Heartbleed Bug - Change passwords TODAY to google, yahoo and many other online services!

Update 4/11: There's a great post over on qz.com with an update on which sites were affected (with before/after lists) and what action should be taken. Key is to not bother updating passwords until the site has been fixed. Link: http://qz.com/197258/t/60189

I just finished changing alot of passwords. <phew>

Please take some time TODAY to read this brief post and change passwords for services that were affected by the Heartbleed Bug but have been fixed already. 

eLearning Africa 2014: A Turning Point for African Economies (Kampala, Uganda May 28-30 2014)

eLearning Africa 2014

Building a prosperous future at eLearning Africa 2014

More than ever before, Africans are turning to ICT-supported learning to grow their economies. In 2013, the eLearning Africa Report found that 40% of African technology-assisted learning professionals were using ICTs specifically for skills training, up from 18% the previous year.

The benefit of ICT-supported learning is that it allows employers to provide vocational training to a great number of workers for little cost. This year’s eLearning Africa, 28th – 30th May in Kampala, Uganda, will explore how technology is revolutionising learning and training across the continent, under the theme “Opening Frontiers to the Future”.

“Many African countries are seeking to diversify their economies and stimulate sectors such as tourism and finance, but skills shortages are preventing them from doing so”, says Rebecca Stromeyer, founder of eLearning Africa. “eLearning will allow more and more African countries to easily train the next generation of in-demand workers”.

Innovative people and organisations across the Continent are working to fill in this “skills-gap”. Leading this movement is LEAP Africa, which has equipped over 30,000 youth, business owners and professionals to lead positive change in their personal lives, business ventures and local communities. Iyadunni Olubode, Executive Director of LEAP, and keynote speaker at eLearning Africa 2014, emphasises the role that using technology to support learning can play: “eLearning tools, including audio and video, are critical in reaching the Continent’s teeming population”.

Dr Bitange Ndemo, former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication and an eLearning Africa 2014 keynote speaker, believes that vocational skills often do not receive the recognition they deserve: “We have spent many years trying to focus on theory and hoping that it will translate to skills. This is a false belief. Countries that are successful have a strong skills development programme. In Kenya whilst there are many jobs, there is widespread unemployment because the youth lack the skills. This problem can be solved if on-line content in all trades, including soft skills, is widely accessible. Many youth are known to shun vocational training in favour of nonexistent white collar jobs. There is need to encourage the youth to take up blue collar skills that offer many opportunities for training”.

eLearning Africa 2014 will bring together policy experts, educational professionals and business leaders to tackle this and other topics. Hosted by the Republic of Uganda, the conference's wide-ranging plenaries, sessions and exhibitions will showcase the inspiring stories, innovations and research that make up today's complex picture of ICT for development, education and training in Africa.

Renowned for its vibrant, stimulating atmosphere, eLearning Africa is the place to discuss Africa's exciting future. This year's conference will bring together more than 1,500 technology and education professionals.

Notes for editors

  • eLearning Africa, 9th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training
  • May 28 - 30, 2014
  • Speke Resort and Conference Centre Ltd, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda
  • Organisers: ICWE GmbH, Government of Uganda


Organiser:
ICWE GmbH,
Managing Director: Rebecca Stromeyer Email: info@elearning-africa.com
Website: http://www.elearning-africa.com
Tel.: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0
Press Contacts
ICWE GmbH, Andrea Ricciarelli
andrea.ricciarelli@icwe.net Tel.: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0, Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 43
Social media

Facebook: eLearning Africa Group/ eLearning Africa Facebook Page

Twitter: @eLAconference, #eLA14
LinkedIn: eLearning Africa
Press releases
http://elearning-africa.com/press_release.php
News Portal
http://www.ela-newsportal.com
Photographs
http://elearning-africa.com/media_library.php

Innovation hubs - how the Internet is setting the path for innovation


Taken from the GIZ publication http://10innovations.net

Only a few years ago 'unconferences' where a new and different type of event, where people organized themselves online to meet somewhere to listen and exchange about crazy ideas. The web-based model of open innovation developed into face-to-face events. Years later, we are now witnessing how innovation hubs are popping up across the world. Spaces are being opened for anyone to exchange ideas and find help and solutions to seriously implement these. The Internet, as platform for open innovation, has been transforming the way we collaborate, which makes companies, for instance, experiment with incubators, accelerators oropen innovation challenges.

