Arthan’s Online Forum Focuses on Building Resilient Communities and Data-Driven Decision Making


Delhi, September 21, 2020: Arthan, a social enterprise, recently organised an online conference on Data and Technology for Impact. This Conference is part of Arthan’s initiative called ‘Building Civil Society Organisations of the Future’ an online-to-offline initiative, which is long term, future-oriented and multi-stakeholder and seeks to address ecosystem challenges and opportunities, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, progress towards which has been pushed back as a result of the pandemic.

The event brought together speakers from organisations across the country. It focused on how to make data-driven decisions to create robust programs and create inter-generational impact through panel discussions and masterclasses. Some of the organisations who participated included Thoughts in Gear, International Innovation Corps, Salesforce, 60 Decibels, Vera Solutions, IDFC institute, CivicDataLab, Center for Internet and Society, among others.

Speaking about this, Satyam Vyas, Founder of Arthan said, “The year 2020 has come about with challenges like never before for the world. There have been disruptions across all areas and now more than ever, there is a need to efficiently collect and use data to drive decision making. There is a need to use technology as a tool to enable the continued, yet safe, interactions with at-risk communities, as well as to build platforms to analyse and share data rapidly amongst teams and stakeholders. The pandemic has also made it imperative to restructure the way we work and build tools and processes that enable the efficient utilisation of data. The event focused on this and other aspects and was a key platform for learning and sharing relevant insights.”

The event began with Pratham, one of India’s largest NGOs, talking about how COVID-19 has enabled them to innovate extensively to reach children where they are. The organisation realized how not every family has a smartphone or internet access, and that they need to design content on SMS so that families with even the most basic phones can educate their children. Doing so also allowed Pratham to increase their reach rapidly.

The first panel on Data and Technology ‘Tools in Crisis’, discussed how simple technologies like SMS, WhatsApp, calls, etc., have allowed for correct communication and accurate information to reach the larger population, and has created a ground for digital inclusion.

Further, a workshop introduced a step-by-step flow chart of collecting and analysing data where both short- and long-term outcomes can be explored. The use of examples and case studies at every step of this workshop aided in a larger understanding of concepts and increased relevance and depth of content.

This was followed by a masterclass on the use of Predictive Impact Analysis and practical tips on how to apply the same. The last panel on Open Data in India focused on the role of data in accelerating development goals. Open data can support our economy in three main ways: civic participation, better GDP growth, and enabling digitisation of the economy.

Arthan’s previous eight tracks on the Future of Fundraising, Future of Jobs, Future of Education, Women’s Leadership in the Development Sector, Tomorrow’s Liveable Cities, Building Inclusive Organisations, Investing for Good and Strategy saw over 300 speakers, over 3000 participants and received 500,000+ views.

The Building Civil Society Organisations of the Future initiative will run till December 2021 and is meant to co-create solutions, co-evolve out of the pandemic, and define the future of civil society organisations in India. Over its duration of sixteen months, the programme aspires to bring together experts, practitioners, and thought leaders across themes including but not limited to gender, climate change, strategy, governance and capacity building and thereby create an evolving universe bringing in 3,000 speakers and building the capacity of 10,000 CSOs across sectors.