Strategic Internet Use

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. 


Strategic  Internet Use - The Internet for activism

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.

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Advocacy Resources

Developed by: Virtual Activism Type of resource: Web  directory Target audience: General Cost: Free access

Annotated links to advocacy-related resources.

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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.

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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. 

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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."

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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"


Strategic Internet  Use - Knowledge management

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.

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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!

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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.

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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."


Strategic  Internet Use - Online questionnaires & other research tools


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.

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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.


Strategic Internet  Use - Technology planning

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.

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Editor's choice: MMTK Using Older and Refurbished  Computers Unit

Developed by: APC & 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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."

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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.

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Strategic Internet Use -  Fundraising

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."

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Strategic Internet Use -  General

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."

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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 are included.

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"How to Set Up and Operate a Successful Computer Refurbishment Centre in  Africa: A Planning and Management Guide"

Developed by: Type of resource: document Target audience: General Cost: Free access

This guide is the result of a study undertaken by 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.

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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.

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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.

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Smart Chart

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.

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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.

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