Voluntary Sector and the Internet/IT
Follow the trail
Voluntary and community sector IT use:
- Policy, Research and Reports.
- ICT development and promotional projects, including community IT centres.
- International initiatives.
- Local Technology Resources.
- Information Society: Promoting the Internet, Access for All, Internet political issues.
- Electronic data classification, metadata standards for the sector..
- For ways of getting onto the web, go to Web Services.
- You may also find Computer Services useful.
- Web Site Acccessibility for how to avoid exclusion by design. Online Communications Strategy looks at issues to consider.
- Our Local contacts page is a good source of community initiatives.
- Specialist Software.
This is a briefings style page, in the Software and Technology section.
The 2002 Treasury Cross Cutting Review got a 'big picture' ICT strategy for the voluntary and community sector going, with various capacity building projects (from Feb 04). It was run by the Home Office Active Community Unit, and includes NCVO and others. See NCVO's Developing the information and communications technology capacity of the voluntary and community sector document.
UK Circuit Riders is a discussion forum on and off line for sector IT support workers and will often be the first with updates on what's happening in this field. Charity Web Managers Forum is also a key online source of advice and news. See Functional support page for both.
The ShareIT Community Metadata Schema, in Manchester, seems to have disappeared, but addressed the need to promote consistency between information providers from voluntary sector organisations, public sector agencies, private sector companies and community groups.
Virtual Promise - Are charities keeping up with the Internet revolution? First report published Feb 01 (see News Review) and updated annually, from nfpSynergy (was Future Foundation). Contact Joe Saxton, email: email@example.com. Also look at our review of Digital Futures, which also covers some sector IT issues.
Re-Shaping the Voluntary and Community Sectors in the Information Age is the title of research undertaken at Glasgow Caledonian University Business School (as part of Virtual Society? project). The report from Dr Eleanor Burt and Professor John Taylor is available as hard copy from the University at £20 or download from Virtual Society web site. Although the summary and highlights (on the uptake of ICT in the sector) are useful for the novice, reading it in depth will give a much better insight into the issues.
Voluntary Sector in the Information Age was a Dublin City University School of Communications research project - we can't locate it any more on their website.
Inclusion in the Information Society - The Distinctive Role of E-Gateways The report from Gateways to the Virtual Society research project (part of Virtual Society?) was downloadable from Warwick Business School Ikon unit site, but no longer? The research, by Sonia Liff, Peter Watts and Fred Steward, included a survey of 300 facilities in 1998. It categorises community IT/internet access centes as being ShopFront E-gateways (e.g. cafes) or Community E-Gateways (closely connected to a particular geographic, ethnic or other community).
Local Connections: Making the Net Work for Neighbourhood Renewal was from Communities Online.
The American Community Technology Centers' Network gives the lowdown of whats happening over there.
Also see Functional Support page.
Making the Net Work A joint UK-US initiative, aiming to develop 'how to' guidance for those trying to get their organisation or neighbourhood online, or how to create community technology or learning access centres. The Department of Trade and Industry has funded a start up kit for those creating online communities and developing other community networking projects.
There are UK Online Centres around the country providing ICT access for communities, in places such as internet cafés, public libraries, colleges, community centres, village halls. Quite a few are run by voluntary organisations. (See Local Resources below.)
Community Network Analysis and ICTs - Bridging and Building Community Ties - is a research project run by University of Brighton/SCIP.
Association for Progressive Communications 'Internet and ICTs for Social Justice and Development'. The UK GreenNet is one of a wide range of civil society organisations belonging to this international network, which among other things is a 'facilitator of civil's society's engagement with ICTs and related concerns'.
Journal of Community Informatics (enabling communities through ICT).
We would welcome more contact details (especially outside London). There are many more locally based web sites on the Local contacts page, which may well lead to community facilities.
The net:gain project has now closed?
Anglesey See Menternet on Local Contacts.
Bradford Resource Centre.
Brighton See Resource Centre on Local Contacts.
London, West Community Technology Centre, Nottingdale Technology Centre, W10. Low cost IT and design services for charities and community groups - a design studio where students do work placements. Phone 020 7243 4880, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manchester People's Voice Media.
Renfrewshire (Barrhead) Try Login Internet Cafe, a Youth Internet Cafe and ICT Learning Centre.
e_bus Not sure what has happened ot this - web site not working July/Novt 04 but still shows as a project of YouthNet. It is a custom-built double-deck bus delivering mobile internet access and conferencing facilities.
Also look at
Telework Association promotes and supports "anywhere working".
The following are various names and flavours for community-centred physical IT resource facilities:
- Local Access Centre
- Telecottage or Telecentre
- Electronic Village Hall or EVH
- Local Support Centre
- Innovation Centre
- Technology Centre
- IT Hub
- Business (or Community) Resource Centre
- Community Communications/Computer Centre
We have a glossary of internet/web terms.