We make inhabitants of villages and small towns leverage new technologies to acquire competencies and act together.

The Information Society Development Foundation was established in 2008 by the US-based Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF) – one of the largest NGOs operating in Poland, with endowment capital of over 250 million USD. Our first task was the implementation of the Library Development Program – a joint project of PAFF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation being a part of the “Global Libraries” initiative. Thanks to this, we have acquired a unique experience of working in thousands of local communities throughout Poland, in the area of social change, with the use of new technologies. On this experience, we are building further development of our organization, in line with our values, which are quality, innovation and partnership.

The mission of the Information Society Development Foundation is to make inhabitants of villages and small towns leverage new technologies to acquire competencies and act together. They can use the Internet effectively and creatively. They have a better knowledge of the labour market and engage in the development of their communities and spend free time together. The libraries, non-governmental organisations and schools involved in our projects give them a helping hand here.



Local community development is becoming increasingly dependent on access to knowledge, innovative thinking and acting. Modern technologies play an important role in each and every one of these elements. They are characterised by high volatility, and following related developments consumes a lot of one’s time, competence and attention. That is why we want to help people unleash the potential vested in new technologies.


Acting locally directly impacts quality of life. The majority of Poles reside in areas with a population below 50,000. We want to share our experience to contribute to strengthening the developmental potential of mainly rural and small urban areas. We reach out to their residents through libraries, non-governmental organisations and schools with whom we have cooperated for years in every corner of Poland. We want them to be modern, prompt people to take action and provide access to hands-on knowledge. That is how conditions conducive to creativity, solution-finding and cooperation are created. That is how social capital is developed.

How do we fulfil our mission?


People need access to hands-on knowledge to select the right job, university faculty, foreign language or hobby that they intend to pursue. This knowledge is also indispensable to shop online, use online banking or protect one’s personal data when connected to Internet. Knowledge is the cornerstone of community development, as it helps people adopt a more conscious approach to decision-making and encourages them to participate in public consultations and get involved in such initiatives as participatory budgeting.


We are witnessing the growing importance of human needs related to education at every age, leisure time opportunities, pursuing one’s interests and healthy lifestyle. There is no universal remedy. Each local community has to come up with its own solution or creatively process existing concepts. This can only be done in places where it is possible to meet and hold a discussion. New technologies are also vital here. For instance: if an area is devoid of cycle lanes, one can simply use an application for designing and submitting one’s cycle lane map.


Areas with high levels of social capital, i.e. areas where residents display a high degree of mutual trust and are capable of cooperating, witness greater developmental success. This enables pooling the resources of various institutions and organisations. For example: one can first organise a training session in computer use, then channel the joint efforts of public libraries, social assistance centres, culture centres and schools to encourage various target groups to participate, and finally make use of all available rooms and equipment. Teaming up helps achieve more ambitious goals and take larger-scale action.






  • We operate on a comprehensive and long-term basis.
  • We introduce lasting and real change to local communities.
  • We follow up on our activities by performing reliable impact evaluation, reflecting on the implementation methods applied and identifying expectations.
  • We precisely define our goals and seek out the best methods of their achievement. We never shy away from experiments or putting different options to the test.


  • We are always on the lookout for new methods of operation.
  • We analyse domestic and global needs, challenges and trends.
  • We strive to keep coming up with new solutions to issues affecting local communities.
  • We believe that innovativeness stems from mutual trust and the will and the ability to cooperate.


  • We cooperate with the non-governmental sector, business and public administration.
  • We create opportunities for various environments to come together and exchange experiences.
  • We care about synergies.
  • Our knowledge and experience is our input into domestic and international cooperation networks.