Open Cambodia 2014
24-27 February 2014 - New Hill Hotel (Sihanoukville)
Context: A large part of the work done by civil society organizations (CSOs) in fields such
human rights, trafficking and health involves collecting, managing and distributing information
about events and situation taking place. The use of Information Technology is helping these
organizations improve their efficiency in all the steps of the advocacy and operational
processes: information can be collected almost in real time with improved quality; better
systems are available to store, classify and report the information gathered, and; it is easier to
reach out to the target audience for this information by using new information visualization
Open Cambodia 2014 is a four-day intensive training camp that aims at giving Cambodian
CSO staff a clear understanding of the available ICT-based tools and techniques that can be
used to increase their efficiency on the collection, management and distribution of information,
as well as to increase the security of their information and communications, balancing security
with operability and efficiency. The event does not only provide training; it also showcases
examples of applications of ICT to CSO advocacy work in other countries and promotes
brainstorming and discussion to identify possible uses of these technologies in Cambodia.
Open Cambodia 2014 follows an organizational model in which not all participants learn the
same materials. An agenda is created dynamically, based on the experience of the facilitators
and the requests and needs of the participants (expressed before and during the event). At
most times during Open Cambodia, several separate sessions will be taking place, managed by
a diversity of facilitators that are experts on the topics that they share. Each participant will be
able to choose the sessions they are most interested on. The facilitators will encourage
brainstorming on possible uses of the technologies discussed during the event, helping CSOs
identify uses that they can give to them to magnify their organization's impact.
Open Cambodia 2014 also attempts to reinforce the network of CSOs in these fields, and in
particular of technology-savvy advocates, increasing cooperation and technology transfer
among them at later stages. To reinforce the contact among the participants, the event takes
place outside of Phnom Penh, with all participants staying together in one location.
Open Cambodia 2014 is an invitation-only event, as it attempts to increase the connections
and knowledge of a specific collective. It nevertheless accepts applications from human rights
or trafficking CSOs that have not been directly invited to the event.
Open Cambodia 2014 will include around 100 participants, at least 20 of which will be able
to facilitate some of the sessions. The rest of participants will be staff of civil society
organizations working on human rights, trafficking or other sensible issues for which ICT-based
advocacy can give an incremental value. CSOs working on health issues that involve advocacy
campaigns are also being invited. Participants are expected to have a clear understanding of
the information gathering and communication strategies in their programs; they will typically
be project or program managers. Their value is in understanding how their organizations
collect data and reach out to beneficiaries or target population, not how their computer
systems work. They are not required to have a deep understanding of technology, but must be
users of computers and the Internet, be open to learn how society communicates through
Internet and computer tools, and what new ways of managing information exist.
The event is being coordinated by the Open Institute's SPICE program, in collaboration with
the Development Innovation program. It is structured and managed by Aspiration, an
US-based non-profit specialized on helping CSOs connect with software solutions that help
them better carry out their work.
Open Cambodia 2014
The program for Open Cambodia 2014 will be developed in three stages: (1) the first
program is being developed by the organizers; (2) after selecting the participants, these will
be consulted on the issues that they are more interested on (regarding e-advocacy and basic
security), using on their response to prepare a program that is better adapted to their needs;
and; (3) the program will take its final shape during the first morning of the event, as an
agreement by all participants.
The program will not be the same for all. Quite often training will break into separate sessions,
allowing participants to learn about the topics that are most valuable for them or their
Open Cambodia 2014 will cover two main topics: e-advocacy and basic data and
information security (for managers and users).
The most important part of the program will focus on e-advocacy, helping CSOs analyze the
needs of their own programs to gather, manage and disseminate information. Based on these
needs, they will be able to identify the best electronic tools and develop their own strategies
for electronic communication.
The program will review the main elements of developing effective advocacy strategies, and
will show how electronic and online communication tools can be used to acquire more and
better data, facilitate its management, and present it to the target audience in forms that they
can easily understand it. Participants will learn how electronic tools – to be effective - cannot
be used in isolation, they must be part of an overall program and strategy that takes into
account the needs of the beneficiaries of the programs. The strategy must also define the
players and how they will be engaged, identify the required information, and understand how
to reach out to those who must receive the information and in which format it must be offered
to them. For this purpose, the program will review how an advocacy campaign is planned,
The campaign’s aims, what it attempts to change and how change will be measured.
The strategy that will be used in the campaign (interruption, education, coercion).
How the audience will be engaged, what values the campaign will appeal to? Will it
appealing to their reasoning, to their moral or to their emotions? What information will
engage them if they visualize it and understand it correctly?
How will the information be collected and what graphic presentation or representation
will be easily understood, producing the engagement of the target?
How the four elements of the campaign will interact: information, design, network and
After reviewing the elements of advocacy, the program will review how information technology
- and particularly online information and communication tools – can be integrated and help
produce the expected outcome of advocacy campaigns. The sessions will cover:
Information gathering tools, including mobile applications and crowdsourcing platforms.
Effective data visualization (graphs, maps, video, etc.).
communities around specific issues.
Optimal use of crowdsourcing platforms for communication (Ushahidi, Saksey).
Use of Interactive Voice Response for gathering and distributing information.
Development of online strategies for campaigns and organizations.
On the topic of data security, the camp will include sessions showing how cloud computing can
be used to store information safely, ensuring that all the administrative and program data
gathered and stored by an organization can be kept safe from lose or unauthorized access.
Topics are addressed to non-IT managers and program staff who are in the habit of using
computers for their work. The goal is to be able to understand and manage what their own
technical team should do to protect their organization them from different types of threats:
How cloud computing helps store data in a way that it will never be lost and can be
recovered in case of disaster. Advantages and disadvantages. Free versus corporate
Types of threats that your IT staff should protect your organization from, including
unauthorized access, viruses.
Protecting computers that have access to your data from being physically used by
Developing an IT policy for your CSO that ensures data security.
Other security sessions will cover topics related to protection from others listening-to or
reading your private electronic communications:
Is it possible to ensure privacy on voice and SMS communications when using the
mobile network? How can others intercept your communications?
How can privacy be ensured when navigating in the Internet?
How can privacy be ensured when communicating through e-mail (webmail and clientbased mail)?
Is it safe use of voice and chat application in the Internet?
Development of a secure communication policy for CSOs.
By the end of the camp participants will be expected to have acquired or improved a
framework for advocacy campaigns that can be used in their organizations, understanding the
key elements that should be taken into account. They will also understand how different
information and communication tools can be integrated into campaigns, helping to reach to
their target with the right information in formats that can appeal to them. Finally, they will
understand who to increase the security of their organization regarding storage and
communication of information.
Contact: Heng Chantheng – email@example.com - 012 435 286