Sharing digital ideas with Asia
The 44th Asia Development Bank General Meeting was held this week in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is an international development finance institution whose mission is to help its developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.
ADB's main partners are governments, the private sector, non-government organisations (NGOs), development agencies, community-based organisations, and foundations.
Infoxchange’s Executive Director, Andrew Mahar, was invited to participate in the Civil Society Program and was the sole Australian presenter. He presented on the work Infoxchange has been doing in the Asia Pacific region over the past twelve months. This included the work in partnership with three community service organisations and Microsoft in India, Indonesia and New Zealand to leverage IT to develop the capacity of the not for profit and civil society sectors.
This work has included presentations at NGO forum days across the Asia Pacific and in the next couple of months Infoxchange will deliver a train the trainer program focused on IT audits and digital proficiency. This will then allow the three organisations, once trained, to work with other NGOs in countries to build the sector's capacity to use ICT.
Andrew also spoke about the work Infoxchange has been doing in Timor Leste. He spoke of the success of the Info Timor enterprise, which has been operating for five years and employs 20 Timorese in two workshops, one in Baucau and one in Suai.
Info Timor delivered a computer training program for the twenty-seven Sucos (village chiefs) in the Baucau District. This training was carried out over three months and each Suco received a computer for their village at the end of the training program. A similar program is being run in Covalema District. This is important training and skill delivery that will improve the provision of government services across the Districts of Timor Leste.
The Info Timor enterprise does not rely on funding from government in Timor, but it has established a very important role for itself, through supporting government in the districts outside of Dili, to be able to access technology, training and support.
The final enterprise Andrew spoke about was Carbonxchange, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the flexibility, sustainability and adaptability of vulnerable rural communities in Timor Leste. Carbonxchange involves two aspects: creation of certified tree cooperatives, and development of online carbon trading exchange between Tree Cooperatives and those wishing to purchase carbon credits.