Our country is progressively adopting technology in every spectrum of work. Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in the development and usability of technology in industries. Combined with the exponential increase in the CSR directives and expenditures, CSR funding and initiatives for tech-based solutions are observed to be rising each year.
According to the National CSR Data Portal, From 2014-2018, more than INR 40,000 Cr has been spent over 50,000 CSR projects by thousands of organizations across India. With these numbers growing every year, one can deduct that the growth of the social impact space is exceeding expectations year on year. In time, aligning modern technologies can benefit NGOs and CSRs in implementing reliable and efficient solutions for impact.
CSR activities involve the participation of multiple stakeholders that are directly/indirectly associated with the implementation of new projects, proposals, community benefits, assignments etc. With multi-tier hierarchy and complex systems, it is often difficult to navigate projects in the impact space. To deal with this, technological models can be utilised to streamline projects.
In general, adopting next-gen technologies for innovating new applications is seen to be helping this space move a step forward in reinventing impact initiatives in India.
Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence(AI), Machine Learning(ML), Blockchain, Internet-of-things, etc. can offer a wide array of solutions to the challenges faced during the implementation and the execution of CSR projects.
Likewise, AI Research and engineering models like forecasting weather models, enhancing healthcare research, screening tests for various diseases etc are all making a resounding impact in respective spaces. Interestingly, such technologies even aid unique initiatives, like for example understanding underwater recordings to find hidden insights on the behavioural and migratory patterns of marine creatures (especially whales) to protect them. AI is also useful for efficient farming methods, waste management and much more.
In addition to all these, technologies like AI are also helping in project management, reporting, monitoring etc. and holds immense potential in automating redundant tasks, helping save resources and time. Use of tools that are powered by such technologies could elicit optimum results on CSR projects and could ease team management and remote monitoring.
Blockchain technologies are also proving themselves to be immensely useful in the impact space. This technology is providing NGOs with access to reliable information at their convenience. Using its shared and distributed system, transactions and smart payments have become secure as they provide immovable, tamperproof records. Because of its security and permission engagement restrictions, each user member of the network must have access privileges to engage, keeping out any unauthorized parties. With transparency and project lifecycle support, stakeholders and other regulatory bodies can keep track and access traceability and easily monitor record management.
Use of data analysis, monitoring and visualization can be vital for animal husbandry, crop and soil analysis in agriculture, healthcare facilities, energy-collection and management, etc. It can assist NGOs and CSR initiatives in various sectors such as weather analysis, water and energy conservation, connecting with smart devices etc.
Often, raw and unstructured data is the primary cause of delay for NGOs and stakeholders in implementing CSR projects. Multiple reasons like availability of data, no standardized normalization methods, incapable data analysis and impact solutions can slow down derivation of insightful results. With the help of BigData and Machine Learning, data can be extracted and manipulated to find relevant information that can help NGOs in identifying and classifying data.
For example - CSRHub is aggregating and assessing information from 500+ data sources present on the internet. With the help of BigData and ML, the application is devising a consistent rating system in a dynamic database that links millions of data points and elements back to their source. These data management solutions can reduce the cost, human-prone errors and time scale. It can help in contributing data management and in successfully implementing CSR projects.