Microsoft Malaysia has recently announced a capacity-building partnership with the Perak state government for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in all its 15 districts. The partnership, called the “MMSA Capacity Building-Microsoft NGO Connection Day”, seeks to empower NGOs through skills training workshops covering a variety of topics and areas relevant to their current needs, to become more effective partners with the state government for its Amanjaya Perak State Development Plan (Pelan Pembangunan Perak Amanjaya).
The partnership falls under the auspices of the Darul Ridzuan Institute (Institut Darul Ridzuan, or “IDR”), the state government think-tank, through its Amanjaya Civil Society Secretariat (Majlis Masyarakat Sivil Amanjaya, or “MMSA”) Capacity Building Program. It is designed as a series of training workshops to help NGOs become adept at technologies such as the Microsoft Office productivity suite, to improve their financial governance and strategic planning capabilities. The workshops will also train NGOs in leveraging social media for their advocacy causes.
Microsoft’s partnership with the State Government was a result of the IDR wanting to increase cooperation, consultation and engagement with NGOs in developing blueprints, research and strategies for the state’s development plan. The IDR sought to encourage public debate, promote democracy, accountability and integrity in the state’s public institutions and viewed NGOs as key partners in delivering the seven (7) key result areas (KRAs) of the Perak Amanjaya Development Plan.
The 7 KRAs of the Perak Amanjaya Development Plan covers, 1) equitable distribution and balanced development; 2) a skilled, knowledgeable and ethical society; 3) the State and government spurring growth; 4) established infrastructure networks and public facilities; 5) participative youth and a harmonious community; 6 ) a sustainable private sector; and 7) eco-friendly practices and sustainability. These 7 KRAs ultimately lead to providing what the state government called its “3Qs” for the people of Perak – Quality Living, Quality Opportunity, and Quality Income.
“Sustainable development of Perak is best achieved through the constructive cooperation between the state administration and civil society, based on the principles of engagement, participation and inclusiveness. We recognize the vital role played by civil society in helping the State to realize the Amanjaya Perak State Development Plan. We are glad to see the participatory spirit shown by the representatives of civil society in many of the government efforts to transform Perak into a progressive and successful state. For this reason, we are pleased that industry leaders like Microsoft are helping civil society NGOs to become more effective through technology and innovations,” said Datuk Seri Diraja Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir, Chief Minister of Perak. The Silver State has nearly 6,000 registered civil society organizations, the majority of whom are NGOs consisting of various institutions, foundations and associations.
Speaking on the partnership, Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, said, “We are committed to help transform Malaysia together with key stakeholders like the Perak state government. Whether it is improving education, transforming business, or improving the overall quality of life for citizens, Microsoft Malaysia counts it an honor to be a trusted advisor in helping all stakeholders, such as civil society’s NGOs, leverage the power of technology for the ultimate good of all.”
“We have already conducted several of these workshops to overwhelmingly positive response – and we are already receiving interest from others such as the Melaka state government. With that, Microsoft Malaysia will be adapting this best practice with other state governments and ultimately empower NGOs with the technology and skills to address important socioeconomic, developmental challenges for nation’s greater good,” said Carlos.