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Author Archives: Tim Brack

A lover of all things internets, Tim is into websites, online marketing systems and software (he provides some of the technology and software reviews for tools4dev). In his day job, Tim advises small businesses and organisations on marketing communications, operations, systems and strategy.

Free online international development courses round-up

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Got some time in the New Year and want to increase your knowledge and skills in a particular area? Here is a round-up of free online courses for international development / aid professionals that are starting in January 2015. The courses, often called MOOCs (short for Massive Online Open Course), ... Read More »

Free online courses round-up: Sept 2014

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Want to improve your skills with learning and don’t have training budget? There are lots of free options for International Development professionals, including courses from platforms such as Coursera, EdX, Udacity and NovoEd. These courses are often called MOOCs (short for Massive Online Open Course) and are run over the ... Read More »

5 reasons your local NGO needs a website

Wireframe

Investing time and money into a website is a simple decision for a lot of organisations around the world, including NGOs based in high income economies (e.g. USA, UK, Australia, etc.). The benefits are less clear for organisations in low income countries, such as Malawi, where the costs of Internet ... Read More »

How to improve processes with swim lane diagrams

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Swim lane diagrams (also called ‘Rummler-Brache Diagrams’ and ‘Cross-Functional Flowcharts’) are a great way to break-down a process and visualise its steps. You can use this method to explore inefficiencies in a process and make improvements. The diagrams are also useful for communicating a process in chart-form to other people ... Read More »

Swim Lane Template (Cross-Functional Diagram)

Process Flow

Swim Lane diagrams are used to document and visualise processes in and between organisations. Mapping out the steps that groups / departments undertake can help to identify problems and areas of inefficiency. This simple Swim Lane diagram template can help you visualise processes in your organisaiton. Download the Swim Lane ... Read More »

Collecting data on smartphones and tablets with Device Magic

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Your organisation probably uses forms, a whole bunch of them. Forms for leave requests, forms for acquisition requests, forms for inventory stocktake, baseline survey forms, satisfaction surveys, etc. Basically… a whole lot of forms and surveys and the majority of them are likely to be paper-based. A number of these ... Read More »

Free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty starts 5 Feb 2014

Challenges of Global Poverty on EdX

Just an announcement that the free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty is being run again from 5 February 2014 and is highly recommended for International Development / Global Aid professionals. Delivered by two of the top thinkers in international development economics, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, this ... Read More »

Sending Email Newsletters with MailChimp

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Say you want to send out a regular email newsletter or some ad hoc email updates to a bunch of people. It could be emails to people that have made individual donations to your project. It could be an email campaign promoting family planning services in a target country. It ... Read More »

Online-based survey software… 5 pointers to look out for

Surveys are a pretty common activity in international development programs. It is becoming increasingly easy to undertake online-based surveys (as opposed to paper-based), and there are definitely some benefits to be recognised. It used to be that undertaking online-based surveys was a major production, requiring co-opting a web nerd in ... Read More »

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