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NGO Pulse Newsletter

NGO Pulse Newsletter ... Issue 706 ... Friday, 29 May, 2020


Peter Burgess
NEWSFLASHES National protests rock Tshwane, Cape Town, Mthatha

White Zim farmers accept R238m interim payment for land compensation Zimbabwe land compensation Canada to participate in Women, Peace and Security meeting in Namibia African Development Bank Board approves $4.8 million grant to accelerate African free trade World Bank revises Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth downwards South Africa sends extra donations to cyclone-hit Mozambiqu McBride to testify at Zondo commission Business confidence at lowest level Ramaphosa: We're hard at work keeping the lights on

Issue 706: Collective Intelligence and Community Resilience on Social Networks – Part One

NGO Pulse Newsletter Friday, 29 May, 2020

  • New jobs, proposals and events
  • Quote of the week
  • Comment of the week
  • Latest news flashes
  • Nonprofit analysis and opinions
  • Prodder Directory
  • NGO Pulse Premium
Quote of the week

'The COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown us that nobody is safe until we are all safe. By the same token, we will not be able to use the full potential of digital technologies until we are all connected.' - Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

Comment of the week

'DNS defines the areas within which an authority will be free to create domain names and communicate them externally. The benefit of this mechanism is that the association between the IP address and the domain name is closely managed. The disadvantage is that several inquiries are sometimes required to resolve a name, in other words, associate it with an address. '- Herve Debar - 28 May 2020 (iAfrikan)

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The popularity and ubiquity of social networks has enabled a new form of decentralised online collaboration: groups of users gathering around a central theme and working together to solve problems, complete tasks and develop social connections. Groups that display such ‘organic collaboration’ have been shown to solve tasks quicker and more accurately than other methods of crowdsourcing. They can also enable community action and resilience in response to different events, from casual requests to emergency response and crisis management. However, engaging such groups through formal agencies risks disconnect and disengagement by destabilising motivational structures.

Well-developed communities are capable of organising and solving their own needs; however, such activities are often undirected and lack resources. On a day-to-day basis individuals connect with each other in the community and gain personal satisfaction from involvement. It is in response to critical events such as flooding, fire, crime etc. that we can see resilient communities reacting and supporting each other quickly and effectively without coordination by a centralised government agent.

Crowdsourcing and citizen science projects have shown the willingness of the public to participate in projects they feel are worthwhile; however, interfacing digital communities with physical communities invokes a complex array of motivations, not only why people do things, but why they do not. Engaging such groups through formal agencies may risk destabilising motivational structures so careful consideration of the design of systems should be made.

In the Adaptive Resilience Model, widespread community engagement is a tool for building resilience. All relevant stakeholders and community members should be engaged in the process of recovery. At that point, effective communication and engagement can create and reinforce community resilience. Enabling such collaboration and engagement requires large-scale communication networks, such as those afforded by social media platforms, to coordinate and organise people and tasks.

Let us reflect on the online highlights of the last 30 days of the deeply ironic scenario that revealed a surge in demand from readers, such that support from advertisers has taken a dive off Covid-19 cliff. These published articles play a role in our national situation.

There are times when it seems like policies are being made with other influences rather than the facts. That is when alarm bells go off and reputable media houses have to respond with expert research, analysis and opinions. When we as a nation feel unheard, and possibly exploited, (with few avenues for protest), civil society and media take up the responsibility to be the voice, pushing for factual decision making.

The most-read article of the last 30 days was an op-ed by Ray Hartley and Greg Mills entitled “An iron curtain is falling on our freedom”. Op-eds are analysis features that are written by external contributors. It was read almost 300,000 times. Building up networks of experts also takes years, even decades, of effort and trust-building. Working with appropriate contributors among the hordes of charlatans and agenda-seekers while still encouraging legitimate debate from multiple perspectives is a balancing act that is fraught with perils.

Another article, this time by the Business Maverick editor, Tim Cohen, didn’t quite hit the 300,000 mark more like 2,000. But it didn’t need to have a huge readership to change lives. He wrote about M4Jam, a start-up that has pivoted to helping with the distribution of food vouchers. Following the publication of that article, M4Jam received offers of substantial donations from around the world to help the cause.

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Employment Opportunities
  • Molo Songololo: Social Worker
  • LGBTI: Professional Nurse
  • The ACF: Project Manager - IT
  • more...

Proposals, Grants & Awards more...

New Events more...


Recent LOCAL news items
  • ‘Freak’ fibre cable break derails UIF payments
  • Connectivity in an age where the application is king
  • 5 important things happening in South Africa today
  • MTN guarantees easy data access with EverydayGigs, first-to-market data solution
  • The CEO’s guide to safely reopening the workplace
  • These are some of the biggest challenges with South Africa’s lockdown rules: Dlamini-Zuma
  • more...
NGO Media Releases
  • Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF)
  • Periods do not stop for pandemics
  • Lockdown youth poetry project inspires South Africa
  • more...
Recent INTERNATIONAL news items:
  • Systemic attacks can bring down the Internet
  • Covid-19 has forced us into the fast lane of the 4IR super-highway
  • White paper: Comprehensive cyber security platform for the digital era
  • Trump Threatens Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms After Being Fact-Checked
  • Zoom Distances Themselves From Facebook By Temporarily Removing Giphy
  • Dark mode comes to
  • more...
Nonprofit Analysis and Opinions For more NGO news and views, visit the NGO Pulse Portal –
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  • HSPN: Champions of Change in Health Care
  • Vitamin Angels: Donation of Prenatal Multivitamins for Pregnant Women
  • ...more
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