In spring 2009, a new page of this research initiative was turned. During her sabbatical leave in Beijing, Professor Jing Wang, the founder and organizer of MIT Critical Policy Studies of China (CPSC), launched an NGO 2.0 Project (“Chinese NGOs in the Web 2.0 Environment”) in collaboration with Professor Zhou Rongting at the University of Science and Technology of China, Ogilvy & Mather in Beijing, and three Chinese NGOs (e.g., NGO Communication Net, Friends of Nature, and Center of Citizen and Social Development at Sun Yat-sen University). The previously named “MIT International Committee of Critical Policy Studies of China” was changed to New Media Action Lab (NMAL) to indicate this new research direction.
The NGO 2.0 Project (中国公益2.0) was funded by Ford Foundation Beijing and launched on May 25, 2009. It marked the beginning of NMAL’s engagement in integrating social practice and technological experiments into academic theories. The project prioritizes practice over theory and is committed to serving social and educational communities in China through innovative ICT (Information and Communication Technology). In 2011, Tsinghua University joined the NGO2.0 partnership. Wang was appointed by the School of Communication and Design at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou to serve as the Director of the new Center for Civic Media and Communication. NGO2.0 is moving steadily toward building cross-sector collaboration with foundations, grassroots NGOs, the media sector, Corporate Social Responsibility, academia, the government, and software developers’ communities in China.
|MIT New Media Action Lab||http://web.mit.edu/newmediaactionlab/|
|Institute of Knowledge Management/University of Science and Technology of China||http://126.96.36.199:8080/|
|School of Communication and Design at Sun Yat-Sen University||http://scd.sysu.edu.cn/|
|NGOCN Development and Communication Net||http://www.ngocn.net/|
|Friends of Nature||http://www.fon.org.cn/|
|Tsinghua-Netease Institute of Future Media||http://fmedialab.com/|
|Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations (Beijing and Shanghai Office)||http://www.ogilvypr.com/|
CreditEase, a social enterprise in personal credit and finance, an advocate and practitioner of microfinance, which assists in building up trust sphere and promoting the development of individual credit market in Chinese urban and rural areas. http://www.creditease.cn/
Millward Brown China, a global research agency specializing in advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. http://www.millwardbrown.com/Home.aspx
- Assisting Chinese grassroots NGOs in improving their digital and social media literacy, and in developing a new concept of technology aided social service sector;
- Assisting Chinese grassroots NGOs in improving their capability of making social innovation through new media;
Major Project Activities
1 - Web2.0 Training Workshops: The goal of Project NGO2.0 is to strengthen the capability of Internet and social media usage by Chinese grassroots NGOs so that they can collaborate better with each other, increase the efficiency of daily work and project implementation, acquire knowledge of digital marketing, and learn to communicate effectively with the public and enhance brand promotion on social networking sites. The training workshops are open to grassroots NGOs located in western and central provinces of China. Participants learn how to use social media tools, engage in discussions about interactive and participatory mode of thinking, and examine successful, worldwide NGO 2.0 case studies.
134 NGOs & 29 foundations trained (July 2008 – July 2011)
1.1 - Participants
Workshops are open to local grassroots NGOs in western and central provinces of China, including organizations that show a strong interest in applying digital tools to their work but which lack organizational resources and capabilities of using the Internet. The workshops are held twice a year and have been held in Guangzhou (Guangdong Province), Kunming (Yunnan Province), Xi’an (Shaanxi Province), Hefei (Anhui Province) and Nanning (Guangxi Province). Participating NGOs are selected from six NGO issue fields—environmental protection, health aid, community development (which includes poverty alleviation and post-disaster relief work), women and children rights protection, educational assistance, and information network.
Participants are selected through the following criteria:
- We choose NGOs of appropriate scale—underdeveloped grassroots NGOs with an extremely small number of staff and large NGOs with lots of resources are not invited;
- We choose NGOs whose digital literacy is relatively decent, especially NGOs that have a strong interest and confidence in communicating their organizational work online;
- We choose NGOs that have relatively lower Internet usage capability—NGOs that have limited resources for building their online presence;
The number of participants is between 25 and 30 in every workshop. We require that participants from NGOs be either the chief operating officer or the second in command in each organization.
1.2 - Content
We emphasize the use of case studies for instruction. Principle instructors are from MIT and USTC and they are joined by select members of NGO2.0 grassroots tech team. Former trainees are also invited to share with new trainees their experiences of using web2.0 to nonprofit work.
- Internet Culture and Web2.0 ethos: Open, Share, Participate, Make transparent, Network, Innovate;
- Web2.0 tools: Blog; Micro blog; Open Mapping; RSS, SNS, Wiki, Skype, Search Engine Optimization, Listen 2.0, Online video production and sharing and so on;
- Build websites: Using various methods to set up an organization’s own web presence, mainly using blogs such as Wordpress—under framework of LAMP (Linux-Apache-Mysql-PHP);
- Digital marketing: Including brand positioning, blog marketing, viral marketing, video promotion, instant messaging tools, and SNS
2 - A Crowdsourced Map Platform (www.ngo20map.com)
The map provides service for grassroots NGOs and creates opportunities of cooperation between NGOs, corporate social responsibility programs, foundations, governments, and the public so that NGOs can acquire resources such as goods and equipment, volunteers, funding, and opportunities for project collaboration. The platform invites the public to assess the reputation of NGOs, corporations, and foundations through participatory evaluation. The platform can also help build the trust and interactivity between the NGO and corporate sectors, between the NGOs and the general public.
3 - Annual Surveys of Chinese NGOs’ Use of the Internet
One online survey is conducted every year and the goals are listed below:
- Obtain basic information of Chinese NGO and set up a database of Chinese NGOs;
- Analyze Chinese NGOs’ Internet usage patterns;
- Analyze Internet communication capability of Chinese NGOs;
- Select future participants for Web 2.0 workshops and provide support for the design of workshop curriculum and post workshop follow-up research;
- Analyze Chinese NGOs’ demand for Web2.0 tools so as to strengthen the theoretical basis for the mapping platform.
4 Set up A Mechanism to Evaluate the Public Trust and Social Influence of NGO
NGO2.0 Project has designed two complementary sets of evaluation system. The first takes the shape of a NGO online self-evaluation survey. The second is an in-depth on-the-ground NGO evaluation. These two sets of methods, combined with the public participatory evaluation on the map, form a highly accountable mechanism that can assess NGOs’ public trust, financial management, and social influence -- criteria that can serve as a reference for corporations, foundations and government in their selection of NGO partners.
Jing Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
|NGO2.0 Official Site||http://ngo20.org|
|Haokanbu Picture Blog||http://www.haokanbu.com/user/234884/|
|Youku Video Sharing||http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzExNjkzOTQ4.html?firsttime=8|