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.

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:

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.”

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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.

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.

#LetsGetSocial @ Bandung

At the end of August, we co-organized #LetsGetSocial! with our Indonesia partner Kitabisa in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. 148 participants representing 87 organizations from across the Java province – Bandung, Tasikmalaya, Garut, and Semarang attended the session.

Kitabisa shared tips on how to raise money online, how to be a digital-friendly organization, and ways that nonprofits could utilize tech.

Read more about Kitabisa’s online fundraising work here.