Council on Foundations

ICT for Philanthropy Strategy Development

To promote 21st century philanthropy and better support its membership in the strategic use or current and emerging technologies the Council of Foundations (CoF) initiated a new technology task force. CoF initiated this task force as an opportunity to upgrade its own profile in this important area to the sector.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to assist in the first phase of task force development to define its focus, primary deliverables and membership through a series of interviews with technology leaders in the sector. Internaut suggested branding the Initiative ICT for P (Information and Communications for Philanthropy) in keeping with the well known ICT for D(evelopment) acronym. In the second phase, Internaut worked with the task force membership to create a proposal of recommendations to the Council on Foundation’s board in the areas of standards, policy, knowledge management, effective philanthropy, NGO partnerships and demonstration projects.

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The East-West Management Institute

Open Development Mekong Project

The East-West Management Institute (EWMI) works to strengthen democratic societies by bringing together government, civil society, and the private sector – to build accountable, capable and transparent institutions.  EWMI first developed and pilot a country platform called Open Development Cambodia (ODC) to better organize, share and analyze economic and environmental development and land conversion data among a network of related grassroots organizations in Cambodia using a unique open data platform to facilitate this collaboration. The platform addresses urgent areas of concern including: deforestation, land grabbing, water/food security, access to information, and freedom of expression. It also challenged critical, debilitating threats to data transparency using an approach that separated factual data from advocacy to protect it from government censorship, which is a significant issue in the region. Once the ODC pilot was proven, with tens of thousands of users accessing it per month EWMI initiated Open Development Mekong to do the same regionally in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was initially retained to research and develop grant proposals for potential donors related to the ODC web platform and to advise on its technical developments and program strategy. Funding from proposals written by Internaut Consultimh came from MacArthur Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Global Vision, American Jewish World Service, Open Society and Spider (a Swedish SIDA affiliate). Internaut Consulting also assisted in the development of a USAID technology incubator and entrepreneurship proposal in Cambodia for USAID.

As the Cambodian pilot evolved into a regional platform, Internaut Consulting’s mandate was extended to help identify a management team, find programming resources and project manage the complete overhaul of the platform deployment which included redoing the entire front and back end interface; deploying data harvesting and data sharing extensibility; allowing for native multi-lingual capability; making it accessible/responsive via mobile; cleaning up and adding thousands of records; converting the original Open Development Cambodia (ODC) platform to this new open data platform developed in WordPress and CKAN; and finally, converting the 33,000 ODC users to the new platform.

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William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Program Facilitation for the Open Education Platform:

Internaut Consulting was also retained to facilitate the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Open Education Platform discussion convened with a number of developers and educators in an effort to consolidate a cooperative strategy going forward.

Proposal Evaluation for Performing Arts Program & Open Education Platform

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation makes grants to organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area to ensure that art is created, performed, and preserved, and more opportunities are provided to participate in arts experiences. The program required support evaluating a competitive RFP to develop an on online interactive GIS mapping of the performing arts community in San Francisco.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to review the initial RFP before it was released to strengthen deliverables and clarify what was being asked as well as responding to vendor questions and developing criteria for evaluating the proposals. Internaut Consulting reviewed the proposals to select the strongest provider of technical services, content identification and data collection.

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Biomimicry Institute

Sustainability and Collaboration Support

The Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. It has youth eduction program, an annual design challenge and a platform that provides information on nature inspired design solutions. It requited a funding strategy and a way to best monetize its offerings.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to advise on funding and collaborative partnerships and how to best monetize assets to enhance offerings without compromising the non-profit mission.

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Developing Radio Partners

Messaging and Organizational Strategy

Developing Radio Partners (DRP) builds vibrant, participatory communities internationally, through the development of financially and editorially independent media services with a focus on community radio. The IDEA Network is an initiative of Developing Radio Partners (DRP) providing targeted issue area (health, environment) support. DRP required help with organizational strategy, messaging, development and issue prioritization.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to assist DRP in modifying its very process-oriented organizational identity and messaging that promoted its more traditional [and dated] focus of radio. The DRP strategy was retooled around its IDEA network initiative focusing on well defined donor support areas (environment and health). Its tried and tested process methodologies weer then tied, as supplemental selling points, to these focused issue areas.

In addition, Internaut Consulting helped strengthen a collaborative partnership with Frontline SMS, a progressive development technology using text messaging, to leverage DRP as an entity that could both broadcast and receive local community input in low technology environments. This further enhanced DRP’s attractiveness to donors with its ability to meld old and new technology to achieve results, rather than promoting just its one way broadcasting capabilities (radio). This new strategy and messaging was then utilized to attract more progressive funding support for DRP activities and within months DRP had new projects and support.

