Archive for the ‘NGO’ tag
This is a super clever way to use the potential power of social media for something good. Something truly good. I hope the Natalia Project gains worldwide recognition and wins a Nobel Prize.
The objective of the Natalia Project is to provide human rights defenders at risk with a personal assault alarm in the shape of a heavy-duty wristband. It allows the bearer to send out a distress signal in case he or she gets into trouble. That signal triggers a series of events that all aim to alert key contacts and as many people as possible though Facebook and Twitter.
Because, as the Civil Rights Defenders organization puts it, if there’s one thing that regimes and dictatorship want to avoid it’s international attention. Just the fact that the whole world could potentially be aware of an attack instantly creates virtual protection around civil rights defenders at risk.
The Natalia Project is named after Russian human rights defender Natalia Estimerova who was abducted and murdered in 2009. It actually started as a school project but is now in production with the first 10 Civil Rights Defenders having received their personal alarm. Creators are Hyper Island students: Daniel Rørbæk, Anders Sjönvall, Mathias Normark, Tobias Snall & August Segerholm.
Please support the Natalia Project: http://www.facebook.com/NataliaProject
Indonesia has witnessed an activism heyday, especially the pro-democracy movement that preceded the onset of the reformasi (reform era), which began with the fall of the military dictatorship in 1998. In this period, NGOs worked clandestinely and dodged bullets – literally in some cases – for more than three decades, making their causes heard against the backdrop of the reigning authoritarian government.
NGOs, regardless of their scope of work and issues, seemed at the time to channel and represent public resentment over the prevailing closed, repressive style of leadership back then.
By far, those organizations have succeeded in pressing for fair and just policies from the government fulfilling the basic rights of people, the constituents they serve, and reflecting the essence of democracy.
But times are changing. Indonesia’s economy is growing, giving birth to a middle class which is only too aware of its rights. Although it is not perfect, a democratic system has slowly been put in place, providing a check-and-balance mechanism. The flourishing of media outlets with the much celebrated freedom of the press in Indonesia has ultimately contributed significantly in making democracy more accessible to the public. Indeed, the press has begun to assume the role of providing the popular voice.
From a legal perspective, the 2008 Transparency of Public Information Law serves as one of the milestones of Indonesian democracy. Today the public has the right to any information from government offices, NGOs and media.
And the evolving role of social media has provided a platform for people to voice their aspirations and complaints. It has become a “crowd sourcing” tool that helps facilitate decision making for policy makers. A regular Joe can now express his opinion to the president and lawmakers by submitting a 140-character message through Twitter. And many millions of Indonesians now do exactly that.
The mandate that NGOs once had in Indonesia will potentially deteriorate or even be revoked if they do not offer new ways of doing things, by stakeholders who feel they can now take matters into their own hands.
Signs that point to the diminishing role of NGOs in Indonesia are starting to appear. The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that Indonesians have the least trust in NGOs compared to their counterparts in other Asia Pacific countries. And among the four institutions surveyed, Indonesians view NGOs as the least trusted organizations when compared to the media and business.
The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer (‘the survey’) reveals that after peaking at 61 percent in 2011, trust in NGOs dropped to 53 percent last year (after another fall in 2012). This year’s survey records Trust by Informed Publics at 51 percent. This is not only significantly below the global average of 63 percent, it is also the lowest Edelman records across eight Asia-Pacific countries.
These unusually low Trust scores for NGOs in Indonesia are all the more startling when considering that four out of the five most trusting countries in NGOs (Mexico, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore) are from the Asia-Pacific region. While Trust in NGOs in Indonesia has been unusually low and falling for the last three years, Indonesia is, by contrast, tied as the fourth most trusting country in business (out of the 26 surveyed); and third most trusting country in media of all countries surveyed globally.
Why? Measuring Trust is crucial because it is the leading indicator of reputation. However, other findings from the survey confirm that we are in an era of skepticism. The democratizing trend of recent years — the redistribution of influence from traditional authority figures to employees and peers — has taken over the old practice of monologue. The hierarchy of top-down communication is being replaced by peer-to-peer, horizontal networks of trust.
