Smartstainable

Empowering rural communities

SAN DIEGO, CA   |  www.smartstainable.org

Mission

Create community computer technology programs that provide opportunities to empower women, girls, and their rural and under-served communities.

Ruling year info

2017

President

Thomas R Snyder

Co-Founder, Smartstainable

Professor Susan M Kiene

Main address

475 REDWOOD ST Unit 605

SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-5513739

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Rural communities in many countries experience poverty, high female student drop-out, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, and inequality. Just imagine the lack of opportunity for women's empowerment. They want knowledge and to be part of the modern world. However, the barriers are many: electricity is scarce and often erratic; exposure to computers, other technology, and information are rare. These problems stem from a lack of opportunities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program Gombe2022 Teenage Rural Girls

Rural teenage girls in Uganda often do not get exposed to computers in primary school and rarely in secondary school. When they attend university, there are often barriers to success directly related to their lack of prior computer knowledge and usage. They are expected to create reports and assignments and email to their professors.
In addition, Covid has seerly impacted their education due to lockdowns over a 2 year period.

The Value
1. The skills these teenage rural women will receive help transform them with more confidence when they attend university and college.
2. The long term support network from Smartstainable mentors is available to connect with via email or video conference.
3. The ability to network with other participants in the Smartstainable program.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Adolescents

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Increase interest and support for women and girls to take active roles on committees that are responsible for community-owned technology programs that empower rural and under-served communities.
Improve access to technology for women and girls, especially in rural and under-served communities.
Increase the opportunities for women and girls to participate in technical training and mentorship roles, especially to further advance computer literacy in rural and under-served communities.
Make computer literacy accessible to women and girls in rural and under-served communities.
Improve rural women and girls discernment of information accuracy discovered through internet use and research.
Increase rural women's and girls' knowledge of digital safety when they participate in social media platforms.
Encourage educated girls from rural and underserved communities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

Create community-owned technology programs that provide opportunities to empower women, girls, and their rural and under-served communities. To achieve this, we develop a strong relationship with recognized community representatives to mobilize community leaders to sensitize their community on technology programs that meet the community needs. They then create a committee with at least 50% of women. Using a Smartstainable supplied template, the committee defines the problem, program goals, benefits, measurements, and budget. Smartstainable will support each approved program through the following:
Fundraise for this program;
Purchase the equipment at the best possible price;
Deliver equipment to the program site;
Provide necessary training and educational resources;
Provide the budgeted stipend to the women coordinators;
Recruit volunteers to mentor the coordinators and participants;
Provide feedback and recommended adjustments;
Govern the measurement techniques;
Communicate results to the committee and the public.

Smartstainable's co-founder was a medical superintendent and district health officer and has positive relationships with the Gombe community in Uganda, who currently implement our programs.
Smartstainable's co-founder is a community leader with the Gombe community.
Smartstainable's co-founders have expertise in both implementing community initiatives and delivering technology programs.
Current volunteers manage specific fundraisers through social media, specific marketing strategies recommended by volunteers finance each program.
Professors seek to raise awareness at the university and college level and help spread our message.
YouTube videos help educate our constituents.
Volunteer technical advisors develop cost-effective technology programs.

Our progress so far:
We completed an adult women's computer training program with 16 participants. Three women are now community technical evangelists. Three women started small businesses. One woman helped manage her supermarket; one woman went to nursing school with new computer knowledge. Unfortunately, approximately 50% of the women left the program because of pressure from their husbands. We expect much lower incidents now that we mobilize leaders to sensitize the community.
We completed an introduction to computer usage for hospital staff.
We also completed a pilot program that helped 12 rural teenage women learn computer usage before attending university, college, or technical school.
Moving forward, we continue to develop both community-owned programs to solve specific community needs and Smartstainable driven pilot programs to explore additional opportunities in the community.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve both community leaders and the communites they serve. Our program now serves the rural village of Gombe Uganda. We have led 4 programs in Gombe since 2016.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Virtual Meetings,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    A recent change we made allows the community to own the programs. We lead the community in helping define the problems within the community that they want to solve and then we help them put together a program, including goals, impact statements, budgets and security. We are growing into a leadership organization from a technical organization.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It has made a huge difference. They are more empowered to communicate openly and honestly and they feel a much stronger level of trust that we now allow them to own and manage their own programs. We still take on the responsibility of finding funding and using our technology partnerships to provide free technology to our facilitators and help them bring empowerment throught technology to those the serve.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The challenge is their culture is not normally candid in feedback. ,

Financials

Smartstainable
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Smartstainable

Board of directors
as of 3/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Thomas Snyder

Gematrix

Term: 2015 - 2025

Susan Kiene

SDSU

Sandra King

Retired

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/10/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability