T17 2019/01/21 19:56:34.111072 GMT+0530
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Tech Innovations by NGOs for Social change

This topic provides you activities of NGOs using innovative technologies to deliver social services.

Introduction

Non-Governmental organisations, popularly known as NGOs are non-for-profit, voluntary citizen’s group, which is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good. Also known as Non-profit organisations, they work for social upliftment of the society; starting from health, education, poverty eradication, etc.

NGOs endeavour in protection and creation of awareness about the rights of the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the society. They plan and design initiatives which would have a positive impact on the society. NGOs, besides government efforts, play a key role in the overall growth and development in the country. India has an enormous presence of NGOs, each of them working on different issues or problems prevalent in the society. India is said to be forefront in technology. However technology assisted development programme implementation has challenges in a complex development ecosystem like India. But there are NGOs in India that have made a remarkable effort in using technology to effectively implement development programmes.

Here is a list of few NGOs which have demonstrated the use of technology in promoting social change:

Akshaya Patra

This is a Bengaluru-based NPO which strives to eliminate classroom hunger by organizing mid-day meal schemes in government schools. As of now, they serve about 2 million children from over 14,000 schools across 12 states. With growing numbers, the Akshaya Patra is using data analytics efficiently to serve the children and make productive use of their funds. Data analytics is helping them in solving logistic problems like figuring out the optimum route to deliver food.

For more information visit: https://www.akshayapatra.org/

Data Kind

This is a one-of-a-kind NPO which focuses on data collection. UK-based Data Kind conducts events which are volunteered by the data scientists who not only address the impending issues but also offer solutions. Their Bengaluru chapter had recently come up with ideas like using Anganwadi data along with NASER data to develop a thematic map for achievement across all the districts in Karnataka, and the correlation of availability of drinking water and toilets to the dropout rate among students.

For more information visit: https://www.datakind.org/

Operation Red Alert

This Hyderabad-based NGO works around the clock to curb human trafficking. Operation Red Alert began their research back in 2014. After the initial data collection, they collaborated with Australian analytics firm Quantium to work along with data scientists to gain insights into human trafficking. This partnership alleviates the latencies on the tech side and offers in-time grievance reporting. Quantium’s data scientists design complex queries that run against multi-terabyte data sets and get more accurate results with great agility and accuracy. Their custom-built service MapR adds performance security and the ability to segregate multiple data sets from multiple data partners for Operation Red Alert. This allows the authorities to take a prompt action which is crucial in avoiding trafficking.

For more information visit: http://mychoicesfoundation.org/redalert/

Save Life Foundation

Road accidents led to the death of more than 10 lakh Indians in the last decade. Save Life Foundation, therefore, commissions nation-wide surveys to gauge the public perception about road safety in India. These surveys serve as blueprints for initial diagnosis and the data collected will be used to analyse, predict and eradicate the risk-prone areas. SLF categorises the vulnerable category within the road accidents spectrum and addresses the need to change laws and in a way, demands accountability from the local players.

For more information visit: https://savelifefoundation.org/

Digital Green

This NGO is a global development organization which works on uplifting the livelihoods of small farmers. They began as a project at Microsoft Research and evolved into an independent NPO which partners with global tech leaders and uses data analytics to improve the condition of unskilled farmers below the poverty line. They use a customized data collecting service COCO (connect online and connect offline) method. This eliminates the hurdles which come with lack of connectivity in rural areas. The data can be updated and used offline as well. They have built an analytics dashboard on CoCo database. This is an open source platform and can be used by anyone interested in making an impact with tech. With a database of over 5000 videos, Digital Green plans on implementing recommendation engines based predictive analytics models.

For more information visit: http://www.digitalgreen.org

Video Volunteers

VV, reportedly India’s only NGO which exclusively works on providing broad coverage to the underprivileged, uses visual media extensively. This level of extensive coverage offers a database rich with opportunities for better governance and building problem-specific models. Their flagship initiative India Unheard reaches the remote and the despondent sections of the society.

For more information visit: https://www.videovolunteers.org/

References

  1. https://www.analyticsindiamag.com
  2. http://outreach.un.org/ngorelations
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