and verbal, for both an internal and external audience
  • Strong desktop publishing skills, proficient in the use of office productivity tools e.g. Microsoft office/Google Suite etc
  • Independent, self-starter with proven ability to work autonomously as part of a geographically distributed team
  • Demonstrated professionalism and flexibility in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Fluency in verbal and written English and Bahasa Malaysian; knowledge of one or more other ASEAN languages is a plus.


  • Candidates who have prior working experience in an international or regional organisation, or bilateral agencies are preferred.
  • Prior long-term experience (more than 12 months) in project coordination and/or an administrative role in regional/international non-profit, human rights, social enterprise, or international development setting.
  • Prior experience in managing development aid grants, especially from the U.S State Department.
  • Experience in developing or implementing marketing and outreach plans, especially digital marketing and social media.
  • Writing skills, including the ability to write short updates for both external (social media updates, website articles) and internal (newsletters) audiences.
  • Social media skills including memes, GIFs, and knowledge of various social media platforms and their insights
  • Financial administration skills, and experience in using some finance reporting tools
  • Enthusiastic commitment to TechSoup’s mission; knowledge of the NGO sector and the role of technology in building the capacity of NGOs and charities.


The Project Coordinator will functionally report to the Project Manager who will manage this project. The Project Coordinator’s direct line management will be with the Managing Director – Asia-Pacific.

Employment Conditions:

The successful candidate will be employed as an independent contractor of TechSoup and based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Locally competitive remuneration will be provided in line with the candidate’s experience and skill sets.  Due to the nature of the project and the funding associated with it, this position is strictly for a period of up to 12 months. Any continuation of the position/role is contingent on future funded projects or programmatic activities.

How to apply:

Those interested in applying should send their resume along with an accompanying cover letter that speaks to your desire for the role advertised and speaks to the relative qualifications, experiences, knowledge and skills that make you suited to the role. The resume and covering letter should be emailed through to and, with “Project Coordinator – TechSoup Asia-Pacific” in the subject line.

Applications are accepted until January 10, 2020. Successful candidates should be able to start work soon on February 2020.



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.


 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
  • 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 to secure your seat at the upcoming workshop. Take a look at our calendar (attached below) for details.

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.