People value engagement; therefore NGO leaders need to ensure that their activists and workers act as their brand ambassadors, as NGOs certainly have a brand as well. And that brand can be positive or negative. Their peers need to hear that they truly believe in what they are fighting for and that they love their workplace, even after they leave their uniforms. And according to the Trust Barometer 2013, they need to hear this three to six times before they start to believe it.
Unlike the vertical flow of information of the past, from leaders down to the general population, information is now flowing horizontally between its members, simultaneously moving up before eventually reaching NGO leaders.
NGOs or mass organizations can no longer play the same old tricks and trump cards. Transparency in financing and actions is no longer an optional practice. Reclaiming the public’s trust is an absolute must, but it now seems in large-part lost. At present, people have more choices when it comes to allocating their trust. Thus, being ethical and transparent would do more good than harm in terms of visibility.
Yes, it is an evolution. NGOs cannot hide behind closed doors anymore. When in the past – and perhaps even today – activists take their demands to see clean governance to the street, they must first walk the talk. Being accountable and adopting a professional work paradigm would help cultivate public trust and restore their faith.
Trust has to be earned, one stakeholder at a time.
Arie Rukmantara is Senior Manager of the Health and Human Services (‘HHS’) Division of Edelman Indonesia: HHS integrates healthcare PR (disease awareness, market access and OTC) with work for international bodies and NGOs in community outreach, social behavioral change and environmental programs. Before joining Edelman, Arie worked with the UN, where he was a specialist in pandemic and epidemic disease communications and social change.
 The Edelman Trust Barometer surveys 1,000 members of the general public in Indonesia, demographically-weighted, with an additional over-sample of a further 200 ‘informed public’: top quartile earners; at least college-educated who identify as active consumers of news and other media.
By the time you read this post, I’ll be somewhere in the air between California and India to facilitate a “Networked NGO” training for NGOs in India that are Packard Foundation grantees. More about that later. But I have some exciting news!
My article is the lead story in the June, 2012 NTEN Change Journal! You can use that link to access the article and subscribe to the journal.
In January of this year, I predicted that 2012 would be the year of content curation. I have this habit of talking about ideas and using phrases that people don’t know – so if you’re saying err – what’s that? The NTEN Journal also includes a terrific introductory article for nonprofits and what content curation is relevant to their work. Laura Quinn from Idealware shares the results from a reader survey conducted in the last issue about content creation and curation. There’s a cool infographic included – of course!
I have been doing content curation since I’ve been using the Internet – starting with curating resources on the “gopher” but in the last few years the practice has become more common, although good curation isn’t quite mainstreamed yet. Yet, when I’ve been out talking to nonprofits about the value of content curation, I was met with strong reactions. Like someone jumping on a table and screaming “EEK a rat” because the perception that content curation was just mindlessly browsing the Internet and causes information overload.
My article talks about the importance of having your nonprofit staff grow content curation skills. Good content curation will not only save you from the overwhelming amount of information online, but can help you and your staff work smarter and more efficiently.
Go read it and come join me for an NTEN webinar on the topic to discuss it. You can register here. (It’s free)
Note from Beth: I’ve just returned from leading an intense “Networked NGO” training for Packard Foundation PRH grantees from Pakistan. The four-day workshop covered effective practices of networked ngos, including culture change, integrated social media strategy, and tactics. I worked with a group of eight organizations with two staff people from each. So, I’m very interested in this topic and will have a lot more to say once I recover from jet lag. I’m very grateful that the OE Team at Packard has shared this guest post about this important topic. If you work for an NGO in another region of the world or have experience delivering capacity building program, I encourage you to join the discussion here.
We at the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness Program (OE) are in the thick of assessing and refreshing our grantmaking strategy. This periodic review pushes us to candidly reflect on what works and what we can do better with our grantmaking. As part of this process, we’ve committed ourselves to actively reaching out to our partners for input. One part of this effort is our new, experimental strategic planning website.
