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