20Mar

Faith in Using Technology for Good

Have a little faith is what Neelley Hicks and the United Methodist Church remind us. Today they have launched their paper about their experiences in using Tech for Good.

“Technology is a tool for economic and social development that can aid in the reduction of poverty and change lives.” – Larry Hollon, Chief Executive, United Methodist Communications

I’ve talked with Neelly and her team a number of times throughout the last year regarding their Crowdmap. The experience taught me that we should all be partnering with faith-based organizations to help them learn and use technology for good. The United Methodist Church is using Ushahidi, Frontline SMS and other technical tools. Community organizers, especially CrisisMappers or ICT4D programme managers, know that the best projects include matching offline and online networks, training and planning, testing/iterating, having a strong infrastructure, taking care of your volunteers and doing something meaningful. As the United Methodist Church proves, faith-based organizations and technology are a great match. Neelley’s team taught me much about their sense of community and dedication to do great work. They have global, active community members who give their time and energy. Great community programmes should consider collaborating with local community centers (eg. Harassmap’s best practice) and local church groups (eg.United Methodist Church’s best practice).

ict4d-sustainability-3

Need convincing? Here are their #ICT4D Best Practice – 10 Tips: (follow their hashtag #ict4dBP)
#1: Put people first.
#2: Understand the local landscape.
#3: Design using appropriate tools.
#4: Prototype, fail, iterate, succeed.
#5: Build in #monitoring & #evaluation.
#6: Consider privacy & security.
#7: Enable user feedback loops.
#8: Remember community is critical.
#9: Build for sustainability and scale.
#10: Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Congratulations Neelley and UMC team! Keep inspiring us to do good with purpose.

Resources

Get the full Using Technology for Good report.

The United Methodist Communiciations Press release.

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