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One certainly does not need a tech guru to understand the bounties and boons of IT. Voluntarily or involuntarily, all our lives have been affected by this phenomenon. However, if anyone still remains unconvinced, all he needs to do is, key in the search words for it on the internet and in seconds, thousands of urls flood him with information. (And this, to start with, is one of the wonders of the IT phenomenon.)

The development sector too, is among all the sectors that the IT has touched and benefitted. It has given NGOs better effectiveness in terms of connecting with people, widening its reach, sharing information, monitoring, and more. And being one of the youngest yet successful development organizations, Smile Foundation has certainly been able to tap the potential IT holds for this industry.

To begin with, Smile Foundation has connected all its offices with a video conferencing facility. This has made communication between all the offices and people of the Foundation much simpler and faster. People connect with each other, conduct meetings, have conferences, and all this without travelling anywhere at all.

Besides this, Smile Foundation also makes optimum use of its website for keeping the stakeholders updated about all its activities, initiatives and developments. The Foundation’s website has also been rated as one of the 10 best websites in the country, for the way all information and developments are updated and represented. In addition to this, Smile Foundation is also very actively reaching out to people through the social networking medium. Unlike other development organizations, Smile uses social networking only to carry its message to people and not to raise funds. Smile has always believed that desired change and development in the country will come only when the privileged mass come forward and do their bit; and to get them to do their bit, it is important to make them aware of how they can participate. Thus given the wide and effective reach of social networking, the Foundation has employed it as a very important medium of spreading awareness regarding important social issues.

Adding to the list of implementing things innovatively with the help of IT Smile is now all set to connect all its partners with a Video Communication medium. This medium is being facilitated by VMukti – an online video streaming solutions provider. It is an internet based cloud solution that provides video communication under a low internet bandwidth that provides fast, easy and secure video streaming and connects 50 – 50,000 people at a time.

With this service Smile will be connecting with all its implementation partners through a Server. This Server will in turn help the flow of audio and video data between Smile and its partners which will be put to use mainly to conduct Virtual Classrooms and create an Internet Channel.

With the Virtual Classrooms facility, students at all the project centres of Smile across India will get trainings and workshops from highly skilled professionals in lesser time sitting at their own centres. Any number of students can participate in this Virtual Classroom and will be able to see and hear the same thing at the same time. The students will also be able to ask questions with this facility and clarify problems, and all this will be visible to all the participants.
The Internet Channel usability of this tool will enable webcast of live events flawlessly ensuring the best audio and video quality. This would thus help Smile in successfully broadcasting any event that it conducts anywhere to varied groups of audiences thousands of miles apart. This is a just-one-click process, does not require any installation or downloads and can be accessed with an existing internet bandwidth of only 100 Kbps.

Smile Foundation has always believed that in the hands of development organizations, information technology can improve productivity, increase overall effectiveness through better collaboration and extend services to new communities in need. Moreover, it is a powerful force that opens exciting opportunities for non-profit organizations to better achieve their missions and accelerate their impact. Smile has continuously employed innovative technology and innovative use of technology and will continue to explore how IT can create and optimize opportunities in newer, more effective and potentially scalable ways.