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Jan
2
 

Organizational Overview

The Legal Services National Technology Project (NTAP) is housed at the Northwest Justice Project in Seattle and serves a nationwide audience of legal aid organizations. NTAP helps nonprofit legal aid programs improve client services through the effective and innovative use of technology. To do this, we provide technology trainings, maintain information, create online tools, and host community forums such as the LStech email list and a YouTube channel.

Request Overview

NTAP is responsible for providing the community with at least 10 webinars in 2015. NTAP is requesting proposals from interested vendors to host one or more structured online interactive web based trainings or webinars. These Webinars should cover topics, both cutting edge and in use currently, that will enhance the legal services community’s use of technology. The webinars should be 60 to 90 minutes in length with at least 15% of the time left for open questions and answers from the attendees.

Webinars can be presented using NTAP’s Join.me account or other on-line conferencing software. These webinars are free to the attendees.

NTAP is open to proposals that incorporate new ideas and technologies. Recordings of past webinar series can be found at our YouTube Channel: youtube.com/NTAPvideos Do not let the past limit the proposals though. 

Target Audience

Legal Aid professionals including:  lawyers, paralegals, executive directors, support staff and technology staff

Required Deliverable

1) Screencast: The online training must be recorded by the vendor for long term archival and use by the community. It must be done in a format that is easily transferable to YouTube or other publicly available video sharing sites.

2) Materials: Vendor is responsible for collecting course materials and slides from all speakers and providing them to NTAP to be posted online 1 week before the Webinar.

3) Survey: After each training, vendor will work with NTAP on a short survey to judge the communities reaction to the webinar and gather feedback on how to improve future trainings. (NTPA will conduct the survey using survey Monkey)

4) Licensing: All training content must be eligible for an open license, like a Creative Commons By Licenses, that allows the community to reuse and build upon the resources created from this project

5) Final Reporting: Each vendor must submit a short report, less than 5 pages, on how the trainings performed. NTAP will conduct surveys after each training and share the results with vendors.

Proposal that do not include all required deliverables will be considered on a case by case basis. NTAP is open to new ideas.

Topics:

Topics may include:

  • Online Intake
  • Expert Systems
  • Disaster preparedness and Backups
  • Free Tech/legal Resources
  • Tech Tips
  • Github & online sharing
  • Video production & Sharelaw Video
  • Business Analytics for Legal Services
  • Usability and Accessibility
  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP) & Technology
  • Translation Tools
  • Case Management Systems
  • Mobile Apps for Legal Services
  • Data Visualization
  • Basic Tech trainings in core technologies (office, google, ect)
  • RSS for advocates
  • Business Process analysis
  • Social Media use in Legal Services
  • Privacy & Security

 

We are looking for new applicable topics that will aid legal services offices, improve their technology infrastructure, as well as client services. Feel free to propose topics beyond this list.

Required Proposal Format

The proposal must contain a (1) a cost section (2) a technical section and (3) an experience section (4) references 

Cost Section

Vendor must provide a budget with cost possession. NTAP has a limited budget and must host at least 10 trainings this year.

Please specify the number of trainings you are interesting in developing and presenting. All webinars must be presented during 2015.

Request for References

Vendor must include contact information for at least two references for similar work

Submission Deadline

January 20th, 2015

Submit Proposal To:

Via Email to BrianR@NWJustice.org

Brian Rowe

National Technology Assistance Project Coordinator

LSNTAP.org

For Additional Information or Clarification, Contact:

Brian Rowe

BrianR@NWJustice.org

National Technology Assistance Project Coordinator

LSNTAP.org

(206) 395-6094

Basis for Award of Contract

Cost, feature offered, and past experience.

Award Date

January 26th, 2015

Dec
1
 

For years, public broadcasting stations have used software to track and manage constituents. Like most other nonprofits, stations have need to be able to track all sorts of data points, including members, donors, and contributions; direct mail efforts and pledge drives; e-newsletters; the underwriting sales process; traffic management; finances; facility management; and volunteers. In the past, all this information would live in different systems. But now, a Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) strategy supported by systems that can integrate this data can help the station recognize its most engaged supporters, target them in personalized ways, and find opportunities for growth it didn’t even know were there.

 
Still, most stations face the problem of siloed data systems. The largest stations have begun to transition to a more integrated approach, but a CRM strategy need not be prohibitively expensive—it’s within reach even for small and medium-sized stations. That's where we come in. This free report, funded by Greater Public (formerly DEI) and Integrated Media Association (iMA), and created by Idealware, provides an apples-to-apples comparison of nine CRM-styled systems that can meet the membership and fundraising needs of public media stations.
 
