Using Information and Communications Technologies "strategically" means to get what you or your organization needs from the many possibilities offered by the latest online software and tools.
Editor's choice: Communications Strategies for World Bank- and IMF watchers
Developed by: Bretton Woods Project / Ethical Media Type of resource: MS Word and PDF files Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Researched by Ethical Media and written by Marco Kuntze, Sigrun Rottman and Jessica Symons for the Bretton Woods Project, this report looks at ways in which NGOs are using - and could be using - ICTs. A substantial appendix serves as a guide to using Internet tools effectively.
A Sourcebook on Access and Applications: Models of Use and Case Studies
Developed by: Learn Link: Digital Tools for Development Type of resource: website with PDFs Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This site hosts a series of chapters on access and how access issues are being addressed from a variety of contexts and situations. The sourcebook presents an overview of different access issues such as at community learning centers, for organisational development, e-commerce and education. Each chapter is accompanied by case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Developed by: Virtual Activism Type of resource: Web directory Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Annotated links to advocacy-related resources.
Advocacy, Communication and Coalition-Building
Developed by: World Bank Institute's Community Empowerment and Social Inclusion (CESI) Type of resource: MS Word file Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
A module on Communications, advocacy, and coalition building. It aims to provide learning opportunities to improve development effectiveness through building local organizational capacity.
An Introduction to Activism on the Internet
Developed by: John Emerson Type of resource: website Target audience: General Cost: Free access
A brief introduction to a few different techniques of electronic advocacy using email, the Web, and other “new media” to bring about social change. Any campaign determining its strategy should analyze its goals and consider the best way to influence, facilitate, create, or seize power. Electronic campaigning techniques may work best when supplementing offline tactics... or may be entirely unsuitable given a campaign’s intended audience, targets, timing, or resources. As with other campaigning tactics, strategies that work in one context will not necessarily work in another.
Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents
Developed by: Reporters Without Borders Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Reporters Without Borders developed this handbook (in English, French, Chinese, Arabic and Persian), to support citizen journalism in repressive environments where media is frequently censored. The manual orients internet users on how to set up blogs and publicize them, while preserving personal anonymity as part of ensuring personal safety and online security. It also examines how to establish credibility, promoting ethical and journalistic principles. The guide looks at specific situations to offer appropriate methods, with tips from expert bloggers and journalists. Available in English and French.
Human Rights Connection
Developed by: Digital Freedom Network, Forefront and the Columbia University Center for the Study of Human Rights Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Human Rights Connection (HRC) provides practical information in several languages for human rights defenders around the world. Materials include general resources on advocacy, as well as instructional resources on technology-related topics.
Martus Human Rights Bulletins System
Developed by: The Benetech Initiative Type of resource: Software Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Martus (Greek for witness) gives NGOs an easy-to-use and email-like technology tool to help collect, organize, safeguard and disseminate information. Martus was initially developed for use in human rights work, but the technology is applicable to anticorruption, environmental and other social justice sectors. With Martus, activists can use a computer to generate reports and keep them securely encrypted. Attachments of any type can be included in these bulletins, e.g. video, audio, etc. When an Internet connection is available, the activist can then upload it to a backup server and decide whether to maintain privacy, or web publish it on a web portal that Benetech is designing called the Martus Amplifier. Martus software is open source, free software.
Tech-Savvy Communications: A Toolkit for Nonprofits
Developed by: NPower Type of resource: Online toolkit Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"This toolkit provides an overview of effective message development for nonprofits, and offers a survey of tech-savvy communications channels such as RSS feeds, blogs and podcasts."
Using ICT for Policy Advocacy
Developed by: AWORC Type of resource: MS Word and PDF files Target audience: General, Trainers, Women Cost: Free access
Materials from the Asian Women's Resource Exchange's 2001 WENT training programme. The modules consist of handouts and PowerPoint presentations on topics including "Integrating ICT into Policy Advocacy: Intro to Tools" and "Integrating ICT into your Communication Strategy"
Building civil society portals: Reflections by practitioners
Developed by: APC / Karel Novotny Type of resource: Word document Target audience: General, Women Cost: Free access
This paper compiles perspectives of civil society portal experiences and offers insights into design, news aggregation, keeping portals dynamic, tips for sustainability and what it means to build a community of users. The study details challenges and tips coming from practical experience.
