Incubating Solutions to Fight Human Trafficking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

NGO Needs Mapping Workshop in Manila

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

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

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

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

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

NGO Connection Day 2017 in Taiwan

Every year, we tour different cities around Taiwan to explore new ICT innovation and trends with the nonprofit communities.

In 2017, we hosted three events, including CEO Day, in Taipei and Kaohsiung. Topics covered included “NGO Case Studies: Appliances of Azure and Office 365”, “NGO Website Design in Mobile Age” and group discussions among CEOs.

The events, co-sponsored by the local Microsoft office, saw 282 attendees, representing 196 local nonprofits.

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

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More Photos of 2017 NPO Day.

2017ceodayComplete report of CEO Day facilitation process.

Reintroducing TechSoup Thailand

Nonprofits around the globe face similar challenges. However, with changes in political landscapes, shifts in economic powers and evolving market trends, these challenges often become very geographically contained.

In early May 2017, TechSoup Thailand organized a networking and learning event to understand the current challenges that Thai nonprofits are facing.

As a technology nonprofit, TechSoup kick-started the event with tech-centric ice-breaking activities : creating new hashtags for the event, taking creative selfies that display TechSoup’s logo, and ‘checking in’ to Ma:Dee’s (the co-working space where the event was held) social media page.

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Ice breaker: A participant creates inspiring hashtags for the event – #bepartofchange # ngonetworkingbkk #socialentrepreneursunite
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Ice breaker: The group poses with the TechSoup logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event drew participants from nonprofits across various sectors from different parts of Thailand, some came from as far as Chiang Rai to learn about how to leverage on TechSoup to better serve their communities.

A presentation line up included long-established Thai nonprofits Kenan Institute Asia and Change Fusion, who shared case studies, best practices, relevant content and practical tools designed specifically for the nonprofit sector.

NEEDed, a small and growing Thai-based nonprofit was also part of the line up where they shared their capacity development projects, focusing on their experience in helping nonprofits adopt technology.

Fhi360’s Regional IT Manager, Somphop Krittayaworagul, was invited to talk about digital security and the impacts of software piracy, a grave concern for the organization and nonprofit community in recent years.

The event ended with an engaging 45 minute breakout session where participants were asked to discuss and identify (collectively) their top five challenges and needs.

i) Technology
ii) Human Resource
iii) Funding
iv) Communication
v) Government and Stakeholder relations

The last part of the breakout required participants to state how TechSoup could help them. Participants shared their struggles with technology – software, hardware, cyber security, lack of I.T skills, adaptation and implementation, and recognizing the need to use more online portals for fundraising and learning.

Clearly, being a global technology network with 66 partner NGOs with presence in 236 countries, TechSoup has partners in the various capacities and are able to bridge the gaps the sector faces.

A key outcome from the event is for TechSoup Asia-Pacific to work with the various stakeholders to design capacity-building projects for the Thai nonprofit sector.

Technology for Good Day 2017

The “Technology for Good Day” event, formerly known as “NGO Day”, has established itself as a key platform for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public and private sectors to exchange experience, develop partnership and explore new ICT and strategies in meeting social needs of all kinds. It also signifies the 13th year collaboration between Microsoft Hong Kong Limited and The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) in enhancing the ICT capability of NGOs.

The theme of this year is “The Complete Cloud for Modern Nonprofits – Achieve More for Social Good”. Fruitful programmes include conferences, break-out workshops, exhibition on cloud solutions, case sharing by NGO speakers, and 1:1 Ask the Expert professional consultation service. The details are as follows:

Date:    21st March 2017 (Tue)

Time:    10:00am – 5:30pm

Venue:  Microsoft Hong Kong Office @ Cyberport

Details and Free Registration: https://aka.ms/j59hl6

Hong Kong: ITRC Forum 2016 – Computing Everywhere

In December 2016, Hong Kong’s I.T Resource Center (ITRC) organized the ITRC Forum 2016 themed Computing Everywhere.
The forum served as a platform for nonprofits and ICT solution providers to meet and share relevant technology trends and development.
The main objective of the forum was to encourage the adoption of ICT applications among nonprofits, which in turn contribute to a better service delivery to the needy in our community.
Over the years, the world has witnessed breakthrough developments for mobile devices and rapid advances in communication technologies, alongside a remarkable penetration rate of smart mobile devices.
The technology environment has urged nonprofits to re-design their services, incorporating mobile technologies, to engage and serve their clients, and to streamline their operations.
ITRC will present research findings as part of helping the nonprofit organizations plan their mobile endeavors.
For more details, please visit http://itrcforum.hkcss.org.hk.

Hong Kong: Macau ICT Forum 2016

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The Macau ICT Forum 2016, co-organized by HKCSS and the Social Work Bureau of Macau Government, is held at Macau on December 14, 2016. The aim of the Forum is to facilitate the understanding of ICT trends and the role of ICT in delivering and advancing social services for NGO coworkers. The Forum includes keynotes, system demonstrations and ICT workshops, and is well-attended by 140 NGO coworkers in Macau.

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

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.