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Jayne Cravens
298 followers -
Project management, communications, community engagement, motorcycle traveler
Project management, communications, community engagement, motorcycle traveler

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A University of Cambridge researcher has defined a recipe for the new breed of wildly successful online charity campaigns such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - a phenomenon he has labelled "viral altruism" - and what might make them stick in people's minds. However, he says the optimistic use of global digital networks to propel positive social change is balanced by the shallow, short-lived nature of engagement with anything viral. 

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Online volunteers aren't always remote; hackathons and Wikipedia edit-a-thons bring together people in the same physical space, at the same time, to volunteer online, to code for good, to create content for the arts or under-represented groups or science topics on WIkipedia, and more. This Wired.com article talks about volunteers coming together across the USA to preserve online scientific information and other info they fear will be permanently removed from government web sites under the Trump administration, and building systems to monitor ongoing changes to government websites. Virtual volunteering!

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Think your new #tech4good initiative is completely original? Probably not: NetAid, the Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOT Force), the UN ICT Task Force... the United Nations has been doing #ICT4D, Internet literacy & tech4good initiatives since the 1990s. 

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The amount of civic participation & volunteering in the USA now is staggering. It's also unsustainable. Activists & volunteers WILL eventually need a break & then to be re-inspired. Guest commentator in my blog on this is +Erin Barnhart :

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Minneapolis nonprofit working Somali-American youth rejects $500K from the US federal government's Countering Violent Extremism program, saying it cannot accept it in good conscience. 

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Aid agencies and international nongovernmental organizations are slowly beginning to recognize that sexual harassment, discrimination and assault against female aid workers is a serious problem within the industry — and that perpetrators are often men holding senior positions. Many women who report harassment or assaults often find themselves out of a job and on a flight back home. From +Devex​ 

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These 2 groups can say the same thing, almost word-for-word, re: how they are negatively perceived by many people. Many people will have sympathy for one of these groups, but not the other. (sometimes when I write a blog, I worry that I'm going to get hate mail. This is one of those times): 

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Every nonprofit is going to face issues associated with volunteers, employees, and consultants violate policies and/or engage in unethical, even dangerous behavior. Minimizing damage requires creating a speak-up culture, where all staff feel empowered to speak up if they suspect or have witnessed an action that might be unethical, dangerous or a violation of policy. But how do you do that? Advice at my blog: 

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In some situations, messaging apps may be the only way that people caught up in armed conflict or other humanitarian crises can communicate with family, friends or assistance organisations. Many messaging apps have features that could help humanitarian organisations to reach people who would otherwise be impossible to contact, or to collect information that would otherwise be inaccessible. How and why are people affected by crises or armed conflict actually using messaging apps? When and how is it appropriate to introduce a new technology that not everyone will be able to access? Could communicating with people through these communication channels put them at greater risk? What about refugee use of apps? A new research report, produced in partership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent... (IFRC), UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the World Food Programme, aims to answer these questions, along with the messaging apps agency Block Party. 

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For my friends working in the US government, and those that visit US government agencies onsite for any reason: advice on how to keep your computer, phone & online data safe from the current administration. These are presented in a series of Tweets by Ian Schuler: https://twitter.com/ianschuler/status/827173397029408769
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