Luckily, these innovation hubs are not reserved to capitals from the Northern hemisphere; in contrary, the most vibrant communities are located in the Southern hemisphere. 

How to get noticed in a sea of thousands: Report from Kabissa Africa Roundtable with Sonja Lehner, GlobalGiving (3/19/2014)

What an inspiring, educational, and motivating roundtable this was!

Were you one of the 62 registered participants who ended up not tuning in? If you are reading this it means you either represent an organization, you strive for change and are an agent for change, or you a are looking for ways to make a difference. What ever your reasons, this report is relevant to you. And, for those who turned up, representing Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and the Kabissa team, I think this was one of the most relevant discussions I have ever participated on.

The gist of the roundtable was looking at ‘story telling as a medium for enticing change’. We all either know how to tell stories or enjoy reading and hearing stories. As you listen to a story, do you find yourself looking for something you can identify with? Most of us do.

Now imagine story telling in the world of development aid and fundraising.

The Roundtable’s guest speaker and key presenter was Sonja Lehner from Global Giving in Washington DC. She told us, the 10 participants who were able to attend this invigorating webinar, how to succeed at raising funds for your organization and help it achieve its mission. I will share links relevant to GlobalGiving as well as the full recording of the event at the end of this report.

We started promptly, all participants eager to listen to how Sonja was going to tell us the story on successful fundraising. We stopped the recording after one hour and opened up the floor to open networking and discussion for nearly another hour. 

Sonja highlighted several main points to telling ‘your’ story connected to fundraising:

  1. Identify yourself: Who are you? What is your organization? How can you tell your organization’s story? Talk about yourself and your organization to the donors in a structured way. Think about your relevance to the changes you want to spur and achieve.
  2. Share your mission: Why is your topic relevant? Why are you so passionate about your topic? Make sure here that you make the cause relevant and not you or your organization.
  3. Bring out your personality: Talk about something linked to your topic that the donor can relate to. Ask yourself if you are coming across as warm or cold. Is there any aspect of your mission that the donor can relate to? Look for the human aspect that connects you to the donor and make it real. You want to go beyond being seen as just words on a piece of paper.
  4. Prove your worth: Why are you different? Show how you or your organization will make an impact and above all be transparent. This is where you can ask people from the community to add their voices to the cause and show the donor how they will benefit from your organization.
  5. Explain what your need is and why: Have a plan ready for you to show on how you will get to where you want to be. Show the donor how with their help, big or small, you will get to where you want and you will be able to meet the challenges your organization is facing.
  6. Involve donors by asking them to help you spread the word: You can encourage donors in your story telling to please share what you and your organization stand for with other; post on your behalf on Facebook for example. And, above all, make sure the donors know how grateful you are that they are helping you spread your mission. You should also involve the donor by asking for feed back on your approach, maybe they can recommend how you can make your request better, what you should include, what type of information would make your ‘authentic’ story more compelling.
  7. Make your story a true story: Real stories interest donors. Authenticity makes you transparent and through truth, a donor might be able to relate to a part of your story. By telling the truth, the cause becomes more visible, your audience will be able to show emotion, relate to that emotion with yours, and empathy. Include stories from the field to back up your authenticity, let the beneficiaries voices be heard.
  8. Use powerful imagery: Through imagery such as photographs you will be able to show what has been happening, where an impact has been made, and what is taking place on the ground if is is still an ongoing project. Imagery will also help the donors see that their money is working and achieving what you set out in your mission statement. Make the imagery positive and this will probably have the effect of a donor continuing to give towards your cause and possibly even recommend you to others. Avoid shocking, depressing imagery that does not show that your mission is succeeding. Positive images show the solution.
  9. Thank your donors: In any culture, especially all our Africa, ‘thanking’ someone for helping and listening to you, goes without saying. So, do not forget to thank the donor you have just approached. This will help build relationships, get you new ‘friends’ and keep the old ones. Where success has been achieved, make sure to write to the donors and tell them about the impacts made and that it is only with their help that you and your organization could have come as far as you did. With the imagery you enclose to support this, you will win the trust of the donor, show that every contribution counts and that the community it serves is on its way to manage and own itself. Sonya also talked about the most helpful and important point of all - let the beneficiaries write to donors themselves to tell them how the organization and their involvement has helped them.

