From 20-22 March 2023, a total of 10 Samdhana staff joined an internal staff skills workshop on communications technology in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The hands-on training session aimed to build their knowledge and develop their skills in data management, data presentation and data sharing, while also helping them to maintain better data security standards.
The workshop was facilitated by Idaman Andarmosoko, an expert in knowledge management, who explained the importance of every step in the data collection and development process. For an institution like Samdhana, data security is essential. As we deal with detailed personal information and handle financial records for various groups, it is vital that we can ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information. Since some of the community partners we work with are involved in conflict-related issues, this also adds to the sensitivity of data.
As the digital landscape is always evolving and developing, so too do the threats posed to charitable or civil society organisations and funding programmes. This makes security an essential part of our work. All Samdhana staff need to remain vigilant, skilled and updated in line with the latest knowledge. This is just as important in digital space as it is in the field.
With that in mind, the workshop set out to provide participants with the skills they need to ensure the very highest standards of data security are in place. In practice, this involves developing and maintaining the information we collect in a safe and appropriate manner. The training revealed the true importance of data to participants, changing their perspectives and boosting their knowledge.
“Data provide us with useful information to inform decision-making processes,” said Neni Rochaeni, Project Coordinator for Samdhana’s Lifescape Programme, who found the training helpful in understanding the distinction between data and information, and handling the data gathered by the staff. “We gained a valuable insight into how data should be treated, and now our understanding of these issues is much more advanced,” she added.
The staff also learned how to display data in an understandable and interesting way, thanks to the experience and expertise of Rony Agung – an IT specialist and expert in artificial intelligence (AI). During the session on digital media security, he discussed the risks posed to an organisation's assets by developments in the digital era.
Participants learned that data management is not just about mitigating risks and defending against theft or infiltration; the careful and analytical utilisation of data can also lead to a range of positive outcomes. Sweet Edrote, who is a MEAL Officer, found the workshop to be an eye-opening experience for this reason, noting that a single data point can form the basis for stories with the power to alter people’s perceptions and ultimately improve lives.
Managing social media was another key area of focus during the workshop. Andreas Benny Rahadi of hipwee.com provided insights into reaching target audiences; how to communicate effectively with them and how to get the word out about various initiatives. Discussions with the Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA) team also helped Samdhana staff to focus on the learning process for data management.
Overall, the communication workshop held in March proved to be a valuable experience for Samdhana staff. It highlighted the importance of confidentiality with work files, while also helping develop new practices and policies for the management of archives.
Crucially, the workshop demonstrated the benefits of transforming data into information through analysis, then took this a step further by converting information into content that can be the catalyst for positive and lasting change.
From social media to security and from collection through to management and messaging, the proper use of data can make an enormous difference to Samdhana activities. Ultimately, it can help us deliver bigger and better impacts to our stakeholders.