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Workshop for Development Workers in Swindon, 11th December 2008


  • 1. ICT for Development Workers Julie Harris, COSMIC ICT Champion for South West

2. About me

  • Worked in third sector for 10 years, with COSMIC
  • Trustee for local organisations and charity
  • Communications and information
  • Helping VCOs make best use of ICT
  • Devon-based, work across region/UK
  • Chair of RISE regional body for social enterprises

3. ICT for Development Workers

  • SkilD found the same 4 needs arose when talking to development workers about ICT:
  • Awareness of the increasing potential for ICT
  • Information on issues groups should consider when using ICT (planning, policies, support contracts)
  • Information on sources of funding and local support
  • Ability to explore the barriers created by ICT for some members

4. Outline of what well cover

  • Your questions about ICT
  • Benefits of ICT
  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Funding for ICT
  • ICT Planning
  • ICT Health Check
  • Who can help?
  • Net:Gain
  • Rounding Up

5. Your role

  • Questions your clients ask about IT
    • How you answer those questions
    • Where you can get help
    • Supporting the sector
  • How to help groups make better use of IT
    • Planning
    • Tools
    • Services

6. About you

  • Who are you and where do you come from?
  • What questions do you have about ICT?
  • What questions do your clients have about ICT?

7. Benefits of ICT

  • Individuals + Organisations + Communities
  • Efficiency
    • Do the same things better
  • Effectiveness
    • Do better things

8. Benefits of ICT

  • Information
  • Communications
  • Administration
  • Involvement
  • Engagement
  • Empowerment

9. Potential benefits of ICT

  • Effective communications and trust
  • Happy, productive staff & volunteers
  • Increased likelihood of funding
  • Happy, well-served clients
  • More effective delivery
  • Good quality, readily available information

10. Exercise: Benefits and Costs of ICT

  • In pairs:
  • An example of how ICT is used by the groups you work with
  • Lessons that can learned by others

11. Funding and budgeting

  • Be realistic
    • Fit for purpose
    • Full cost recovery
    • Appropriate budget
  • ICT Hub How to Cost and Fund
    • Available to download or from ICT Champion

12. Total Cost of Ownership

  • Its not just a box
  • Its like buying a car and not budgeting for petrol, an MOT and insurance
  • Some technical knowledge may be needed
  • Must be linked to overall organisational budget
  • Must reflect overall goals of organisation, eg
    • Growth or new services
    • Key strengths or weakness

13. Exercise: Costing IT

  • "Happy to Help: advocacy and support organisation based in MiddleTown
  • You are general manager preparing a budget for the coming year.
  • You have 4 staff (2 of whom are part time) and they manage 60 volunteers who provide advocacy to about 80 people as well as run an annual awareness-raising event.
  • You are reviewing your IT needs.
  • You have been told it's a good idea to get a server, and want to get everyone using email properly.
  • Staff are using a mixture of computers and some complain that theirs is too slow.
  • They are using different versions of windows and office software. You're not sure if software is licensed.
  • What should their budget be and what should it include?
  • Estimate figures for each item on worksheet

14. Budgeting: What to include

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Backup
  • Consumables
  • Insurance
  • Broadband
  • Web hosting
  • Training


  • Break

16. Funding for ICT

  • Some funders are more positive about ICT than others
  • Research published on NCVO website
  • Be realistic about total costs
  • Identify benefits of investing in ICT

17. Planning in VCOs

  • What happens in the groups you work with?
  • How much time is spent?
  • What support do you offer?
  • Any examples of ICT planning?
  • Think about
    • Methodologies
    • What works
    • What doesnt

18. ICT Planning

  • Good practice for all areas of work
  • Different methods
  • Where are we now?
    • ICT Health Check
    • Not just about IT
  • Where are we going?
  • How can ICT help us get there?

19. Exercise: DIY ICT Health Check

  • For your organisation:
  • Use headings on page 17
  • Spend 10 minutes reading and answering these questions
  • Then
  • Switch your answers with someone else

20. Exercise: DIY ICT Health Check

  • Reviewing:
  • What does this tell you about development needs of the organisation?
  • Are there specific short-term needs?
  • Is there someone clearly responsible for ICT?
  • Are budgets realistic?
  • Have skills and training needs been considered?
  • What else?
  • Feedback to the group

21. Where to get help

  • What type of help do you need?
  • Who currently provides that help?
  • Where can you get more help?
  • What can you get for free?
  • What do you need to pay for?

22. Roles and Responsibilities

  • Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Project Proposals
  • Fundraising
  • Project Management
  • Purchasing
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Training
  • Review/evaluation
  • Legal Requirements

23. Types of help for groups

  • Volunteers - one off projects + ongoing
  • Accidental Techies
  • IT Support Companies
  • Web Designers
  • Database Consultants
  • Circuit Riders
  • Net:gain Centres
  • UK Online Centres

24. Working with volunteers

  • Job description and recruitment process
  • Do they have the technical skills they claim?
  • Do they have people skills you need?
  • What support and training do you need to offer?
  • How do they link to other staff?
  • Passwords and security issues

25. Choosing suppliers

  • Concentrate on what you require
    • We want a website to support our fundraising campaign
    • We want to be able to update the content ourselves
  • Research suppliers
    • Online and in local networks
    • Ask your peer group for feedback
  • Always take up references

26. Where to get help

  • National
    • NCVO/ICT Hub, AbilityNet, NAVCA
  • Regional
    • South West Forum, your ICT Champion
  • Local/sub-regional
    • CVS, IT support orgs, volunteer bureau, university, private companies

27. Who can help you?

  • ICT
    • Knowledgebase
    • Suppliers Directory
    • Publications
    • Volunteers
    • Accessibility

28. 29. 30. 31. 32. Review/discussion

  • Using the web for support