The National Council for Children and Youth Development (NCYD) works with Microsoft Thailand on THE YES programme (Tech training to Help Extend Youth Empowerment Space), which is designed to empower rural and disadvantaged youth by creating opportunities for themselves in employment, further education or training, entrepreneurship or social innovation through IT programmes. Below is a short Q&A with Srisak Thaiarry, Executive Director of NYCD, under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Mahachakri Sirindhorn.
Can you give us more insight into the programme objectives and activities in Thailand?
This is a one year project from March 2013 – to February 2014. Through this IT programme, the goal is to empower 1,200 rural and disadvantaged youth, and we hope to reach another 5,000 young people from all over Thailand by implementing the project at IT training skills programmes of participating schools. Community college and skills development centers will also be enhanced through THE YES programme.
Can you tell us more about how this programme works?
Stage I: We worked with local authorities in Thailand to identify schools in underserved communities where a majority of the young people are from disadvantage backgrounds, such as ethnic youth, youth from poor families, youth effected by HIV/AIDs and family abuse, youth who are at risk of being victims to drugs and gambling. These young people usually have very little access to public social and welfare services.
Stage 2: We will identify and train teacher trainers for each school/college/center, and subsequently produce teacher trainer handbooks.
Stage 3: Each of these schools will then select 50 young people between the ages of 16 – 25 years old from underserved communities to join this teacher training programme.
Stage 4: Trained youth in each of these schools will then form IT clubs which seek to create awareness among students on the resources available to them that will enable them to further their education, secure job opportunities and start their own entrepreneurship or social venture.
How will you measure the outcomes of THE YES programme?
We will collect individual data from 1,200 trained youth in three stages: at the beginning of the project, after training and during club activities to measure the effectiveness of this programme.
We will also share their success stories with the hope that this exercise will help inspire other young people to realize their full potential.
THE YES programme is a Microsoft YouthSpark programme in partnership with NCYD.
A full list of Microsoft YouthSpark programmes can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/youthspark/youthsparkhub/
Asian Development Bank and Microsoft Corp. will showcase the Apps For Asia-Redesigning Development Programme at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“AppsForAsia is a great showcase of the power of technology and the role it can play in fostering social and economic development,” said Bindu N Lohani, vice president for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB.
The AppsForAsia programme included a series of national developer events in Australia, India, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. Of the 100 apps submitted, only the top three from each country are exhibited at the ADB’s 46th annual meeting in Delhi.
AppsForAsia contestants built new apps addressing a wide range of issues, including how to manage blood donor networks, help match youth with potential employers, coordinate indigenous housing projects, promote crime prevention and address diabetes management.
ADB provided guidance on regional economic, social and development priorities to assist and inspire program participants, while Microsoft provided training and access to platforms, spanning devices and cloud services, which enabled developers to create innovative Windows Azure, Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps.
To learn more about the programme and the winning apps, please go to the Apps For Asia website.
Read more from Bindu N Lohani.
AppsForAsia is a new initiative created by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Microsoft, and is supported by regional information technology (IT) associations, private sector technology partners and universities. The programme aims to harness the creative power of hundreds of software developers to create sustainable solutions for the economic, commercial and social benefit of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), citizens and enterprises throughout Asia.
In this post we are pleased to present the winning AppsForAsia entries from Australia.
The recent AppsForAsia national developer event in Australia provided software developer teams the platform to showcase their expertise and resourcefulness in creating apps that bring both social and economic benefits. The following winning apps from Australia — BlueClover, Idex and X Meaning — are being showcased at the 46th Annual Meeting of the ADB on 2-5 May in New Delhi, India.
An estimated 347 million people around the world have diabetes and are at risk of suffering from other related ailments such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and blindness. The BlueClover app, developed by Trinary Logic, is aimed at improving diabetes management by enabling people affected by the disease in Australia to record and keep track of nutritional information for all food and drinks they consume.
The BlueClover app utilises the latest technologies such as augmented reality to help users easily capture and record food-related information by scanning a barcode with their camera phone.
The data is then securely stored onto Microsoft HealthVaultTM, an online health record database approved for medical use in both the US and UK — enabling the user to freely view, retrieve and share the information with their family and doctors, anywhere with an Internet connection.
Grand Domain developed the Idex app to ease how businesses conduct electronic authentication processes. Currently, organisations have to duplicate their entire user directory so that users can be authenticated and identified according to the services they subscribe to.
A better solution is a proven concept called ‘identity federation’, by which only the user’s home organisation is relied upon for authentication by external organisations (other businesses or service providers) — also meaning the home organisation retains control over the user identities.
The Idex app handles the setup and management of federated identities. With Idex, organisations only have to establish a single federation relationship to deliver services to a broader customer base and better secure user information.
Designed as a tool to make language resources more accessible to students, the X Meaning app serves as an aid for translators to produce a document in the source language and annotate it with translation information.
The X Meaning annotations provide both dictionary-level definitions of words and phrases as well as further elucidation with a contextual meaning, intended to convey the full nuances of the original document. Samples of the annotator output are available on www.xmeaning.com.
