NetHope was founded in 2001 on the promise that the then still new digital interactive technologies that were sweeping the world would help international organizations accelerate the delivery of their missions, to serve more people in more places around the world. As NetHope inaugurates its 2030 strategy, that promise endures today.
We remain optimists about technology in that it continues to have transformative potential, to bring people together in common cause globally and to help us understand the world with new and powerful insights. We are also realists about its uses and limitations. In the last two decades we have seen the ways in which digital technologies can be used as weapons, or in ways that have harmful unintended consequences.
NetHope convenes the world’s leading international NGOs and technology companies, and some of the world’s most sophisticated users of digital for human, social, and environmental good. All in our community are likewise optimists, but acutely aware of the dangers of unethical, unregulated and unexamined deployment of digital technologies without a human in the decision loop. Working in collaboration with our Members, partners and supporters, we’ve developed a strategic framework for the remainder of this decade, to shape NetHope’s work, and to help us and all with whom we work be ready to operate effectively and responsibly in this environment, on behalf of all the people and places they serve.
The New Digital Divides in our strategic plan—skills and leadership, inclusion, protection, innovation, and resilience—come from the needs that the nonprofit sector itself has identified as critical in the transformative use of digital and data. These areas not only apply to NetHope Member nonprofits, they are also the digital needs of the communities that NetHope Members serve, and the implementing partner networks represented in NetHope Regional Chapters, who are, in fact “the last mile” of delivery to vulnerable communities.
We’ll be developing programs, services, and advocacy around technology in support of these themes, because they will be central to our Members engaging the more than 1.6 billion in over 190 countries around the world who are currently in the service footprint of the NetHope global community. Our programs and services are for Members, with Members, by Members, for people and local communities, and involve the reach, scale, and support of our corporate tech partner community, some of whom have been with us since the very beginning more than two decades ago.
We do not live in easy times, and all signs are that things may get worse before they get better. Technology is not a panacea, nor is it a silver bullet, but it is increasingly embedded in every facet of humanitarian, development, and conservation work around the world.
For this next generation, NetHope will continue to help the sector build community perspective on what it can do together today, and to help it likewise understand what is coming tomorrow. Doing so, we can better navigate turbulence, emergencies, and anything else that may come our way, together.
“The NetHope Effect,” as people close to our organization have called it, that sense that together we are greater than the sum of our parts, and that together we can accomplish things that no one of us can alone, will continue to be at the center of the NetHope community as we look to the decade ahead. Please join us and thank you for your support.