A few weeks ago, we featured the following question on the site: Do you think that OE funders should require grantees to undertake an organizational assessment before awarding an OE grant? Why/why not? We received several insightful responses, of which many emphasized the context-specific nature of assessment needs (i.e. “it depends” on several variables). Rachael Barrett of the Women’s Refugee Commission offered the following from the perspective of an organization that recently sought out capacity building funding: “My quick answer is yes … having organizational assumptions challenged by an unbiased outsider will hopefully help us make a more refined decision about next steps.” Jared Raynor of the TCC Group gently reminded us that, in light of “today’s capacity building environment”, we should first take a deeper look into what we hope to achieve with our grantmaking, which in turn would inform our answer to this question. He also emphasized that “organizational assessment” is a large umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of tools and purposes, a fact that further complicates our discussions.
We really appreciate these perspectives and, in the next few weeks, we’re featuring two more questions:
1) What is the best way to support a strong NGO sector in underserved countries or regions such as South Asia, the Western Pacific, or Sub-Saharan Africa?
- Funders: what have you tried in this space?
- Non-profits: what kind of capacity-building support do you think is most needed in the country or region where you work?
- Everyone: What has worked well and what hasn’t?
2) Should funders recommend capacity building consultants or require grantees use certain consultants for projects they fund? Why or why not?
Can we count on you to contribute your experiences and insights?
I’m here at the Dead Sea in Jordan where I delivered the key note for the E-mediat Networking Conference, “New Media for the Networked NGO.” The conference marked the end of an 18-month capacity building program that trained more than 220 NGOs in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia on how to use social media effectively to advance civil society.
The New Media for the Networked NGO Networking Conference provided NGOs who participated in the E-Mediat program the opportunity to come together to share best practices, successes, challenges and lessons learned from their use of social media to effectively advance their organization’s work. This conference showcased the impressive work of the participant NGOs as well as introduced to them more advanced social media topics such as content curation, measurement, and integrated content strategy.
I’ve been working on this project for more than year. I have created the design and delivered an intensive Train the Trainers session in Beirut almost a year ago for master trainers and their teams from Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. I also developed the curriculum for the 15 workshops that were localized and delivered by the in-country trainers to over 220 NGOs over 9-month period.
The program accomplished the following:
- 220 organizations participated
- Organizations raised almost $125,000 through integrated social media campaigns from donors
- 83% of participants are applying their social media skills to engage local and global communities
- 12 training centers have been established
- 112 participants created Twitter accounts and are tweeting regularly, 1674 videos were posted on YouTube created with FLIP cameras donated by CISCO, and 131 blogs are regularly sharing their stories.
The conference was a learning celebration where participants had the opportunity to share their lessons learned and network. I designed and facilitated the conference which included an official ceremony with special invited dignities including Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, pictured above receiving a copy of my book, The Networked Nonprofit, which formed the basis of the curriculum.
When you have a formal ceremony and Royalty is attending, there are protocols you need to follow. I got to greet the Princess as she walked into the hotel. I had to address her as “Her Royal Highness Princess.” I told her that I was honored to meet her, to be in her country at the Dead Sea, and train NGOs to use social media to make the world a better place. I told the NGOs were “fabulous.” And she smiled at that phrase.
Then we walked with her into the conference room as they played the National Anthem of Jordan. We were assigned specific seats at the VIP table.
I delivered one of the keynotes and as you can see from this slide, we had two screens presenting materials in both languages. In addition, there was live translation in both languages. The official ceremony includes opening remarks, a discussion panel from participants sharing their stories, and two brief presentations by the social media advisers from Lebanon and Jordan.
Once the formal ceremony concluded, there was a break and the networking conference started. This conference used interactive design — such as visual facilitation, speed geeks, world cafe, full group discussions, small group discussions, and interactive lectures. I facilitated the sessions using the translation headsets and by bilingual colleagues to help me translate in real time.
One of my favorite parts was facilitation a small group discussion on managing information overload in an age of distractions. I heard so many of the same themes that I often hear from nonprofits in the US when we discuss this topic.
E-Mediat is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the United States Department of State with support from the craigslist Charitable Fund and Microsoft. The program is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and implemented with a coalition of leading social media experts and international partners from the public and private sectors.
