Funding for community IT projects announced

Some pretty sizeable grants have been made as part of the 2007 round of the Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund. Over $10 million in grants was allocated, virtually exhausting the $17 million fund.

Announcing the successful applicants on Monday 30 July 2007 Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said the community-based ICT projects will bring communities closer together (see her press release “Community Partnership Fund successful applicants announced”).

The largest single grant is to the National Association of Citizen’s Advice Bureaux. CAB’s have been granted $1,275,011 to set up a national network of databases at its 91 offices, as well as trialling web kiosks.

One of projects that I’ve written about before (see “Collaboration in motion – CIMS”) is the Community Information Management System (CIMS) being set-up by the NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations. The CIMS project will provide a technology platform that allows for communication and information sharing for voluntary and community sector groups. $128,000 was granted to the project.

It is obvious that other people around the country see the need for community and voluntary organisations to have better access to ICT support and advice. $50,000 has been granted to Rotorua ICT to implement an e-rider to mentor and support local community organisations so they can develop confidence and capability with ICT. The Bishop’s Action Foundation in New Plymouth have received $82,000 to employ a community ICT advisor to assist and train organisations on a one-to-one basis to develop high quality ICT solutions through needs assessment, training, and resource options. Down in Christchurch the Canterbury Development Corporation is creating the Community Chest (TC2), an online interactive training tool targeted to NFPs professional development programmes, including fundraising, financial management and governance.

There is a lot of hard work to be done to get projects up and running, and to keep them going. Getting some money in the bank is just the very beginning.

Full list of successful applicants (90KB PDF).