Technology for social justice

iTaNGO Community of Practice

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A couple of months ago we reported to you about the establishment of the iTaNGO Community of Practice (CoP) virtual networks. A virtual network being focused online.

 iTaNGO is information technology awareness for non-government organisations and focuses on giving community sector organisations the resources and support to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their work through the alignment of their business plans with their IT plans. 

iTaNGO is presented by the Victorian Department of Human Services, the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development and delivered by Infoxchange Australia.

iTaNGO has been connecting with hundreds of Victorian community sector organisations and the people who work and volunteer for these organisations.

At a workshop of community sector workers held last month, the CoP domains were confirmed.

There are eight CoPs created around the following domains:
1. Ask the sector - We encourage all members of the iTaNGO network to join this group, which is the first port of call for questions relating to  IT. Participants can ask questions of each other and solve problems together. This is the place to raise issues and ask questions that do no fit into the specific-interest CoP groups.

2. Social media - Social Media is the big buzz. This CoP will discuss the effective use of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. The discussion could cover areas such as marketing, policy and legal (duty of care) issues. Opportunities will also be available to share how other organisations are successfully using social media.

 3. Innovation and excellence - This CoP is designed to explore new technologies and innovative approaches to IT use from Australia and around the world to see how such practices can be applied to local community organisations. Relevant subjects include how technology is being used and how it can be developed to transform the work of service provision. Work could include collecting case studies from the non-profit, government and commercial sectors to provide inspiration for participant organisations in how IT can enhance their work and provide tools for their clients and their sector.

 4. IT and case management - Multiple data entry, non-integrated systems, lack of data for business analysis are issues facing many organisations. This CoP will identify and resolve concerns about IT and case management solutions. Share your experiences and frustrations and work towards ensuring easier compliance, more streamlined reporting systems, better case data handling and increased efficiency and effectiveness in both voluntary and mandatory IT use in case management.

 5. Knowledge management - The ability to effectively store, organise and retrieve organisational policies, reports, HR documents, contracts, templates and other critical "softcopy" information is vital for all organisations today. This CoP will allow the exploration of the various knowledge management tools and systems available to organisations and allow determination of best-practice approaches for community-sector organisations. Software systems, personal and organisational systems, databases, servers, documentation of staff knowledge, staff/client relationship and project management tools, methods of version control and staff sharing are among the areas for consideration.

 6. What’s new? What’s out there? - Stay on top of the fast-paced technology world! Understand the latest platforms, cloud-based applications and new technologies. Tell others what you are doing and how it is working for your organisation.

 7. Becoming stable and secure - Getting your organisation’s IT structure stable and secure is vital to ensure that the technology is working for you, not against you. This CoP is a forum for groups and organisations currently "fighting" their IT system, to share and develop strategies to create the base to IT transformation.

 8. Training - IT is not just about technology; it’s about the people using it. This CoP is designed to assist organisations understand and develop the skills staff members need to operate the IT systems and software available in the workplace today. How to implement a staff training needs assessment, a staff skills audit and staff training plans are among the issues of concern. Staff training options for community organisations, local providers of training and electronically available programs are further matters for discussion.

*iTango preceded Improve IT, which was launched in 2014

Filed in: IT advice | Tagged as: IT planning , IT Services

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