Today, every organisation needs technology to manage operations and deliver services. However, due to resource constraints and systemic inequities, many social-sector organisations have not yet fully recognised (or cannot afford to embrace) the benefits of technology or the importance of digital transformation.
That’s why VMware created Good Gigs Projects — an OCTO program that encourages co-innovation amongst VMware people and with the nonprofits of their choice. The program strengthens nonprofit tech capacity through what VMware calls “Tech Pro Bono Service Learning” (or just “Tech Pro Bono”). With this support, the Malala Fund team created more efficiencies around day-to-day operations, and they’re able to spend more time working toward their mission – a world where all girls can access 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
Nearly 130 million girls were out of school before the pandemic — and 20 million more may be out of school by the time this crisis is truly over. In addition to the pandemic, girls’ access to education continues to be disproportionately impacted by issues like conflict, racial discrimination or devastation from climate change and natural disasters. It doesn’t take much to expose the fragility of our support systems and the depths of global inequality. But Malala Fund prefers to focus on the strength of girls around the world and their determination to learn, whatever obstacles life throws their way.
The international nonprofit team invests in local education activists and advocates who are working to help girls across nine countries go to school. They also amplify the voices of young women fighting for chance and advocate for the policies and resources needed to help all girls learn. A quality education provides girls with the skills they need to thrive, more job opportunities and greater independence. Meanwhile, communities and workplaces benefit from greater diversity and fresh perspectives.
“We believe all girls are entitled to 12 years of free, safe, high-quality education,” explained Amanda Cosby, chief operating officer at Malala Fund. “Being able to react quickly is fundamental to dealing with the challenges these girls are facing, and technology is a driving force that makes that happen.”
Every Second Counts
Malala Fund met the Good Gigs team and VMware principal partner, Insight, in 2018. They formed an alliance that demonstrates just how much impact the right technology and a little expert guidance can have.
In a sector where time is the most valuable resource, the team worked together to give every employee more time from the moment they start work. They began by helping Malala Fund better control corporate-owned-personally-enabled (COPE) devices.
“Onboarding, offboarding and device management were slow and manual. Now we can empower staff to hit the ground running with a personalised digital workspace, single sign-on and higher levels of security from day one,” added Cosby.
The fight for equality is a battle against age-old prejudices that have no place in the modern world. But not everyone is happy about it. Keeping data secure doesn’t just protect sensitive personal details; it’s vital to protect the safety of Malala Fund staff, partners and recipients and to make sure nothing derails its mission.
As for giving back more time, it’s not just Cosby banking more minutes for the operations team. Staff can pick from a catalog of 20 relevant apps without having to remember 20 unique logins every day — a headache we can all relate to.
The Right Tools at the Right Time
With global operations, field staff in remote areas, and a turbulent global stage, agility is also a priority for Malala Fund.
“VMware Workspace ONEgives us a central console to manage devices anywhere in the world,” explained Cosby. “If a laptop is stolen, I can wipe it in seconds. And when the pandemic hit, we could make emergency funds available to scale up digital programs while classrooms were closed.”
This level of visibility wouldn’t be possible without centralised data and strong collaboration between staff and partners who run the programs. Luckily, the team already had the necessary tools to take meetings online when flights were grounded and could continue working with no downtime.
“We ask our team to be contactable at all times. Other than that, where, when and how they work is up to them. With hassle-free technology, they’re free to focus completely on what matters most: getting more girls back in the classroom,” concluded Cosby.