The advancement of new technology is putting pressure on voluntary and community organisations to change from their traditional ways of delivering services, according to a new report published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and charity IT body ICT Hub.
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The report, entitled How ICT is shaping the future design and delivery of public services, said that as a result of new technology, voluntary organisations will need to give greater consideration to issues such as data protection and privacy laws to ensure that people using their services are safeguarded.
It also argues that charities delivering public services will need to have a better understanding of the opportunities and benefits, such as the chance to engage with new audiences and make cost savings, presented by ICT to meet their users' expectations.
Online communities, databases and live video links all provide an increasing range of possibilities for organisations to innovate, save on costs and become more effective, says the report.
Megan Griffith, NCVO research manager, said, "There is a good fit between the opportunities provided by ICT and the values and delivery modes that characterise the voluntary and community sector.
"ICT can be regarded as user-led and engaged, flexible and responsive. Even though ICT presents its challenges it is one of the most feasible routes to sustainability in service delivery."