The above recommendations on how to tell your story for successful fundraising work not only for ongoing causes, but also for telling stories about new initiatives which can also follow similar guidelines to raise initial awareness and interest.

Paramount is that you must be ready to support what you say your mission needs with examples. Sonja herself gave several compelling examples to support her above presentation and that it works. She talked about an adoption initiative in India where funds were needed to help women cover the costs for adoption. The cause was successful and the beneficiaries in turn all wrote to donors telling them how much they benefited from the organizations help that facilitated adoptions and sent pictures of them with their new family additions, showing happy smiling faces. The donors were moved, they were able to relate to the image of a happy family, because that is what we all want, and the project continued in its success.

Discussants raised another very significant point. In telling your story, and aiming for it to be relatable, remember that the person reading your ‘story’ might be sitting in a high rise building in New York while you might be sitting in a remote village outside an African capital city. There will be hardly any similarities between you at that point. But, if in your story telling you can find a human aspect that connects you, then your chances of succeeding are higher. Sonja gave the example of a women’s right group in Malaysia that needed to raise funds for different issues in support of raising awareness to gender rights. They included in their letter a story about how men in Malaysia accusing women of being bad drivers and thus making it difficult for women to have an equal presence on the road. Sonja said, as a woman sitting in New York, she was able to relate to this given that in the West you also hear men complaining how ‘bad’ female drivers are. Right there she as a donor, was able to relate to Malaysian female drivers thousands of miles away.

GlobalGiving is a crowd funding platform that works entirely online. It helps partner donors with organizations and it also conducts online trainings for partners like this one. If you want to know more about joining GlobalGiving please follow this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/non-profits/join-globalgiving/

To listen to the full one-hour recording of the Africa Roundtable: ‘How to get noticed in a sea of thousands’ - go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/5183300480659065601

Tobias Eigen wrote a blog post entitled "10 Tips for Succeeding in the Global Open Challenge" that is worth a read: http://www.kabissa.org/blog/ten-tips-succeeding-global-open-challenge

A wealth of content shared on Kabissa by and about Global Giving over the years can be browsed at http://www.kabissa.org/tags/global-giving

Kabissa Roundtable tomorrow, 19th of March - a must-see!

Dear Kabissa readers,

This is a quick reminder for our Kabissa event tomorrow, 19th of March, with the topic "How to get noticed in a sea of thousands", from a donor's perspective. It will be held on GoToWebinar and we already have 60 participants who registered, which is GREAT!

Idealist.org to Launch a Network for Action - An Invitation for Practical Dreamers

Do you envision a world where organizations, companies, schools, and people who want to create change are connected with one another? Do you sometimes wonder why there are so many people with the intent to do good, but these ideas don't often come to fruition? Do you want to make it easy and accessible for changes to happen in society? Do you want to take action and help create a local and global network of collaboration?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then please join Idealist.org on March 11th for the start of something big!

 

On March 11th, founder and Executive Director of Idealist, Ami Dar, will be holding an online presentation laying out the plans for a new and innovative network. He is working towards an online space, which shares the mission and inspiration of Kabissa and its members, that moves directly to offline action. He believes the two go hand-in-hand, yet there are challenges stopping this from happening:

These three challenges are:

  1. A big gap between our good intentions and our actions.

  2. Our problems are connected, but we are not.

  3. The world is full of good ideas that don’t spread quickly enough.

As Kabissa members, you probably know and understand these challenges on a very personal level, and are already engaged in many different ways to overcome them. Ami and Idealist.org need people like you to join together and make these changes happen! This is an invitation for practical dreamers - we cannot do it alone.

