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Toolkits for capacity-building - NGO-in-a-box Toolkit
Philipp Schmidt, Stephanie Hankey, Dirk Slater and Michal Mach
February, 2006

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NGO-in-a-box is like the swiss army knife of free/ Open Source Software (FOSS)for non-profits in developing countries:all the applications you need in one small (and attractive) box, and the documentation that explains how your organisation can use them. It's a simple but effective concept that cuts down software selection, testing and download barriers and helps non-profits in developing countries get access to the software they need.

NGO-in-a-box is a box of CDs containing peerreviewed and selected FOSS tools and documentation. Different editions of NGO-in-a-box are designed around specific themes and purposes. The first two editions deal with securing data and communication, and providing a basic set of office software for non-profits respectively. For each edition, a group of expert practitioners in the field carefully selects the suitable applications and describes how they can be used. All editions are designed for developing countries and lowresourced groups.

The Boxes are mainly targeted at technical service providers (or internal technical staff) who work with local NGOs to determine and address their software needs. Some NGO-in-a-box editions are suitable for end-users as well.

The NGO-in-a-box project increases the accessibility of appropriate and useful FOSS applications to non-profits in developing and transition countries by reducing the selection and testing process, cutting download barriers and providing tailored solutions. NGO-in-a-box is not only about software, but also provides relevant implementationscenarios and the documentation that is needed.

The NGO-in-a-box concept was created by Amsterdam-based Tactical Technology Collective. The online "home" of NGO-in-a-box is http://ngoinabox.org.

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