The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO Network) held a panel discussion on the Optimal Use of Information Management Systems within the framework of “Strengthening Democracy and Building NGOs Capacity” project implemented in partnership with Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).
Mr. Amjad Al-Shawa, director of PNGO Network in the Gaza Strip, moderated the discussion held on Tuesday, October, 7 in the Lighthouse hall where dozens of Palestinian NGOs employees attended. The discussion also included vital insights from Eng. Imad Kuhial, Mercy International director in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Shawa welcomed the NGOs representatives and noted the network’s keenness to raise and address issues affecting these organizations’ work purview. Moreover, Al-Shawa considered Information Management Systems as critical tools in dealing with information in organizations to help defeat the wrongful Israeli blockade and to communicate with the other countries and donors.
Al Shawa said that information Management Systems help in overcoming bureaucracy in the institutional work, developing internal work, using computers and mobile phones effectively, and not wasting time.
He pointed out that NGOs are considered to be the most capable entities to express people’s rights and needs and defend them, despite their suffering from the implications of the ongoing Israeli siege, political division and lack of funding.
For his part, Kuhial said that NGOs and other organizations face many problems and challenges. The most common of which lie in the way of dealing with information, the people authorized to access them, the available times of access and the sharing of the information.
Furthermore, Kuhial added that Information Management Systems offer several solutions to end the use of papers and books in organizations. One of them would be adopting the ‘Microsoft Office 365’ software, which is available for free for NGOs. It has a huge cloud storage capacity in addition to providing enough space needed for making internal interaction and teamwork smoother.
Kuhial continued that “MS Office 365” provides the opportunity to create e-groups by topic, and it can prepare files to store all information materials, activities and events, and financial accounts safely.
It also allows a group of employees or officials to change and edit documents or materials written at the same time, and to return to them easily. The software is compatible with smartphones and computers, and it allows more than one device to work at the same time with many useful options, including making chats, according to Kuhial.
Kuhial gave a detailed explanation of how to obtain the program, how it works, its uses, its characteristics, and features while showing practical examples through institutional work.
Kuhial concluded the discussion by stressing the dire need to train employees on such software to be qualified to deal with the latest technological products and to work effectively and appropriately.