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Data enhances credibility of NGOs

NGOs in India have been doing great work and creating significant impact in their field of service. But in the fast changing world the potential to create more impact exists. Are the NGOs ready to make good use of this opportunity?

The four key stakeholders that a NGO works with are – the Beneficiaries, Donors, Employees / Resource people and Volunteers. Each of them has different expectations and requirements of the NGO.

Expectations of the different stakeholder:

Beneficiaries – what are the services / interventions planned for them? Are the intended services reaching them? How is this tracked, monitored and reported on?

Donors – need regular / real time information on the program progress and its challenges and impacts; expect transparency and accountability

Employees – want to ensure delivery of service in an optimum manner; no duplication of work; wants to improve efficiency

Volunteers – tracking the work done by the volunteers; matching their skill sets with the requirements of the NGO

Most NGOs have no IT systems or even if they have, the data pertaining to the above stakeholders is in different systems – on paper, spreadsheets, databases, emails etc. This creates a big barrier to getting a proper control of the operations, monitoring the impact and meeting the varied stakeholder expectations.

Without a specific and comprehensive software solution for NGOs, they struggle to make the best use of the new opportunities and changes. A good software solution for NGOs that maps the requirements of all the stakeholders will deliver great benefits, like:

Insights - Data in one place; real time reporting, analysis and insights

Efficiency – data is captured once and used in multiple ways; planning, scheduling the services and programs, tracking their completion, assessment of the services and more

Connectivity – all stakeholders (both internal and external) can access the system and data (relevant to their role) from anywhere, any device (desktop, laptop, mobile) and in a secure manner

Plus there are more benefits as well. But the biggest benefit is that ‘Data enhances credibility’. Each of the NGOs has worked hard in their field of service for many years and some for many decades and the most important attribute they have built, nurtured over time is their credibility. Data in a digital form, captured using a software solution for NGOs, that is interconnected, real-time, analysed – can go a long way in enhancing the credibility of the NGOs.

At Dhwani Foundation, we have interacted with thousands of NGOs since 2006 and our focus is on helping NGOs improve accountability, capacity and transparency. Amongst the core initiatives is Goonjan – a hosted software solution that is purpose built for NGOs. Over 50 NGOs across India and a few internationally use Goonjan to deliver more good.

As mentioned by SATHI, a pioneering NGO working with lost / runaway children in the railway stations, one of our early users of Goonjan solution, “Till date we have captured comprehensive data of over 40,000 children that the organization has helped. Digitizing our data and archiving it using Goonjan has been useful to us in many ways. We are able to conduct various analysis based on the data captured and are able to generate reports quickly”.

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