DATA CATALYST PROGRAM: Technology as a catalyst to bring about a change in the social sector

By Sudha Upadhyayula, Chief Operating Officer, One Billion Literates Foundation

Having journeyed through various enriching experiences in the social sector, I was fortunate enough to be a part of Dasra’s Accelerator and subsequently, their Leadership program. Both of these experiences were a testament to Dasra’s exceptional ability to curate insightful and transformative events.

So, when whispers of the Data Catalyst Program reached my ears, a collaborative effort co-organized by Dasra, I was excited.

At OBLF, we are currently navigating through a crucial phase. We’re on the brink of integrating technology solutions that promise to amplify the scale and impact of our programs significantly. Thus, the timing of this program could not have been more perfect.

The Data Catalyst Program surpassed my expectations and offered insights, tools, and perspectives that were enlightening. One of the standout features of the program was its flow and sequence. Each session built upon the last, creating a narrative that was easy to follow and yet deeply informative.

Tech4Dev’s involvement added immense value. Their interactive sessions with our team were instrumental in helping us grasp the enormity of our mission and simultaneously, enabling us to chisel down our tasks to more manageable, actionable items. It’s one thing to be made aware of the challenges ahead, but another altogether to be provided with the tools and direction to face them head-on. Tech4Dev bridged this gap flawlessly.

I also found Goalkeep’s sessions to be extremely pragmatic. In a world drowning in data, their emphasis on asking the right questions and ensuring precision in measurement was a much-needed reminder. Their focus on developing skills and habits based on evidence was a key takeaway for me.

However, the cherry on top was The Agency Fund’s sessions. The live showcase of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a potent tool in the social sector was nothing short of revelatory. In an era where AI often seems like a distant, inaccessible concept for many nonprofits, this demonstration brought it within reach, illustrating its tangible benefits and transformative potential.

In conclusion, Dasra’s Data Catalyst Program wasn’t just an event; it was an experience, one that has equipped me with direction and inspiration. As we move forward, the insights from this program will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping our technological endeavors, and for that, I am immensely grateful. If you’re in the social sector and seeking to integrate technology to enhance your impact, keep an eye out for such programs and collaborations. They’re more than worth your time.

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