“We are not concerned with the very poor. They are unthinkable, and only to be approached by the statistician or the poet.”
― E.M. Forster
No words could be truer when we are trying to understand so much about the differences in social class. I also work for an NGO that provides remedial education to slum children in West Delhi. These children are from families that lie probably even below the #Bottom of the Pyramid. For years the NGO has been struggling with funding, despite many fundraising proposals sent to relevant organisations. I kept on wondering about the type of inputs that need to be factored in to add authenticity to the proposal. All I could think of was the number of Learning Centers of the NGO, the number of children in each Learning Center, the number of teachers, the number of subjects being taught, the number of hours per day being used for teaching, the number of books in the NGO’s library, the number of donors, the number of visits by donors & the number of board members of the NGO. These were just about all the numbers that I could think about, and rightly so, since these are the pillars of proper functioning of not only mine, but every NGO in the Education sector. Well I was wrong! There are more to numbers than meets the eye.
It was, while interacting with certain institutions, in a conference that I happened to attend on Research Analytics ‘ Utility for NGOs, there seeped in some kind of clarity on how to use those numbers. Some of the organisations that are involved with research projects for NGOs like #JPAL & #Grameen Foundation emphasized on the important role that Analytics play. Well these are what I think can be looked at to make more sense out of all the numbers that we are currently playing with.
- Is there a relation between the number of people living in a slum, the number of children they have & the number of Learning Centers that should be in the area?
- Is there a relation between number of children & our decision to hire a certain number of teachers?
- Is there a positive relation between number of hours a child spends per week or per month in the Learning Center & his or her performance in formal school?
- Is there are a relation between the number of girl children in the Learning Centers & the number of donor cheques that come in?
- Is there a link between the number of slums the NGO is located in & the number of donors who visit the Learning Centers?
- Can there be a relation between the number of books read by a child & the knowledge enhancement of other members of the child’s family?
- Is there a relation between the value of donation amount and the number of donors?
These and so many more relations come into my mind. And, this is where Analytics can come to the rescue of this sector.
Author- Prof Monica Mor, Assistant Professor, FIIB
See her linked in profile here
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