March, 2013

  • Strengthening Awareness of Intellectual Property Rights in the Philippines

    To commemorate Intellectual Property Rights Week, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) conducted the 2nd Philippine Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Summit in October 2012. Microsoft was invited to participate in a panel discussion during the event held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, Manila.

    The full-day Summit focused on the latest trends involving the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines, presenting Microsoft Philippines with the opportunity to discuss the latest intellectual property issues with government officials and key enforcement officers.

    Counterfeiting and piracy remain key concerns for the business community in the Philippines. According to data released by the IPOPHL-led National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, more than 3.3 million pieces and almost 2,600 cartons and sacks of counterfeit products worth PHP4.126 billion (US$101 million) were confiscated during the first three quarters of 2012 by local enforcement agencies.

    Microsoft has been proactively supporting the ongoing initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the risks associated with the use of counterfeit products and pirated software in the Philippines. During a panel discussion entitled “Cybercrime and Internet Piracy: The Growing Threat Against Intellectual Property Rights”, Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Philippines, highlighted the downside and security issues related to pirated software.

    “The use of pirated software poses a significant threat to the security of personal information, and may in turn lead to more serious security breaches caused by malware imbedded in the pirated software — even to the extent of causing a threat to national security. We hope to support the Philippines government in their continuing efforts to counter these threats and to raise the current levels of intellectual property rights protection in the country,” said Mr Cortez.

    The Summit also saw the official launch of the “Manual for the Investigation and Prosecution of Intellectual Property Cases”, the Philippines’ first comprehensive guide to aid investigators and prosecutors who are involved in intellectual property rights enforcement cases.

    “We hope to support the Philippines government in their continuing efforts to counter the threats posed to intellectual property rights protection.”

    - Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Philippines

  • Mobilising Citizen Journalism and Empowering Rural Communities in Sri Lanka

    Sarvodaya-Fusion, the information and communication technology (ICT) education arm of nonprofit group Sarvodaya, has been involved in developing and implementing a broad range of educational programmes in disadvantaged communities since 2006. Microsoft Sri Lanka is committed to providing Sarvodaya-Fusion with technical and financial support in aid of their efforts to strengthen community bonds and empower marginalised youth in Sri Lanka through ICT training.

    Microsoft supported Sarvodaya-Fusion in the launch of a new citizen journalism programme

    In November 2012, Microsoft supported Sarvodaya-Fusion in the launch of a new programme to train ‘citizen journalists’ to develop news stories and share the information in real time — with the ultimate objective of using technology to facilitate increased transparency and citizen participation at the community level. During the workshop, participants were given the opportunity to receive personal coaching and practical experience in the field of participatory journalism, as well as develop basic photo journalism skills.  

    The use of ICT as a powerful but affordable means of communication has vastly reshaped the nature of journalism — a good example is how a local citizen journalist is able to conduct interviews and leverage social networks to deliver a piece of news relying solely on a smartphone’s functions. According to Sarvodaya-Fusion, the yardstick of success for this citizen journalism programme would be measured by the stories generated by the trainees, as part of the efforts to build stronger communities.

    Udara Dharmasena, a Project Coordinator at Sarvodaya-Fusion, said, “This new service provides an exciting opportunity for young people to actively contribute to society and culture. With the support of Microsoft, we have provided all of the tools needed to record, upload and distribute news in real time, something that has never been possible before.”

    Microsoft and Sarvodaya-Fusion are providing access to ICT education to more than 1,400 young people at six Sarvodaya centres and more than twenty regional ’telecentres’

    Microsoft has also joined forces with Sarvodaya-Fusion to initiate a new ICT training and employment scheme for underprivileged youth in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, which were greatly affected by the civil war over the past decades.

    Together, Microsoft and Sarvodaya-Fusion aim to provide better access to ICT education to more than 1,400 young people by implementing specialised training schemes at six Sarvodaya centres and more than twenty regional ’telecentres’ across the country. The students, typically between the ages of 14 and 19, will undergo a six-month course and sit for Fusion Education’s Diploma in Computer Application (DICA) qualification, which provides a recognised accreditation in ICT knowledge.

    Harsha Liyanage, Sarvodaya-Fusion Managing Director, said, “It has been a wonderful experience to work with Microsoft and offer new training opportunities to young people. The students have been enthusiastic and worked hard throughout and more than deserve the recognition and success that they are now receiving. It has been a privilege for us to be able to assist these communities that have been ravaged by the war and help them to create a sustainable future.”

    “It has been a wonderful experience to work with Microsoft and offer new training opportunities to young people.”

    - Harsha Liyanage, Managing Director, Sarvodaya-Fusion 

    For more information, please visit http://fusion.lk

  • Webinar: What Nonprofit Executive Staff Need to Know About Social Media

    The foundation of a successful online communications and fundraising campaign is built upon a well-designed, well-written website and e-newsletter, as well as a clear understanding of how social media has fundamentally changed how organizations engage and inspire supporters and donors.

    The content of this webinar is specifically tailored for executive staff in the nonprofit sector, particularly those who may be skeptical or unclear of the value of social media.

    The webinar will:

    • Demonstrate the value of social media to increase online fundraising and online brand recognition.
    • Discuss how much time successful social media communications require and consequently highlight the need to modify job descriptions of development and communications staff.
    • Illuminate how social media success requires professional experience or training in online communications and fundraising.
    • Put forward a minimal budget to be successful on the Social Web.
    • Examine the need to create a social media policy.
    • Present a system to track Return on Investment (ROI).
    • Discuss the urgent need to prepare for the Mobile Web.

    Join us for this FREE webinar on Thursday, 2 May, at 9:00 AM, Singapore time.

    Register today!