Note: This project was the result of Internaut Consulting  being retained to review proposals and provide ongoing advice and evaluation to an anonymous major media donor on convergence projects that merged Internet and traditional media. 

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Aspiration

New Strategic Approaches to Nonprofit and Board Governance

The Principal of Internaut Consulting is the creator of the nonprofit social enterprise aspirationtech.org. A decade ago he founded the organization dedicated to new approaches in nonprofit software development through a variety of services including facilitations, product development services, training and its unique web 2.0 social network platform for nonprofit software developers, clients and service providers called Social Source Commons. Aspiration is a true hybrid nonprofit with a self-sustainable strategy offering services to others in the sector.

The Principal of Internaut Consulting has continued to provide ongoing governance support over the last decade as founder and board chair of Aspiration.

 

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Social Entrepreneurship Workshop

New Strategic Models and Approaches Strategy

Internaut Consulting participated in a workshop identifying similarities in existing working models of social entrepreneurship — and the creation of new strategic models and approaches based on these successes. Participants in the discussion included NESsT, Compumentor/TechSoup, IDRC, Grameen Foundation Technology Center and the Shuttleworth Foundation. A number of these participants later worked together to put the plan into action on the telecentre.org product and service channel initiative.

 

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Telecentre.org

Latin American Revenue Channel Development 

Telecentre.org, sponsored by IDRC, Microsoft and the Swiss Development Agency is a community of people and organizations working together to improve the social and economic impact of grassroots telecentres. It required a comprehensive business plan to implement its vision. Following the development of its comprehensive business plan, Telecentre.org wished to pilot revenue channel development of product and services to sell into the network. It needed a strategy and implementation plan to do it.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was engaged to develop a business plan to promote a sustainable telecentre movement globally offering innovative value-added products and services to its telecentre clients. The ecosystem and administrative support structures laid out in the business plan were designed to allow telecentres to trade products and services of value with each other. Development of the plan led to our further engagement developing tangible revenue channels.

A year later Internaut Consulting was engaged in the next stage of the Telecentre.org project by IDRC and Microsoft Community Affairs to develop scenarios and an implementation plan leading to successful revenue channel development. The objective was to pilot practical initiatives delivering products and services to emerging markets through the Telecentre.org ecosystem of networks and individual telecentres. As a result of the plan three pilot network initiatives were selected in Latin America. The implementation plan was used to develop the channels with two recommended implementing partners, NESsT and TechSoup. Internaut consulting advised that these two implementing organizations had expertise in supporting vertical and horizontal channel capacity development necessary for the project to succeed.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Global Library Program Eastern European Expansion Strategy

A program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation designed to provide free public internet access in libraries for the general public and particularly the disenfranchised in rural and urban areas. The program needed a full spectrum of support for its entry into Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Deliverables:
Internaut Consulting was retained to provide in-country research, create and review country proposals, and engage in strategic and implementation planning to evaluate the potential for a number of new countries in Central and Eastern Europe to participate in the program. Work also included refining program administration and procurement RFP’s once countries were selected, and then reviewing and selecting 3rd party country program implementers. Internaut Consulting was additionally contracted to provide ongoing strategic advice related to the entire program in Central & Eastern Europe and did on the ground pre-program assessment in Kyrgyzstan, Bulgaria and the Ukraine as well as desk research for Poland, Romania and Mongolia.

Internaut Consulting separately retained to assist the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with their ICTD internal information gathering initiative by creating research reports for them on the state of non-profit capacity and the state of ICT in Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia including Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

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Media Development Loan Fund (MDIF)

Strategy to Better Integrate its ICT Products & Services Arm

The Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) [now Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF)] supports independent news media in emerging democracies. The Center for Advanced Media in Prague (CAMP) functioned as the technology products and services arm of MDLF. As CAMP and MDLF services evolved somewhat distinctly from each other MDLF wished to evaluate how to better integrate its technology products and services arm into its core business and what client groups to best target.

Deliverables:

Internaut Consulting was engaged to assess MDLF-CAMP’s client technology offerings and how well they complimented MDLF’s overall strategy through a series of 360 interviews with MDLF staff, developers and clients. Internaut Consulting also provided recommendation’s to refocus CAMP to target clients that MDLF wished to primarily focus on, and better align MDLF-CAMP priorities with those of its parent MDLF. The result was a complete restructuring of MDLF’s technology servicing arm and the eventual spin off of MDLF-CAMP into its own self-sustainable entity servicing these clients and others.

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