Yesterday afternoon I met with Bea Bezmalinovic, NetAid Online Volunteer Programme Manager.
For the last 18 months or so, we have had several discussions with NetAid reps on how to bring their initiatives closer to developing countries using some of the successful SDNP networks. The latest proposal is to have a two country pilot where we can test the idea of having international volunteers support ongoing local efforts. The critical element here is to get the supply of volunteers (which NetAid says is large) with specific local demands that could be catered through this mechanism. An initial pitch will be made to SDNPs in Honduras and Pakistan follow by a quick needs assessment for each of them to identify 2-3 activities that could be supported by the volunteer network. NetAid has offered to lead this process. The issue of language has also been raised by us.
NetAid is now in a transitional phase as they have been requetsed by their board of directors to become a financial autonomos entity by the ned of next year. By now, it is clear that the web based “donation model” does not work out as expected and certainly the dot “bomb” process did not help. They are currently working on a new strategy for the short and long run.