A new Indigenous Connectivity Institute is launching — here’s how it will drive funding towards equitable internet access

Just under a quarter of Indigenous communities have access to high-speed internet. This year’s Indigenous Connectivity Summit emphasized the urgent need for high-speed internet in Indigenous communities, as well as more community involvement in how internet infrastructure is funded and developed.

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Experts now say digital access can determine a person’s health — here’s why that matters to social purpose organizations

From health services to social assistance, government and community organizations are investing in online service provision. For the 19 per cent of Canadians that identified as non-users or basic users of the internet even post-Covid, this cuts them off from critical services, leaving them even more exposed to health and wellbeing risks.

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Community services can now replace medical prescriptions — but this will require organizations to share data.

Linking a person’s health data with information about their housing circumstances, employment status or fitness levels can help health providers better understand the underlying challenges that impact their health and wellbeing. But it requires community organizations to gather and share data – which many aren’t yet set up to do.

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“Digital is here – embrace it, or survive it”: Four key takeaways from the 2022 Dismantling Digital Barriers Summit

There is still a significant proportion of the Canadian population that expresses “digital hesitancy”, which the Canadian social impact sector needs to keep in mind when developing programs. But data and digital tools are increasingly becoming important mechanisms for organizations to increase the reach of their services, and be transparent about where funding is needed most.

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“Food is not a patient thing, it’s urgent”: how data collection and sharing can help people in Calgary access emergency food

As the affordability crisis deepens in Calgary, more people are turning to emergency food providers. Collating real-time data on the inventory that food providers hold can help the sector coordinate to reach those in need. However, a system of this sort requires both employees and volunteers to move past “mental barriers” and engage with data processes.

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Are homelessness prevention schemes actually working? To find out, we need more person-specific data, experts say

Data can give shelters greater transparency on who is using their services, but there is still a severe lack of information about some of the reasons that people become homeless in the first instance. That means that at present, data is mainly helping the sector ‘react’ to those experiencing homelessness, rather than actively moving to prevent it.

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How are social purpose organizations preparing for a post-Twitter world?

For many social purpose organizations, Twitter has long been a tool to advocate for, and organize movements around, particular issues. Under Elon Musk’s ownership, the sector’s ability to communicate with citizens, journalists and policymakers is now at risk.

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“Maps can be seen as truth”: Why Indigenous communities are using digital mapping to defend their land

GIS mapping superimposes layers of data about a location over a digital map to reveal trends and gaps in an area. For social purpose organizations working at local or regional levels, this information can be critical in driving awareness and funding towards specific communities’ challenges.

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Explainer: How are humanitarian aid organizations using blockchain and Web3?

Blockchain promises utopian ideals of decentralization and transparency, which are particularly appealing to the aid sector. However, as aid organizations and technology vendors build more public-private partnerships, it’s vital for the former to develop technical capacity and risk awareness among staff.

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