NetHope Receives Grant From Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

NetHope, the information technology collaboration of leading international NGOs announced today that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will award the organization nearly $300,000 to fund two initiatives in the developing world.

One project, an information communications technology (ICT) skills building program, will serve child and family health workers in Africa and India. About 90 percent of all NGO staff are hired locally in the developing world, and most workers have never received formal training in critical business skills. The NetHope ICT skills building program will provide courseware and instruction for more than 1,000 child and family health workers, benefiting an estimated 500,000 families in the developing world.

The other initiative will create a database — to be shared across participating NGOs — that stores information about every telecommunications relationship those NGOs have to support their field programs. The ability to store and share the knowledge generated by field workers will impact all of the health, education, development, emergency response and environmental programs across the full NetHope membership. NetHope’s 25 NGO members represent more than $33 billion in program spending on humanitarian and conservation initiatives in more than 180 countries.

“These two programs will serve vital functions in the developing world,” says Bill Brindley, NetHope CEO. “When field workers are trained to use technology properly and have access to shared resources, they’re able to more effectively deliver millions of dollars of aid each year to families in need.”

NetHope is currently operating successful pilots of the two initiatives and will roll them out across its member organizations in 2009. It expects to see significant increases in humanitarian worker productivity as well as improved connectivity over the next 12 months, and the combined projects will serve an estimated more than one million children, fathers and mothers in the developing world.

“We are delighted to partner with NetHope,” says Mukta Pandit, grant officer, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “The shared approach of developing the skills building program and database once, then sharing it across the humanitarian sector will significantly increase the reach of these grant dollars to children living in urban poverty.”