Idealware researched and wrote this report over the summer of 2013 for distribution to members of the Integrated Media Association. The funders, Greater Public (formerly DEI) and Integrated Media Assocation generously allowed us to share the report with our own audience after an agreed-upon period of time. Since 14 months have passed since the initial publication of this report, neither Idealware nor the funders can guarantee that the information it contains is up to date. However, we’re confident that it still provides tremendous value to the sector.

Register on Idealware's website to download this resource for FREE!

Nov
26
 

LSC has promoted the use of technology to expand its grantees’ provision of legal services to the low-income population and to develop a library of accessible self-help materials for unrepresented persons. The Technology Summit Report outlines a vision for how technology can serve as a vehicle for access to justice across the United States. LSC has also updated the document Technologies That Should Be in Place in a Legal Aid Office Today(2014 Tech Baselines) that was first issued in 2008.

To build on and enhance this work,  LSC has established a new Technology Fellowship Program. The Fellowship program allows employees of LSC grantees to apply for a fellowship to implement one of the five strategies from the LSC Technology Summit or one of the capacities/functions from the 2014 Tech Baselines not currently in place at the grantee program.

The 5 target areas outlined from The Technology Summit Report are:

Statewide Legal Portals: A single, statewide mobile web access portal to which a user will be directed no matter where he/she comes into the system

Document Assembly: Users will answer questions regarding their legal matter and a forms system will use the information to generate the appropriate forms

Mobile Technologies: Access to justice services will be location-independent and accessible using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. (e.g. smartphone scanning for document submission)

Business Process Analysis: Involves mapping of how tasks are performed using standard conventions for depiction processes ensuring complete understanding of how to perform tasks at all levels.

Expert Systems and Intelligent Checklist: Clients enter information into an expert systems which generates legal information tailored for them or legal advocates. Intelligent checklists guide clients and legal advocates through processes.

 

 The LSC Technology Fellowship Program includes:

  •  A scholarship to attend the 2015 TIG Conference, as well as a special pre-conference session for fellows.
  •  A mentor from within the legal aid community to assist with the implementation of the project.
  •  At least three webinars over the next year sponsored by  the Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) to support the fellows in their project implementation.
  •  A final project presentation at either the 2015 NLADA Conference or the 2016 TIG Conference to showcase the projects.

Applicants must complete a short online form and propose a project that either implements a strategy from the LSC Tech Summit or helps their program implement a baseline or tech capacity not currently in place in the program.

 LSC will sponsor the scholarships and attendance at the 2015 TIG Conference and will provide travel expenses for the final project presentation.  All remaining expenses to support the project will be the responsibility of the grantee, including the time of the fellow for working on the project and project expenses.  The number of fellowships offered will be determined by LSC based on the funds available, but the fellowship class will likely be around 10 to 12. LSC will select all fellows.

 

To assist LSC with providing fellows appropriate support and resources, LSC will partner with the Technology Section of the NLADA on this initiative. This section has been a valuable partner for LSC with planning and conducting the Technology Summit and with the revisions to the Tech Baselines.

Please share this opportunity with your staff. The application deadline is Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. If you have questions regarding the fellowship, contact David Bonebrake at dbonebrake@lsc.gov or 202-295-1547.

Apply Now!

Nov
25
 

Cloud Computing is  an emerging computing technology that uses the internet and remote servers to maintain data and applications.  I'm assuming that most of you already cloud compute at some level professionally, personally, or both and reap some of the many benefits including:

   Image by elhombredenegro |CC BY 2.0               

hacker
  • Reduced spending on technology
  • Allowing employees to work remotely anywhere in the world with internet access
  • Improved accessibility
  • Project Management
  • Access files on any computer/tablet/mobile device
  • Many more!


With these benefits, however, come many concerns primarily related to keeping  information safe, accessible, and secure when it is stored in the cloud (on remote servers).  Safety and security concerns are definitely not unfounded. Massive data breaches related to large established companies are becoming  everyday news, and users should be cautious when using the cloud especially for sensitive information.   I highly  recommend checking out this interactive infographic about the World's Biggest Data Breaches. The visualization allows you to filter the data by year, how information was leaked, number of records stolen, data sensitivity, and more. It is also just really neat looking.   