Please join us on March 11th for a live presentation, and learn how you can become part of this amazing movement to connect the dots and create a world where intentions lead directly to action, our problems and ourselves are connected, and great ideas spread as quickly as they are thought up.

There will be two live presentations, one at noon EST and one at 11pm EST. Simply visit http://www.idealist.org/March11 to sign up!

Hope to see many of you there with me!

eLearning Africa - Through your Lens Photo Contest 2014

Can you mix your artistic talent with your passion for ICT4D? Prove it by taking part in the eLearning Africa “Through your Lens” Photo Contest, now officially launched!


Find out more about this year’s theme and submit your snapshot right here: http://on.fb.me/1dC4bKk 

The deadline’s in two months, so you’ve got plenty of time to produce the perfect shot!

May the best ones win!

40 ways to help your organization survive tough financial times

By Isaac Roy Kyeyune, Director at FIND Partners International in Kampala. (This originally appeared as a guest post on how-matters.org.)

The year 2013 saw trends that are changing resource politics for civil society. These are a wakeup call to not only strengthen, but diversity your organization’s fundraising, as well as develop your structures, systems, and skills in resource mobilization:

Critical funding trends in 2013

  1. The global credit crunch;
  2. The temporally shut down of the US government;
  3. The potential rise of China and its partners as interested donors;
  4. The continued development of EU as a funding bloc;
  5. The increasing interest by donors in consortia rather than isolated projects;
  6. The change from sustainability to integration and holistic approach;
  7. The new era of implementation research as opposed to mere project interventions; and
  8. The emergency of modern technology and social networks on the funding scene.

We have declared 2014 a year for institutional resource independence at FIND Partners!

So we share below 40 PRACTICAL TIPS on how you can steer your organization through resource-constrained times. Though we hope these tips won’t be necessary, roll up your sleeves now for a prosperous and more resourceful 2014!

Donor Cultivation

(1)  Increase all resource mobilization activities to generate more funds. Tap into the local resources.

(2)  Ask Board members to contribute or increase their existing contributions, and bring in additional individual donors to the organization.

(3)  Ask your donors if it is possible to make more financial commitments (although this can be difficult for institutional donors).

(4)  Cultivate relationships with a couple of donors that you can approach if “rescue funds” are needed.

Cost Savings

(5)  Re-bargain contracts and consultancies. Negotiate services for lower costs such as fuel, bank charges, and exchange rates.

(6)  Centralize secretarial services like photocopying and printing to avoid wastage and misuse.

(7)  Limit field activities that may not necessarily affect the project outputs – such as supervisions.

(8)  Officially ground some vehicles to avoid movement for non-essential journeys.

(9)  Limit less critical services; intercom, newspapers, or reduce security guards.

(10)  Switch off unnecessary power lights and gadgets mostly at night. Ask someone to oversee this daily.

Alternative Sources of Funding

(11)  Increase membership dues or costs. Always explain this to members.

(12)  Explore non-typical sources of funding, e.g. renting some space, consultancies, sale of old equipment.

(13)  Have your agency provide consultancy services to other agencies or organizations. Many Directors are slow on this. While it can take away from your organizations’ activities in the short-term, it can provide quick funding for your agency.

Strengthen Existing Systems

(14)  Strengthen your financial, accountability and personnel monitoring systems. Staff are more likely to stretch these during tight financial times.

(15)  If the staffs have a savings scheme, ensure it’s managed well especially during this period.

(16)  Pay salaries on time, as always as you can. If this becomes not possible, always explain this to staff.

The Hard Choices

(17)  Eliminate job-related redundancies in your organization. Sometimes, you can merge duties of a resigning staff to current staff rather than refilling a position.