15 Ways to Use Software to Improve Your Organization’s Knowledge Management
Developed by: Idealware Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"You may have seen signs that knowledge isn't flowing easily through your nonprofit: Staff can't find documents, or research things that others already know, and decisions are made without full information. " Laura Quinn looks at some of the ways in which software can help you - even if it doesn't solve all your problems!
Editor's choice: Knowledge Sharing Toolkit
Developed by: Bellanet, Mark Faul, Kemly Camacho Type of resource: Word Document Target audience: Trainers Cost: Free access
This (draft) kit contains tools that are designed to make it easier to benefit from the collective experience, knowledge and expertise of your peers, co-workers and partners. The knowledge sharing techniques described in this toolkit are a selection of KS tools that are simple, quick, and proven to be effective methods for providing and promoting open, transparent discussion on topics, issues, activities and projects, and can be effectively used as training/facilitation techniques for workshops.
Developed by: Bellanet Type of resource: Web site and discussion list Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"KM for Development (KM4Dev) is a community of international development practitioners who are interested in knowledge management and knowledge sharing issues and approaches."
Developed by: SurveyMonkey Type of resource: Online software Target audience: General Cost: Free access
SurveyMonkey enables anyone to create surveys online quickly and easily. A basic subscription is free, but limits you to 10 questions and 100 responses per survey; a fee-paying subscription offers advanced options.
The Internet as a Research Medium
Developed by: National Research Foundation Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Resources on using the Internet for research - not specifically aimed at NGOs.
Use Online Surveys to Get the Feedback You Need
Developed by: TechSoup Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Online surveys can help you gather information and feedback to assist with project design and monitoring and evaluation. In this TechSoup article Yann Toledano looks at features to consider when choosing an online tool and steps to conducting an effective online survey.
Developed by: Zoomerang Type of resource: Online software Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Zoomerang is a tool for developing online questionnaires. A free version permits 100 or fewer respondents and 30 or fewer questions. Various fee-paying options are also available, including special rates for educators and non-profits.
Editor's choice: Strategic Technology Planning
Developed by: TechSoup Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This TechSoup section offers a large collection of articles and worksheets on technology planning.
Editor's choice: MMTK Using Older and Refurbished Computers Unit
Developed by: APC & Bridges.org Type of resource: MS Word files Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
This workshop kit offers materials which trainers can use as the basis of face-to-face workshop. The handout will be of value to anyone wanting to learn about using older and refurbished computers.
Editor's choice: Strategic Tech Toolkit
Developed by: Summit Collaborative and Strategic Tech Type of resource: Website and PDFs. Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
These materials, developed by Summit Collaborative and Strategic Tech trainers, provide simple resources and background material such as fact sheets, sample agendas, surveys, check lists and assessment tools for technology planning. The toolkit covers all facets of technology planning - from building a technology team, understanding staff attitudes towards technology, working with a board of directors, to actually developing and then implementing the plan. Session outlines spell out the steps in collaborative technology planning, and instruct how the different resources can be employed in the overall process.
Community Technology Plan: Broadband Internet Access
Developed by: First Nations Technology Council Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
A clearly written manual to facilitate decision-making and implementation of broadband networks in local communities, specifically in this case, Aboriginal communities in Canada. Easy to read, the manual explains common technical terms and characteristics of broadband connectivity. It guides readers through community technology assessment and also in the development of a basic business plan, as well as a sample business plan. It examines tower placement and tower construction possibilities, especially with rural communities in mind. The manual considers local community broadband as a business opportunity, either as an asset to community income or for individuals in the community. It provides checklists and a glossary and was developed by the First Nations Technology Council.
On the Road to a Gigabit Broadband: Are we there yet? A Self-Assessment Guide for Communities
Developed by: CENIC, Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, and CALIFA, consortium of California Libraries Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This guide allows communities to assess their level of current access and readiness for broadband, and helps envision what a fully connected community might mean for shared decision-making and community-building in the future. The tool first helps assess network infrastructure and then examines each community sector one-by-one, such as schools, libraries, government offices, hospitals and clinics, or community-based organisations. The highlight of the guide are its "Stages", established for each sector, which provide benchmarks in a variety of aspects: which places might be networked, what types of services and applications might a particular sector provide given a higher level of connectivity, their leadership role. The tool can be used in small presentations or for a townhall strategizing session, and includes tips for a community access workshop.