Project 2 Link heeft zijn doelen bereikt! We hebben in de afgelopen 9 maanden meer dan 10 succesvolle links bewerkstelligd tussen NGO’s in ontwikkelingsgebieden en leveranciers van middelen (materiaal, transport, kennis en arbeid). Onze gelinkte advertenties varieerden van het verschepen…
Tesco komt met een eigen non-profit stichting om geld bij elkaar te brengen voor ‘vrouwen en gezondheid’. Tesco’s nieuwe dameshygienemerk Halo zal hiervoor het geld ophalen.
Tesco komt met een eigen non-profit stichting om geld bij elkaar te brengen voor vrouwen en gezondheid. Tesco’s nieuwe dameshygienemerk Halo zal hiervoor het geld ophalen.
Today ICANN, which is the nonprofit, non-governmental organization that coordinates the Internet naming system, is opening up an application process for established companies, organizations or institutions can apply to manage a .ANYTHING.
They aren’t opening up the opportunity to own a Top Level Domain (TLD) to just anyone. Excluded are individuals, sole proprietors or yet-to-be-formed entities. And the bar is set reasonably high, with a $185K fee and a 300-page application.
The mangers of a TLD are not necessarily the people with whom you have registered your web address, like like Network Solutions, GoDaddy and thousands of others. Instead, these “managers” of TLDs provide the “plumbing” of the Internet.
Anytime you put a .COM into a web browser, Verisign is making sure it reaches its destination. Similarly, anytime you put a .ORG in, the Public Interest Registry is behind it.
We all just expect these things to work. You probably aren’t all that interested in how a DNS resolves or the infrastructure required to bring the webpage you want to your browser.
How this Affects Non-Profits
One of the clients I have been working with at Zoetica is the Public Interest Registry, or PIR. Working with them has given me a further insight into this historic time for the Internet.
PIR, which is itself a nonprofit, is the current manager of the .ORG extension, and was formed to run it as a community-driven asset. PIR is applying to run a new .NGO domain that would be reserved for nonprofits. However, with any open application process, there is a risk that others might also apply for this new extension.
ICANN allows applicants to gather community support to bolster their case, and PIR is asking nonprofit managers from all over the world to support their application for this TLD.
The nonprofit community has banded together to support PIR, and I have included a number of posts from various nonprofit leaders in support of PIR at the end of this post. If you work at a nonprofit, exclusively with nonprofits, or serve on a board of a nonprofit you can sign the petition here.
How this Affects Companies
It’s all about branding!
I expect some big companies to be thinking of getting their own TLD and running it. Think .PEPSI or .COCACOLA. From a marketing perspective, these domains will allow for some clever advertising opportunities and make it easier to get the Internet names they need. The only fights for names will be internal.
For category-type names, like .LUXURY or .BANK or .HEALTHCARE, it will require industry support. Also, no one can get your brand’s TLD without your explicit agreement.
If and when a category name comes open, you will have to determine if it will make sense for your business and if it is run by a reputable organization. A good example of a current domain name with some concerns is the .ly extension, which is run by the Libyan government. The popular shorter bit.ly is on this TLD. But as this website explains, Libya could choose to shut down any site with an .ly extension for almost any reason.
The Campaign for .NGO
Here is some more information about the campaign for .NGO, including an short petition to sign.
Other coverage and support of .NGO
Here are some of the most influential voices in the nonprofit community in support of PIR’s bid for .NGO.
Petition: Protect your brand and domain name, via CauseVox
Give a New Year’s Gift to Nonprofits Worldwide, via Waxing Unlyrical
Save the .NGO Domain for Nonprofits – Online Fundraising, Advocacy, and Social Media –, via Froogloop, Care2
Exclusive Domain for Nonprofits: .NGO – Purple-Power, via Avectra
.ORG vs .NGO: How New Domain Names Can Help Your Brand | GoodWorks, via Advertising Age
IMPORTANT: Help make sure .NGO remains in nonprofit hands — SocialFish, via Maddie Grant
Say ‘Happy New Year’ to nonprofits worldwide with one click, via Socialbrite
The Internet Domain .NGO Should Serve Best Interests of Nonprofits Worldwide: Sign An Online Letter of Support
Note from Beth: Within a year new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will be launched worldwide, joining the likes of .ORG, .COM, and .NET. Among the proposed new gTLDs is .NGO. .NGO will be the exclusive domain for local and global non-governmental organizations looking to advance their missions or to inspire their communities. PIR is the non-profit organization managing .ORG – the domain that has served the non-profit community for more than 25 years – making it the natural choice for managing the .NGO domain. Sign this online letter of support to ensure that .NGO is maintained in the best interest of nonprofits worldwide.