Congratulations to these young developer teams from Australia!
For more information, please visit the AppsForAsia website.
Microsoft Sri Lanka collaborated with Sarvodaya-Fusion to showcase the use of technology and help non-governmental organisations (NGOs) better serve local communities at NGO Connection Day.
Taking place over a 10-day span from 16 to 28 January, the expanded NGO Connection Day was attended by representatives from more than 60 NGOs in Sri Lanka. The participants attended workshops aimed at demonstrating the benefits of using the latest tablet technology, cloud services and Microsoft products such as Office 365TM and Microsoft Lync®. The event also provided NGOs the opportunity to get together to discuss how technology can be better leveraged to improve work efficiency, reduce cost and overcome common operational issues.
Sarvodaya-Fusion is the information and communication technology (ICT) education arm of Sarvodaya, a nonprofit group that has been involved in developing and implementing a broad range of programmes in Sri Lanka since 2006.
Isura Silva, Manager at Sarvodaya-Fusion, said, “NGO Connection Day is a fantastic platform for NGOs to get together and discuss the challenges that they face. As one of the leading nonprofit groups in Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya-Fusion understands the considerable impact ICT can have on disadvantaged communities — especially in terms of delivering aid and educational programmes more effectively.”
The expanded scope of the NGO Connection Day programme enabled Microsoft and Sarvodaya-Fusion to gather NGOs with similar areas of specialisation to network and share their common experiences. The NGOs invited to the event are specialised in a broad range of community work that includes poverty alleviation, rural economic development, human rights, youth empowerment and environmental conservation.
Janakie Karunaratne, Community Affairs Manager of Microsoft Sri Lanka said, “After receiving a very good response for our Connecting Communities event last year, we decided to expand our NGO Connection Day programme to better meet the needs of our NGO partners. Over the ten days, our team of technology experts were able to share how the latest ICT solutions can help Sri Lankan NGOs achieve their organisational goals. For many of the NGOs, the event also provided them with their first exposure to the benefits of cloud technology.”
Many of the participants commented that they are now better informed about the wide range of tools and services that Microsoft can provide, including products available under Microsoft’s software donation programme.
“NGO Connection Day provided us with great insights into the use of ICT to improve our organisation. An example is how we have started using Skype to hold our monthly meetings, instead of having to meet physically at our Colombo office,” said SK Tania Udari, Programme Officer at the Arthacharya Foundation.
“NGO Connection Day provided us with great insights into the use of ICT to improve our organisation.”
SK Tania Udari, Programme Officer, Arthacharya Foundation.
In this post we are pleased to present the winning AppsForAsia entries from the Philippines.
Three Filipino software developer teams stood out from a competitive field in the AppsForAsia national developer event. The three winning applications from the Philippines — Codetoki, Blood Donors Network and Leanasset — will be showcased at the 46th Annual Meeting of the ADB on 2-5 May in New Delhi, India.
High unemployment remains a prominent issue in the Philippines, and many local IT students are faced with a lack of job opportunities that match their professional skills. The Codetoki app aims to make it easier for Filipino youth to secure employment by matching employers with job applicants.
The Codetoki app provides a platform for employers to publicise the key requirements of available job positions, as well as enable students to master the professional skills needed for their desired jobs.
The app can be easily customised to allow each student to build an individual profile based on their relevant skills. Utilising a game concept, students can showcase their professional capabilities through the app and earn ‘badges’ by completing specific skill challenges. The students are then ranked on a leaderboard, which prospective employers can easily access to determine the best fit for their organisation. To view a video demonstration of Codetoki, please click here.
The Blood Donors Network app is designed as a crowd-sourced web and mobile platform to help the Philippine Red Cross, hospitals and medical practitioners in the country maintain a sustainable community of voluntary blood donors.
Created by Joel Barquez, CEO and Co-Founder of Blood Donors Network, the app enables communities to meet their blood donation needs by increasing the acquisition of new blood donors, improving the retention rate of existing donors and establishing a comprehensive data of donors.
In addition, web and mobile apps such as the Blood Donors Network app add a social dimension to encourage blood donation by awarding donors ‘hero badges’ and providing them incentives such as free physical examinations and discounted rates in fitness and health centres.
Developed by independent software vendor Accelerate Desk, Leanasset serves as an app for improving both public transportation access and fleet management to alleviate the limitation of land transport systems across the Philippines.
The first version of the Leanasset app, built on Windows AzureTM cloud technology, can be downloaded by commuters and transport operators to access transportation information. A key feature of this app, which is still presently being developed, is for commuters to electronically ‘flag down’ a nearby vacant taxi, as seen in his or her smartphone app, and the taxi driver can electronically ‘accept’ the service booking. A similar app is being developed for bus commuters.
A second variant of the app enables fleet managers to track vehicle activity through an easily accessible dashboard, plan trips ahead of time and share logistics and fleet activities with customers, enabling fleet managers to focus on more strategic priorities.
Congratulations to these young developer teams from the Philippines!
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