Doing IT Better - Social Justice Initiative

Posted: 10-09-2007

These days, electronic communications now underpin the operations of almost all organisations that NFPs deal with in their everyday work and personal lives.

However, many smaller community-sector organisations struggle with how to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) effectively in their work with clients or their relationships with other organisations.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that what is currently available in the market place or from their funding agencies does not support them and with new products and innovations appearing all the time, they feel that they are falling behind.

The Doing IT Better project in Victoria is set to address these issues. It’s a 3-year social justice initiative of the Centre for Community Networking Research, Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, and the Victorian Council of Social Service and funded by a private donor.

Doing IT Better will help NFPs draw out their own knowledge, build independent capacity, and develop long-term plans and support for a networked sector, having flow-on effects into areas such as criminal justice, family support, drug and alcohol services, disability, community education, and so on-all the areas in which community-sector organisations play such a vital part at the coalface.

The skills, knowledge, and relationships they develop will be shared around the sector and enable benefits to be passed onto clients through better services. The project will also allow such organisations to develop more effective relationships with IT vendors and funders.

Larry Stillman from Monash University says the project is also an opportunity for a university to build new grass-roots relationships to serve the needs of disadvantaged groups in the community and perhaps, ultimately, affect how students in many disciplines (law, social work, community development, health, information technology etc.), who work in or have relationships with the sector, learn about the place of ICTs in their work.

The Doing IT Better Initiative will be launched in Melbourne on Friday 5 October @ 11.30am-12.30pm by Fran Thorn, Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Victoria in conjunction with Cath Smith, Executive Officer of VCOSS, and Professor Richard Larkins, the Monash Vice-Chancellor.

Workers from a number of participating organisations will also talk about the value of the project to their work.

All Not for profit representatives are invited to attend.

WHERE: Travellers’ Aid City Centre, cnr Swanston and Bourke Streets,

(Second Floor), Melbourne

RSVP: Please use the following link to RSVP your attendance electronically:

For more information contact Larry Stillman 03 9903 1801.

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Sep. 11, 2007

 Tags: news, it, events

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