Empowering a nonprofit during the COVID-19 crisis

How Rbean helped an education nonprofit grow its digital capacity during the switch to distance learning.


The INCO Education Accelerator is an emergency response program designed to support nonprofit organizations working to ensure equitable access to schooling during the COVID-19 crisis. It is supported by Google.org as part of its global initiative, the Distance Learning Fund.

As part of the program, nonprofits received expert coaching to digitize their activities and provide access to education for children with the greatest needs.

We advised organization SMSG, in Indonesia, to help them develop and promote their digital education platform.


  • Organization coaching


SMSG is an indonesian organization that documents and promotes best educational practices, as well as drives collaboration between educators. It traditionally runs face to face activities, but because of COVID-19 it switched to online delivery of its services and support.

Even though the team had a strong network of partners and content creators, they had limited experience with digital products. They put together a content platform at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and they needed help in establishing a clear digital strategy to further develop and promote the platform.


  • plan and prioritize feature development
  • structure project development
  • improve the platform's user experience
  • clarify their positioning and mature their marketing strategy



When we started, members of the project team had different ideas about what needed to be done. The first step was therefore to go back to the beneficiaries to understand their needs.

We introduced and helped the team take ownership of the following tools:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • User interviews
  • Empathy maps

Result: Leading the user research allowed the whole team to align. Thanks to the data-backed findings, everybody understood their audience and they were able to map out a common solution. It made them confident in their next steps.


The team had put together a development roadmap with two separate phases: first a development phase, and then a testing & deployment phase.

We proposed to switch to an Agile process - with frequent releases and testing - so they could catch and solve issues early on. We coached them through the process and talked through possible solutions whenever issues appeared.

Result: This process made the team more reactive and ensured the platform was fully operational and usable at launch. Beneficiaries reported a high satisfaction with the platform and requested more content.


Before the COVID-19 crisis, the organization grew through in-person networking with local government. When the project started, the team planned to work with local government to bring their platform to children.

We led a SWOT analysis of the project and uncovered unaddressed gaps in their strategy. We helped them clarify their positioning and they shifted their perception to a B2C endeavour where they would connect directly with parents and teachers.

Going forward: The team realised they needed to think strategically about their expansion and that a market research should drive their next development steps - to ensure they meet the needs of their beneficiaries.

Laurie empowered the independent ability of the team to apply learnings

It was a true pleasure to work with Laurie for our accelerator program. She was very structured, methodical, and provided optimistic yet pragmatic guidance to support our partner organization. She equipped them with expert insights especially on digital education pedagogy and at the same time empowered the independent ability of the team to apply learnings.

She was adaptive and very open to feedback, with a commitment to keep iterating the process to ensure the best, tailored support for the project.

- Hei-Yue Pang
INCO Education Accelerator Project Manager

Hei-Yue Pang

Hei-Yue Pang
INCO Education Accelerator Project Manager

Do you need support in digital education or learning experience design?

Get in touch

"Although I provided frameworks and templates for the different steps we worked on, the organization fully owned those steps. I have no doubt that they will be able to reproduce those processes on their own. On a personal level, I’m just happy that I got the opportunity to contribute to a project that had a direct impact on access to education during the crisis."

picture laurie mezard

Laurie Mézard Co-founder & Pedagogy Specialist - Rbean