Guest post by Thuy LeDinh
There’s no question that the Internet has evolved significantly over the past 26 years. In fact, I think it’s safe to say (especially given that you are reading Beth’s blog) that most of us log-in at least a couple hours of online time a day – whether it be to check our emails, research potential donors and partners, or more importantly, update our vested followers about our latest new, initiatives, and missions. But as we all know, nothing ever stays the same, and the Internet is not an exception to the rule.
Over the next couple years, we’ll all have front row seats to the introduction of new domain extensions (or what we in the Internet industry call “generic top-level domains” or “gTLDs”). Soon, .ECO, .GREEN, and .NGO, among countless others, will be introduced into our lexicon, expanding our surfing – and outreach – options in infinitely new ways. But as the Internet grows, so does the inherent responsibility to manage its expansion in a safe and standardized way. That’s my “cause,” if you will… to ensure that the new domain name extensions help organizations, individuals and companies alike market to their communities on a safe and trusted venue.
Over the past decade, The Public Interest Registry (PIR), has been managing the .ORG domain name extension, which currently serves over 9.5 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies worldwide. Our mission since our inception has been simple: to serve as an advocate for higher Internet standards and to work tirelessly in the best interest of our .ORG registrants, including those in underserved markets. Simply, our pure purpose has been to ensure that our online community of individuals, companies and NGOs — no matter their location — can educate, mobilize and empower their communities in times of both crisis and calm.
That’s what brings me here today. As the Internet stands on the cusp of a major sea change, PIR has a unique opportunity to broaden and deepen our core mission by applying for a domain extension specifically aimed at the needs of the global NGO community – .NGO.
Here’s where you – my fellow NGOs and .ORG registrants – come in. As an organization that thrives off of its community, PIR could use your support to ensure that we continue to serve in your best interest. First and foremost, we could use your advice and practical help on how to best serve the NGO community (feel free to use the comment board below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org), and second, I invite you to become our advocates, if you will, and support us in our endeavor to run .NGO via an online letter of support.
In the next few months, PIR will formally submit its application to officially manage the .NGO domain extension when it’s introduced in 2013. What does that mean exactly? Your online cause marketing efforts and overall impact will be strengthened. As a complement to your existing .ORG site, .NGO will be an exclusive domain address for self-identified NGOs worldwide who are looking for a unique online signature to be immediately recognized and to broaden opportunities for public participation, funding and contributions.
Please support us in our endeavor to run .NGO via an online letter of support.
Now, let me pause, as I can already see the line of questioning coming through my computer: “Wait, if you are already managing .ORG (and happily so!), why are you pursuing .NGO?” Because it’s a natural next step in our commitment to serving the public’s interest. As a fellow not-for-profit, we understand the needs and wants of the NGO community. Our years of experience with .ORG has also provided us with a longstanding track record of running a stable, trusted registry that empowers non-profit organizations to build a community around a shared interest, value or passion. So instead, the question is actually more: Why wouldn’t we go after this opportunity? (If you’re curious to learn more, check out ngotld.org.)
All that aside, I’d also welcome your thoughts. What do you think of an expanded Internet? What domain extensions are catching your eye? Or frankly, do you think that we should just be sticking to the tried and true .COMs, .NETs and .ORGs that already exist (among others!)?
About Thuy LeDinh:
As senior marketing communications manager, Thuy took over marketing communications and web development for PIR in 2009. Prior to PIR, he worked in product marketing and marketing communications for a high-end business printer manufacturer. Thuy has also been developing web content management system and search technologies for over ten years. With his unique background in both consumer marketing and technical development, he brings creative ways to best utilize new technology to create effective marketing communications in today’s fast-paced environment. Thuy’s areas of expertise include building online communities, public relations, Internet marketing, branding strategies, and SEO.