(18)  Revise staff contracts to short term and/or cut salaries or limit/suspend benefits payments like compensations or leave pays. While painful, this is always better than having your agency burst.

(19)  Limit staff medical insurance to only health-threatening conditions.

(20)  Hire out some services such as security guards, cleaning, auditing, etc. if it is cheaper than employing staff.

(21)  Cut staff allowances, trips, and parties. Always explain this to staff.

(22)  Suspend uncritical insurance policies.

(23)  Keep your lawyers well updated in case any issues arise with staff or suppliers.

(24)  Beef up security around your organization. Thefts tend to rise during uncertain periods.

Engage Staff

(25)  Ask respective units to devise means of cutting costs, e.g. the IT staff to ration internet surfing and downloads.

(26)  Ask top management to take some pay cuts or reduce time efforts.

(27)  Inform and train your staff on effective resource use. Draft policies and guidelines on who, when, and how to manage critical assets such as cars or photocopy.

(28)  Ask staff to double their efforts. This increases chances to get more funding.

(29)  Suspend staff appraisals. They often generate unnecessary tension and contract negotiations.

(30)  If Project activities are lighter, encourage staffs to go for leave. This softens demand to the general facilities, infrastructure, and services like food, internet, and transport.

(31)  Train, support and mentor your staff away from costly personal ventures outside of work (e.g. alcohol consumption, smoking, gambling/borrowing, over-dating, clubbing, etc) as these may threaten their personal financial security.

(32)  Create a buffer of volunteers and interns as you are likely to have many staff either resign, ask for leaves, or fall sick more regularly due to stress.

Strengthen External Relationships

(33)  Share resources with partners doing similar work. For example, use same car for field visits.

(34)  Engage government. Many of them (especially through the President’s Office in Uganda) are allowed to offer discretionally funding to key community activities that are struggling.

(35)  Ask for advice from other peer organizations and partners on how they are coping.

(36)  Manage external relations well and avoid negative publicity. Caution staff on both internal and external information sharing as it can worsen your creditability with the community and donors.

Stay Connected

(37)  Talk to each of your staff personally to explain the situation but also show that you still value them.

(38)  Ask supervisors to be highly involved (without necessarily micro managing) and more available. In such times, interpersonal conflicts/ problems tend to rise hence need to be urgently addressed. Ask supervisors to show extra care to staff in order to avoid more stress.

(39)  Encourage social activities among staff. You can reserve a Friday evening for social activities like road workouts, internal competitions and dances, or prayer. This keeps staff together in hard times.

(40)  Create hope. Be seen by your staff to be doing your best.

***

 

Isaac Roy Kyeyune’s career spans a period of over seven years working in Uganda and across eastern Africa in the areas of: identifying funding opportunities; developing fundable concepts, proposals, and grant applications; building capacity of staff and stakeholders in resource mobilization and grant writing; setting up grants/resource mobilization offices/teams; building capacity in key institutional development issues such as strategic planning, management tools and structures, and mentorship, among others; and conference management and reporting.

Kyeyune has worked with Makerere University, Ndejje University, Uganda Cancer Institute, International Health Sciences University, many research Institutions, and over 100 non-governmental organizations, community-based organisations, and civil society networks.

Kyeyune hold a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Adult and Community Education, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Community Development and NGO Management.

Africa Roundtable: How to Get Noticed in a Sea of Thousands (19 March 2014)

With thousands of non-profits around the world touting their accomplishments, it can be difficult to get noticed by a donor. Most donors will spend less than a minute on a giving page before they decide if they want to give. Can you tell your organization's story in less than a minute and have it be compelling enough for a donor to give you money?

Many of GlobalGiving's partners struggle with this and so we've taken some of the best practices we've learned from our partners, our colleagues, and our collaborations over the years to help non-profits tell a compelling story.

We will discuss some pitfalls of organization storytelling, some highlights, and some great tips to coming up with your story for the masses.

Want to get a jump on the discussion? Add your questions, ideas and links to resources and examples in the comments below. 

Click here to register for this event

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