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Microsoft teams-up with Ministry in Christchurch effort

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Microsoft New Zealand have announced a joint project in Christchurch to strengthen the technology capability of 50 not-for-profit organisations affected by the Canterbury earthquakes. Two years after the quake, the initiative includes assessing the technology capacity of the NGOs, and providing practical plans for future improvements. The assessments and plans will be developed by Infoxchange, a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in helping NGOs make better use of technology. IT needs were identified by community groups last year as a high priority in the aftermath of the earthquakes – second only to office premises, says Murray Edridge, deputy chief executive of the MSD's Family and Community Services division. Microsoft's participation is part of its global philanthropic outreach programme. If you work with NGOs, let them know they can apply online at  www.infoxchange.org.nz/apply-now. Applications are considered by an advisory group consisting of individuals from the MSD, Microsoft, Infoxchange, Parry Field Charitable Foundation and the University of Canterbury.