    This webinar series is being delivered by Heather Mansfield, founder of DIOSA Communications and the NonprofitOrgs Blog, as part of Microsoft Citizenship’s regional Tech4Good programme.

  • MS Korea Empowers Social Enterprises through Stronger Collaboration and the Cloud

    On 2 February, 105 participants from the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector gathered at Microsoft Korea’s premises in Seoul for the year’s first NGO Cloud Day.

    Participants at the NGO Cloud Day in Seoul learned how South Korea’s smart work policy will transform their organisations

    Jointly organised with the Korea Association of Social Workers (KASW), the event aimed to improve work efficiency and encourage stronger collaboration processes among NGOs — under the theme of ‘Smart Work, Smart Collaboration’.

    Microsoft staff and NGO participants bonding over a Kinect game

    The NGO Cloud Day in Seoul began with key presenters sharing their work and collaboration stories. In her keynote address, Hye Jyung Lee, a Senior Manager at the National Information Society Agency of South Korea, touched on how the country’s smart work policy is impacting local NGOs and nonprofits. Woo Jin Jung, Enterprise Strategy Consultant at Microsoft Korea, introduced how Microsoft’s innovative collaboration technologies have helped NGOs around the world.

    Participants then attended a training session conducted by top Microsoft Korea professionals. The topics included the use of Microsoft SkyDrive® to boost work collaboration and a tutorial on OneNote® and OneNote apps for Android and iOS platforms — marking the first time a OneNote learning session has been conducted at a Microsoft Korea NGO Cloud Day event.

    It was also fun and games on top of the informative sessions. During lunch Microsoft staff and attendees interacted over an engaging Kinect for Xbox 360TM gaming session. All meals and refreshments served at the NGO Cloud Day were prepared by social enterprises that offer jobs to the disabled.

    Overall, the NGO Cloud Day in Seoul was a resounding success and attracted a strong turnout. Many of the participants had registered prior to the event via the KASW’s Facebook page — only a week after the online registration page was launched, there were already 100 registrants and another 100 more on the waiting list. The NGO participants also displayed their positive feedback by leaving notes on the “Orange Wall” at the event.

    "I am grateful for having the opportunity to attend Microsoft NGO Cloud Day. Overall, it was a great event that enabled me to learn more about how I can improve work collaboration at our organisation. I would make full use of what I've learned at the event and share the experience with my colleagues," said Eun Joo Lee, from Bugok Social Welfare Centre.

    “We are greatly encouraged by the turnout of NGO Cloud Day in Seoul and we hope that more NGOs will participate in the future. This will help spread our organisation’s social efforts more widely across the nation,” Mr Woo concluded. 

    “We are greatly encouraged by the turnout of NGO Cloud Day in Seoul and we hope that more NGOs will participate in the future. This will help spread our organisation’s social efforts more widely across the nation.”

    - Woo Jin Jung, Enterprise Strategy Consultant, Microsoft Korea

  • Addressing Key Challenges Faced by Non-Governmental Organisations in Thailand

    In December 2012, nine executives from eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs) focused on youth empowerment attended the Thailand NGO Executive Roundtable organised by Microsoft Thailand.

    Nine executives from eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attended Microsoft’s Thailand NGO Executive Roundtable

    The main objective of the Executive Roundtable — the second organised by Microsoft Thailand in 2012 — was for Microsoft and its NGO partners to gain a better understanding of the diverse needs and concerns faced by NGOs, as well as to facilitate discussion and share ideas on the use of technology to address these challenges. Each of the eight NGOs invited to the event have been empowered with Microsoft’s software donations to boost productivity and extend their services to new communities.

    The Roundtable kicked off with a welcome address by Siriporn Pajharawat, Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) Director, Microsoft Thailand. Ms Siriporn shared with the audience Microsoft's Citizenship vision and the YouthSpark programme. Her address was followed by an interactive roundtable discussion in which the participants highlighted a number of common challenges encountered by these organisations.

    One of the operational issues highlighted was the need for reliable and cost effective communications tools to enable NGO staff to collaborate more easily — especially for staff members who have to use their personal devices in order to work remotely. The participants also discussed how to overcome the technical issues they faced in sharing and accessing information stored across different databases, as well as to find a more efficient way of creating a professional presentation.

    “Most of the NGOs who attended the Executive Roundtable highlighted communications and work collaboration to be the most pressing operational challenges, followed by data sharing and professional presentation. The participants were also interested to gain more practical experience through hands-on practice with remote meetings,” said Ms Siriporn.

    Chavapongsatorn Waisarikarm, Technology Specialist, Office Expert Programme at Microsoft Thailand, provided an overview of the key Microsoft technologies and products available, helping the NGO executives gain a better understanding on how these technology solutions could fit their requirements.

    The event was very well received by the NGOs, and the participants were particularly impressed by the technology capabilities of Microsoft Office® web applications, SkyDrive® and PowerPoint® 2010.

    “The roundtable was immensely beneficial to NGOs in helping us to better understand the challenges that each of our organisations face, and how Microsoft can help address them,” said Mechai Viravaidya, Chairman of the Population and Community Development Association and the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation.

    Supahrat Juramongkol, Community Affairs Manager, Microsoft Thailand, said, “At Microsoft, we are committed to strengthening our partnership with NGOs and helping them bridge the technology gaps that they face in their operations. We are delighted by their rousing response to the event. Besides sharing with us the issues and challenges they face, several participants also expressed their interest to find out more about our Citizenship programme. It’s very encouraging to also learn that the participants would like us to organise such events more frequently in the future.”

    “The roundtable was immensely beneficial to NGOs in helping us to better understand the challenges that each of our organisations face, and how Microsoft can help address them.”

    - Mechai Viravaidya, Chairman, Population and Community Development Association and the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation

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