Online Course for Technical Service Centre Managers
Developed by: SchoolNet Africa Type of resource: Website with e-course Target audience: General Cost: Free access
An online Professional Development Course for Managers of Technical Service Centres, which are involved with activities such as acquiring, refurbishing, distributing and maintaining complete PC laboratories (labs), as well as providing ICT training. The course is a part of a blended learning approach, where this online component aims to provide a conceptual platform for learners, comprising activities, support resources, links to other useful web resources, and the possibility of ongoing email engagement with online mentors and a community of their peers.
Strategic Technology Planning Toolkit
Developed by: Ungana-afrika Type of resource: PDF Document Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Ungana-Afrika have been providing strategic technology planning services to the development community in Southern Africa for nearly three years. The processes have been refined through experience, and are presented here in their current form to assist other technology support providers to implement technology planning in their own context
Tech Atlas for Non Profits
Developed by: Tech Atlas Type of resource: Website Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This online tool takes you through Tech Atlas' technology planning process: Envision, Inventory, Assess and Act through the use of online forms. You must register to use the tool and have access to the on-line space, which you personalise by answering a series of questionnaires on your organisations' mission, vision, inventory, staff needs, etc. All of your inputs are maintained in project summaries and work plans online. There are options for downloading or emailing information during the different stages of the process. The staff needs assessment is an interesting tool, which allows you to assess staff computer skill and software knowledge. While there is no fee associated with the "basic" package, there is if you wish to register for the "enhanced" package which includes customised project recommendations.
Technology Inventory Worksheet
Developed by: CompuMentor Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
As organisations grow their adquistion of technology may be ad hoc, with different people being responsible for different pieces of hardware, and basic anti-virus and file maintenance done by the individual operator rather than according to an organisational policy. Security measures will vary depending on each user as well. Easy access to such information can be further complicated by staff turnover. This series of simple worksheets by CompuMentor help inventory all hardware and software in an organisation, as well as service contracts, server providers, warranties, and security and maintenance processes.
The Virtual Activist: Technology Planning
Developed by: NetAction Type of resource: Web page Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Part of NetAction's Virtual Activist training course, this article gives an overview of the planning process, with links to additional resources.
Toolkit: NGO Technology Planning
Developed by: SANGONeT Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"This article is aimed at non-technical NGO managers and administrators that may suddenly find themselves having to take charge of setting up and looking after the information technology infrastructure of their organisations."
Using Technology to Increase your Organization's Capacity
Developed by: LINC Project Type of resource: Web site Target audience: Trainers Cost: Free access
This is a workshop agenda and trainers' notes for a day-long workshop on "Using Technology to Increase your Organizations's Capacity" aimed at not-for-profits. The workshop is based on three key points: in order to use technology you must plan; you must have support for your technology; you need to assess resources available to you for your technology use.
FAQ: Strategic Grant-Writing for Technology
Developed by: TechSoup / Dot Org Media Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"Nonprofits typically ask many questions when they consider how they can more effectively raise funds for technology. Whether they seek money for training or support, development or hardware, it's simply difficult to find money for advanced technology. This FAQ cover some of the broader strategy questions nonprofits face as they try to raise funds."
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Idea Book: Integrating Digital Tools Into Your Projects
Developed by: Peace Corps Type of resource: PDF file Target audience: General, Women Cost: Free access
"This is a practical reference for all volunteers who would like to use radio, television, computers or other ICT in their work. After an overview of ICT and the Peace Corps, the book shares examples of Volunteer and community work with ICT by sector, with additional chapters addressing how women, girls, and youth in general are using (or can use) ICT to achieve their development goals."
Time to Get Online
Developed by: Kabissa Type of resource: PDF files Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Self-instructional materials on connecting to the Internet, accessing information resources, interacting online, establishing and maintaining a web site and integrating the internet into your organization. Resources are free but registration is required.
Understanding Civil Society Portals
Developed by: APC / Mark Surman Type of resource: Zip archive of MS Word files Target audience: General, Women Cost: Free access
Based on findings from five in-depth case studies and quick reviews of dozens of sites, this document provides an overview of civil society portal approaches and practical tips for portal builders. It outlines common approaches and challenges that have emerged from recent CSO portal projects. It also offers a set of basic planning tools that will help organizations in the process of building or upgrading their sites. Case studies on ItrainOnline, UruguayTotal, Women'sNet, ChangeNet and Rabble.ca are included.
