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

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.

Mapping NGO Capacities Across the Region

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

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

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

workshop 1 Group 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

worrkshop 3 NGO Group workshop breakout

TechSoup, Ford Foundation China and China Pro Bono Link empower NGOs

In collaboration with Ford Foundation China and our China partner Pro Bono Link, TechSoup Asia-Pacific will be launching a new pilot project in China to help non-profits connect with service providers and consultants.

The project comprises two components: first, the development of an online directory of service providers ranging from legal, finance, human resources, information technology, and marketing communications; and subsequently, a training series to help Ford Foundation grantees better engage with service providers.

The 10-month long project, the first of its kind in China, leverages the new TechSoup Consultant Connection program to soon launch in the US that connects technology service providers to the non-profit communities, is the first of its kind in China.

The China pilot will focus on helping Ford Foundation China’s grantees access and a starting group of service providers for a variety of capacity-building. Eventually, we aim to expand the program and serve a wider non profit community in China.

The project will be launched in Q2 this year, kicking off with the online directory, followed by the training series.

Tech For Nonprofits In A New Democracy

There is much to learn in Myanmar, a country that has just embraced globalization for the first time in its history.

The TechSoup Asia-Pacific team recently embarked on a short familiarization trip to Myanmar, to meet with stakeholders and understand the social development challenges that the country is facing, having just opened its doors to the world.

With a current estimated Internet penetration rate of 19% (11mil of 58mil pop.) and research indicating that 96% of these users are Facebook users*, technology related issues such as digital literacy, cyber security and the viral spread of fake news on social media, have become a growing concern for civil societies and international organizations in Myanmar.

Matt Jung, TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s Director of Development was invited to speak at fhi360‘s workshop “Strengthening of Civil Society Organizations” for nonprofits in Myanmar. The project was initiated to build the capacity of various nonprofits and community-based organizations in the country.

A key outcome from this session for TechSoup Asia-Pacific was a chance to collaborate with fhi360 in identifying nonprofits’ skills gap and drawing up a customised tech training for these organizations.

The team was also invited to present an overview of TechSoup Asia-Pacific’s development projects at Phandeeyar, a social innovation lab spearheading the development of Myanmar’s tech ecosystem.

The attendees, comprising a range of civil society organizations, grassroots and community-based organizations, were keen to learn how they could benefit from the range of technology software donations and consultancy support that TechSoup offers.

In a country that has endured almost six decades of military rule, where democracy, transparency, and peaceful transition processes are now reliant on technology to advance, TechSoup Asia-Pacific will play an important role in the development of a progressive Myanmar.

*source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm

Bridging the divide

In many emerging economies, digital gaps exist because communities at large have no access to computers.

Accessibility to technology is crucial. However, of equally importance for these societies, is being digitally literate.

A core focus area of TechSoup Asia Pacific is understanding these gaps in the non-profit sector, and developing capacity building programs for them. By equipping these communities with knowledge on how to best utilise available products, it will empower them and allow them to address social issues.

Recently, Yayasan Salam and Kitabisa.com, our partner NGOs in Malaysia and Indonesia respectively, conducted free f2f trainings for non-profits.

In total, approximately 120 participants from 85 organisations attended the half-day workshops, which covered popular topics, such as external marketing tools, internal communication software, and ways that non-profits could maximise social media.

Concurrently, the Asia Pacific team continues to run webinars open for all. The recent 1-hour webinar on MailChimp received registration of more than 140 participants.

Click here for the MailChimp webinar.

Simplifying Technology

Technology can be daunting for many, especially for those who struggle to keep up with emerging technological trends. In view of the low digital literacy in the region, the TechSoup Asia Pacific team has made it a priority to simplify these ‘daunting’ concepts.

Jed Adao, TechSoup Asia-Pacific Project Coordinator, developed a mini series of “Tech Made Easy” videos on YouTube. These 1-minute videos have been used in various webinars and f2f trainings across our SE Asia partner network as well as TechSoup UK:

The goal of these videos is to summarise new and existing technology concepts, as well as introduce new products to the non-profit community.

Although certain software such as MailChimp are free and available online, many NGOs lack the knowledge on how to use such products.

Understanding this digital gap, and the need for easy-to-understand content, TechSoup Asia-Pacific has simplified content and made it accessible for the non-profit community.

Our regular webinars and step-by-step guides on both free and paid products, help to reduce the digital divide and build the tech capacity of the non-profit community in the region.

The TechSoup Asia-Pacific catalogue carries a wide range of products including operating systems, project management, anti-spam, security and firewall, multimedia and graphics, mapping tools and programming softwares.

For more information on the TechSoup Asia Pacific catalogue or country-specific products, visit our Tech Donation page or contact customerservice@techsoup.asia.