Empowering Local Communities in Sri Lanka with Technology

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.

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