Take Survey
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

Technology Challenges – The NFP Perspective


Monday, 18th June 2007 at 4:10 pm
Staff Reporter
Governments around Australia need to recognise the challenges faced by NGOs in terms of funding their IT needs according to one NSW Not for Profit organisation at the coalface of dealing with rapidly changing technology.

Monday, 18th June 2007
at 4:10 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Technology Challenges – The NFP Perspective
Monday, 18th June 2007 at 4:10 pm

Governments around Australia need to recognise the challenges faced by NGOs in terms of funding their IT needs according to one NSW Not for Profit organisation at the coalface of dealing with rapidly changing technology.

TRI Community Exchange provides training, resources, information and technical support to the community services sector in Western Sydney. It also works collaboratively with agencies to promote social justice issues.

Silvia Bethencourt, TRI’s Community Information Coordinator says there is a clear disparity between government expectations and NGOs’ actual resources in terms of ICT.

She says in many cases NGOs are "pressed" to implement technology solutions by government, without sufficient opportunity to evaluate the benefits or drawbacks and without adequate training and as a result technology becomes a burden rather than a tool.

Bethencourt says from TRI’s experience there are many challenges in both taking up and maintaining IT.

Cost: the funding constraints and demands, lack of IT component in funding guidelines/submissions/agreements, the high cost of hardware/software (both outlaying and maintenance), the hidden costs of using second-hand/outdated hardware/software (and the loss of productivity and reliability).

No physical access: a lack of infrastructure and facilities where IT resources are heavily in demand but restricted to some users only.

Inappropriate software: software applications are not always designed to cater for Not for Profit needs; and software development is expensive.

No support: none but large NGOs have access to in-house IT support; cost of private IT support is often prohibitive

No training: lack of affordable training; lack of training initiatives especially designed for the needs of NGOs

Time constraints: finding time to take part in collaborative processes, to participate in training, to plan and implement IT strategies

Lack of understanding of IT causes people to be fearful of it, fearful of change.

Information overload: so many emails and websites, so little time, too much information, and how to find what they need

Perceived lack of benefits: there is a perception that Not for Profits core business of working with people is incompatible with the use of technology i.e. "I work with people not machines".

No policy framework resulting from planning and implementation of IT strategies, both by NGOs and Government.

Bethencourt says there is a lack of awareness or understanding by policy makers and funding bodies of the need for an IT component within an NGOs financial management.

Not for Profit diversity: challenges associated with the diversity of NFP service provision in the community sector and how this relates to IT solutions, which can’t be universal. Also there are difficulties in sharing information due to diversity of computer systems that NGOs use for example different Windows versions, different software, outdated programs.

Bethencourt says TRI has been working with the Department of Community Services through Families NSW (formerly Families First) and service providers to develop a database to report their outcomes.

She says as services are moving toward results based accountability they need tools to record their service details. TRI has developed a database to do this as well as record other information for service planning. This tool can be used by any service wanting to report their outcomes to their funding bodies.

For more information go to: www.tricomm.org.au




Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Tags : Technology,

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Tech-for-good Companies Merge to Extend Impact

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 29th November 2018 at 8:34 am

Possibilities of the Humanitarian Robot

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 26th November 2018 at 8:52 am

Google Awards Millions to Groups Harnessing Technology For Change

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 2nd November 2018 at 5:50 pm

Are Board Portals for NFPs a New Necessity?

Contributor

Thursday, 18th October 2018 at 8:38 am

POPULAR

NDIS Service Providers Cautious Over Complex Needs Pricing Shake-Up

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 10th December 2018 at 5:11 pm

Australians With Disability Twice as Likely to be Evicted Without Cause

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th December 2018 at 5:29 pm

Tech-for-good Companies Merge to Extend Impact

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 29th November 2018 at 8:34 am

Putting Disability and Leadership in the Same Sentence

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 3rd December 2018 at 8:56 am

Take Survey
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!