Despite being Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia faces a high youth unemployment rate, with reports suggesting that over half of unemployed Indonesians are below 25 years old. Many nonprofits have dedicated their work to increasing the employability of Indonesian youth through programmes that provide affordable education as well as enable access to skills and funds for youth entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, the majority of these organisations face communication and collaboration challenges. Tight budgetary constraints and lack of information technology (IT) resources exacerbate these difficulties, limiting their ability to effectively deliver crucial social services. To help alleviate these challenges, Microsoft Indonesia announced in December 2013 that Office 365 will be available for free to eligible organisations through its software donation programme.
With Office 365, nonprofits are able to communicate and collaborate easily through familiar Office applications with the additional email, shared calendar, document sharing and video conferencing functions. Office 365 also helps increase their work productivity by enabling access to documents and files from virtually anywhere.
Youth empowerment organisation Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) is the first NGO in Indonesia to receive Microsoft’s Office 365 donation, having recently completed the migration to Office 365 in November 2013.
Anton Suwoto, IT Manager at YCAB, said, “Financial constraints remain the main operational challenge faced by nonprofit groups in Indonesia. With the new Office 365 donation programme, NGOs can now gain access to the latest technology resources without straining their IT budget.”
Microsoft is working with the ASEAN Foundation, a partner since 2005, to conduct ICT training for nonprofits — with the aim of training 365 people by April 2014. This includes Office 365 training, specifically in the use of Microsoft Outlook Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Lync. Besides training for NGO staff, Microsoft Indonesia also organised a CEO-Executive Directors Roundtable at its office on 18 December 2013, to listen to the leaders’ concerns on technology for their work, and ideas on leveraging IT to enable strategic collaborations within the nonprofit sector. These engagements are helping Microsoft Indonesia and the organisations build a better understanding of each other’s work, and is creating momentum for Microsoft to play a bigger role in supporting local development and welfare work.
Ajie Akhmad Wahidin, Programme Coordinator of the ASEAN Foundation, said, “Our organisation has always put a strong emphasis on empowering ASEAN citizens with ICT skills to narrow the opportunity gap within the region. This collaboration allows us to highlight our commitment in providing better quality of life and improving their livelihood through technology.”