Strengthening Partnerships – 07/05/2016

In the fifteen months of PBDD’s existence, we have seen a tremendous amount of activity and movement. This blog post highlights some recent as well as anticipated changes.

We started by sending queries to existing refurbishing agencies, and a few brave organizations read the description of what we were hoping to achieve and signed up with us. I will always be grateful for those initial partners who had faith in our organization and what we were trying to achieve. I also appreciate the growing set of colleagues working to achieve the broader goals of digital inclusion. As we grow in size and scope, we continue to strive to work efficiently with other organizations, avoiding duplication of efforts.

The creation of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance one year ago has helped draw together non-profit agencies, local governments, libraries and policymakers to update the FCC Lifeline service to include broadband and community-based digital inclusion programs. NDIA’s sponsorship of the Net Inclusion Summit in May in Kansas City presented a tremendous opportunity for practitioners, librarians, and policy-makers to gather together and exchange ideas. My list of follow-up action items from the conference continues to grow, as contacts made there blossom into substantive partnerships. The resources shared at the conference will be adding a wealth of information to our web pages.

Other recently launched initiatives, such as National Cristina Foundation’s project to create AFTRR, an alliance of non-profit refurbishers, provide a shifting landscape with potential for increased synergy going forward.

And an exciting new relationship for us, the one which prompted this blog entry, is that we will be working with Connected Nation’s Connected Program. Connected Nation has been promoting technology availability and usage since 2001. We have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them to become a Program Partner, where we will help Connected participant communities implement projects to improve digital inclusion. The Connected program works with a broad base of stakeholders within the target community, surveying the needs of the community and developing a Technology Action Plan. Connected and their Program Partners then provide support and mentoring for the community to implement the plan, bringing technology and digital literacy to underserved members of the community.

Though we had worked with Connected Nation through our involvement in their Drive Your Learning digital learning hub, we are delighted to be working with them as a partner in establishing programs in new communities. When we registered the organization name PBDD, I didn’t realize quite how important the partnership notion would be in forming links with other like-minded organizations.

We look forward to continuing our communal work effectively together while working to provide useful services for our partner agencies as well as the broader community. Thank you to all of our partners and those who support us. We look forward to increasing impact as we move forward.

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