SIMLab closed on the 31st December 2017.
This is the second of two posts about the causes of SIMLab’s closure (part I is here). This post focuses on the more operational issues, and offers 5 unsolicited tips for non-profit CEOs everywhere - particularly introverted, detail-oriented ones.
In the first of two posts, Laura shares some of the reasons for SIMLab's closure in 2018.
IRIN reported this week that a CRS installation of Red Rose, an online aid distribution management platform, had significant security vulnerabilities thanks to a default password that hadn't been changed. The resulting flurry of statements from the platform provider's lawyer, other users of the platform, and the hacker should tell you all you need to know about the perils of poor investment in responsible data and digital literacy.
We don't have a culture of evidence-informed action in tech for social change. Instead of being seduced by the lure of the new, we have to start building a body of evidence; professionalizing our action; and focussing on incremental improvement in practice over mindless innovation. Our CEO Laura Walker McDonald charts a way forward.
SIMLab's recent consultation on responsible data in practice demonstrated a deep disconnect between two opposing visions of data in social change work: one, rights-based and respectful of the ownership of the people we serve of their own data; and the other, data-centric and focussed on transactional exchanges of development gains in return for data access and monetization.
Now that SIMLab is closing, I’ve started trying to find a new home. I always have a host of questions when walking into an interview, but there’s always one I save for last. To me, it’s the most important thing to ask.So...tell me about the work culture.
We're pleased to share our evaluation of the Sigmah platform: open-source project management software for humanitarians built by Groupe URD. This evaluation was the first to pilot the Evaluation Criteria we developed for our Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, and the first that we know of to evaluate a software-focussed aid or development project as if it were any other social change project.
I am very sad to announce that SIMLab is closing.
At SIMLab we place a lot of value on the time before a project begins—the design phase, which comes after a context assessment but before project implementation. Project design is the foundation of a project so we devote quite a lot of time and resources to ensure the project is set-up for success. We also ensure each of our projects is thoroughly documented and shared so that others can learn from our findings, failures and fun! Here are some insights about how organizations use, modify and abandon tools illustrated in part through our ICT4COP pilot project in Kenya.