"How to Set Up and Operate a Successful Computer Refurbishment Centre in Africa: A Planning and Management Guide"
Developed by: Bridges.org Type of resource: document Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This guide is the result of a study undertaken by bridges.org in early 2004, which examined the methods and strategies of the computer refurbishment industry, focusing on Africa. It describes the steps involved in opening a computer refurbishment centre in Africa and managing it into productivity. The full report is available in pdf format.
Community Groups Online
Developed by: Australian Government Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and the National Office for the Information Economy, this resource looks at the way in which community groups can use the Internet strategically, and offers practical examples of non-profit groups using electronic networks to achieve their goals.
e-Strategy Guide for your nonprofit organisation
Developed by: Australian Government Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This web site, developed by the Australian government's Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts aims to "help your organisation create its own useful presence on the web and make the most of ICT (information and communications technology)." Sections including "Getting more from the internet", "Creative web use", and "Online security". While some of the references are Australia-specific, the web site will be of value to non-profits more widely.
Eldis ICT for development guide
Developed by: Eldis Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
The Eldis ICT for development guide provides regularly summaries and links for key documents which are available free online; descriptions and links of organisations; regular features synthesising research on an important issue or debate; quick access to key subject areas, such as donor ICT policy; telecentres; e-health; manuals and toolkits; quick access to messages from key discussion lists in ICT for development; listings of coming events, conferences, jobs, funding and prizes; listings of where to go for country specific information; free regular email bulletin of latest research and news, with documents emailed to users with low bandwidth; a free newsfeed through which webmasters can quickly add Eldis content to their own websites.
eRider Starter Kit
Developed by: Teresa Crawford and Tactical Technology Collective Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
eRiding, a concept of travelling technology consultants for the non profit sector, is a way for civil society organisations to receive strategic technical support in a sustainable manner, and rooted in organisational goals. This Starter Kit outlines the eRider philosophy and helps potential eRiders through the five-step process of needs assessment, strategy development, training, implementation, and evaluation - key phases so that an eRider consultation does not leave an organisation without the necessary staff and technology capacity when he or she moves on to a new site (although the eRider model allows for long-term support as well). eRiders may come from a specific skill orientation (ie: online campaigning, information specialists, or F/LOSS advocates) or with technology solutions for issue-based work (ie: health, gender, education). The guide contains recommendations for every phase of the eRider process, including tips on how to manage an entire team deployed in a country, all based on experiences from the global eRiding community. The appendix features several sample surveys, evaluation forms, contracts, and needs assessments.
Practical guide for community organizations, (or "self help" text on) how to Assess the Role of ICT's in Community Development
Developed by: Yacine Khelladi Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
The purpose of this text is to offer some practical guidelines, in plain language, to members of community organizations, to help them in building self assessment methods and learning paths to enhance the effectiveness of ICT projects in support of social and community development.
Developed by: Spitfire Strategies Type of resource: Interactive online tool and PDF versions Target audience: General Cost: Free access
The Smart Chart is aimed at helping NGOs assess strategic decisions in starting the communications planning process, evaluating communications campaigns already in progress, and reviewing efforts already completed. Available as an interactive online tool and a PDF download.
The Net for Journalists
Developed by: UNESCO Type of resource: Downloadable PDF Target audience: General, Information intermediaries Cost: Free access
A practical guide to the internet for journalists in developing countries. The main focus is on effective and advanced searching using Google and other search engines; text, audio and video searches; translation and conversion tips; as well as suggestions to ensure the quality of sources.
Virtual Volunteering Project
Developed by: University of Texas at Austin Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General Cost: Free access
An extensive set of resources from the Virtual Volunteering Project on how to organize and participate in volunteer activities that can be completed, in whole or in part, via the Internet. Although not recently updated, this is still a useful resource.
Web 2.0 can benefit the world's poor
Developed by: SciDev.Net Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"The term 'Web 2.0' captures the transition of the worldwide web from flat websites offering static information to a new computing platform independent of earlier shackles...As the variety and capabilities of these websites grow, they create unpredicted opportunities — some of which can benefit unprivileged users in the developing world." Waleed al-Shobakky and Jack Imsdahl explore some of the possibilities.