 

 I don't want to make you paranoid about cloud computing or to think that putting your information on the internet is less secure than keeping it in house. If you are not  regularly checking your systems, conducting penetration and recovery tests, and training employees, you are likely to improve your security by moving to cloud based storage.  That being said, keeping your information safe in the cloud is a two-way street between vendors and end users like you. Here is what you can do to keep your information safe.

 

One of the  best ways to keep your information safe is to understand how data breeches happen and how to prevent them.

 

 According to the Infographic, the methods of leak include:

  • Accidentally Published
  • Hacked
  • Inside Job
  • Lost/Stolen Computer
  • Lost/stolen media
  • Poor security

 

You don't need to be a network administrator to take precautions. Here are 6 tips to help keep your data safe in the cloud!

 

TIP #1 Passwords & Two-Factor Authentication

 

Your passwords for accessing sensitive information need to be strong and secret. Don't give your passwords out.  This may be a no-brainer, but people are scammed into giving hackers their passwords everyday. Don’t give up your passwords.

 

Create strong passwords: Microsoft has a tool for testing the strength of your passwords. I used to struggle with creating and remembering strong passwords, but now I use mnemonic  tricks to help me create difficult passwords that are easy for me to remember.  Here is an example from makeuseof.com

Take a phrase: Little Boy Blue, Come Blow Your Horn. The Sheep's In The Meadow. The Cow's In The Corn.

 Replace: the "s" with a 5 and "L" with a 7

Create your password using the first letter of each word and your replacement numbers: 7bbcbyht5itmtcitc

 

Use 2-Factor Authentication:  by requiring more than on log-on factor, you increase the level of difficulty required to break into your account.  Google has a 2-step verification sign-in option which sends a code to your mobile device after you enter your password. The code is then used as the second form of authentication which means that a hacker would have to have your password and mobile device to break in.  There are several different methods used for 2-step authentication, and if you are dealing with sensitive information, 2-factor authentication is critical.

 

TIP #2 Choose The Right Vendor

 

When looking for a vendor there are several important factors you want to keep in mind to make sure security is a priority:

  • Encryption: find a vendor that encrypts your data at all times including when it is in transit.
  • Uptime: How much of the time will you be able to access your information. This information typically comes in 9's and doesn't include planned maintenance. 99.99 or 99.9% is what you should be looking for here.
  • HIPAA Compliance:  If your cloud provider is HIPPA Compliant, using the service is probably safer than keeping sensitive data on paper or local servers which can easily be stolen. Other regulatory compliance certificates to look for are SAS70 and SSAE16 which are processes that a vendor goes through to be certified having a high degree of security.
  • If you’re storing credit card numbers, you vendor needs to be compliant with PCI DSS

TIP #3 Educate and Train  Staff

Your staff might think that  because they work at a small non profit, they are not at risk for a data breech. This isn't true. While larger companies have a broader appeal to professional hackers, most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Educate your staff to make sure they are following all safety procedures especially when dealing with sensitive information. According to an article about the inevitability of data breaches,  "One open port or bone-headed password is enough to get 'owned'."  Everyone in the office must make  security a priority in order to keep your data and your client's information safe.  Employees should be trained regularly and updated about all new security risks and procedures.

 

TIP # 4 Track Inventory

 

Data breeches often occur when computers or other media are lost or stolen. Keep track of your organization's computers, USB's, hard drives, and other hardware that could, if stolen, result in a data breech. There was just a conversation on our LSTech Listserv about Hardware Inventory Management. Here are a few of the software programs that other legal services programs are using:

DELL Kace: Free trial available, Inventory management, software distribution and more.

System Center Essentials: Cheap licenses available on Tech Soup.

Spiceworks: Free application.  The IT manager who sent this one seemed really enthusiastic about this free program's capabilities.

 

TIP # 5 Network Security

 

Make sure that your network is protected with firewalls, intrusion prevention, intrusion detection,  anti-virus protection and malware-detection. Also, make sure these programs are up to date. Turn on automatic updates to install important updates on all computers in the network.

 

TIP # 6 Control Access to Information

 

This step is often overlooked, but critical to take into account. One of the best ways to prevent data breeches is simply controlling who has access to information. Temporary staff and Interns probably don't need to have access to client info. This also includes access to the servers which comes in when choosing vendors. Make sure your vendor controls who accesses you information.

 

Prioritize your data in terms of document type from most to least sensitive. Make sure you take extra precautions for highly sensitive information like medical history, documents about abuse of a minor, social security numbers, donor information etc. For sensitive information, a layered approach to security encompassing these 6 tips is the best way to keep your data safe. 

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