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.

#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.

Hong Kong: SocTech

SocTech is the abbreviation of Social Tech(nology), a new initiative of the Information Technology Resource Centre (ITRC). SocTech promotes inter-sectoral collaboration between the social and technology sectors, emphasizing the power of technology as a society shaper.

In the mid to long-term, SocTech targets to foster a vibrant and dynamic culture in the Hong Kong community, where grassroot activists, industry leaders, as well as the general public can engage in fruitful discussions to find practical solutions for social challenges.

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Hong Kong: HKCSS – DBS Social Innovators 2016 Final Pitch

Earlier this year, DBS Foundation kicked off the inaugural DBS Social Innovators 2016. The HK$2 million program provides funding and incubation support to social innovators to solve various problems through social entrepreneurship.

Over the past three years, DBS Foundation has promoted the development of social enterprises in Hong Kong amounting to HK$6 million. The Foundation works with social enterprises and innovators in Singapore, India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong on programs ranging from venture challenges, learning forums, intensive incubation, grant support, financing and skilled volunteer mentoring.

The goal of the DBS Social Innovator program is to solve social issues using innovative ideas and technology, a reflection of DBS Foundation’s commitment to support the creative industry.

The DBS Social Incubators Program is divided into three phases, as outlined below:

Phase 1 Programme Milestones:

  • Selected from 150 entries, 20 shortlisted teams were invited to participate in Pitchathon
  • 20 shortlisted teams introduced their ideas or solutions to 100 sector representatives and Judges
  • The Judging Panel and participating audience voted to select 10 Finalists entering the 2nd stage

Phase 2 Programme Milestones:

  • 10 Finalists received HKD 20,000 Acceleration Fund and 3 months of incubation support for kick-starting the initial stage of development e.g. prototyping, market research and product test etc.
  • 10 Finalists participated in the Final Pitch on 28 July; competed for four Champion Prizes with a HKD450, 000 start-up fund and one year incubation support each.

Phase 3 Programme Milestones:    

  • To implement the awarded innovative projects

About DBS Foundation

As a corporate foundation in Asia solely dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, DBS Foundation contributes towards building a more inclusive society so that those at society’s margins can enjoy productive and rewarding lives. The Foundation is an endeavor from DBS Bank to make an even greater impact in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs. Visit us at: www.dbs.com/dbsfoundation

Hong Kong: Technology for Good 2016 Events

The Technology for Good Day, formerly known as NGO Day, was a grand success this year. Sixty-two senior executives attended the executive breakfast, and 87 IT managers and front line officers attended the half-day conference.

Fifty-one NGO coworkers attended the two technical workshops. The theme of the event was Cloud Technology – From Theory to Practice.

It served as a good platform for nonprofits to exchange  ideas, share best practices and new insights into how to take full advantage of cloud technology.

Microsoft Philanthropies also announced a USD$1 billion donation globally in providing cloud computing resources to nonprofits and university researchers over the next three years.

Information Technology Resource Centre, a limited company wholly owned by HKCSS, will continue to work with Microsoft Hong Kong in the coming months, organizing workshops and trainings to facilitate the utilization of this donation in the nonprofit sector.

For further information, please visit the event webpage (Chinese only).

Technology Trainings

Our Asia Pacific partners organize a variety of trainings and workshops on new technology applications and topics such as disaster preparedness, fundraising, and social media.

MST4GMay16

A recent example was a “Tech4Good” event hosted by our partner Yayasan Salam and Microsoft Malaysia in May 2016. The event brought together 127 participants from 87 unique NGOs to share new technology solutions and case studies, including office applications in the cloud, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer fundraising.

Research

The TechSoup partner network gains social sector insights from large‐scale research projects in Asia and globally, such as our Technology for Good report and our Global Cloud Survey.

Our Technology for Good report which shared ten technologies used by charitable organizations in innovative ways, was published in collaboration with The Guardian. Meanwhile our 2012 Global Cloud Survey, aimed at understanding civil society organisations’ current state of tech infrastructure and their plans to adopt cloud computing, received more than 10,500 responses from 88 countries.