THE POTENTIALS OF ICT
Over the course of the last 15 years, advances in hardware, software, and networking technologies have amplified the potential benefits that ICT now holds for strengthening both internal and ex-ternal capacities and capabilities of community de-velopment-oriented organisations.
Yet, here in New Zealand, the majority of such or-ganisations we have scanned reveal that they still employ 19th Century tools to address 21st Century problems and challenges. To a large extent, this explains why individuals in our communities – the very people who need the most help, are not being better served and why a large swath of societal problems still persist.
LACKING IN SYSTEMS
Because of this prevalent environment, the Board of Faith in Families Foundation rapidly realised that, if one wants to effectively run any community-focused organisation efficiently, expand its reach and increase its impact and relevance in actual community settings, one would first need to systematize its major work functions. This is true no matter what they do or how large or small they are. They’ll need – a system.
Systems exist to make all our lives more liveable, ordered, familiar and un-derstandable. It makes everyday work easier for us to perform, share or deliver. It brings the realms of ambiguity and chaos into order; it organises, and it helps make things happen much quicker in a more focused and sustainable fashion.
The value of information systems for organisations that do community develop-ment and other charity-based work in service of others are that these can maintain corporate-body histories, experiences, expertise and knowledge that all stakeholders hold.
The systems themselves – not people, then become the stable structure of the organisation. People will be free to come and go, but the value of their know-ledge and experience is incorporated into the ‘system’ that helps them and their successors build up a knowledge base invaluable to running their own organ-isation more sustainably.