April 11, 2022
In 2016, the World Bank estimated at least 9 million children were being reached through the international sponsorship model and up to 100 million families are directly affected by child sponsorship. The World Bank’s research concluded that “sponsorship translates to higher education levels and future earnings for formerly sponsored children.” (Read More)
Today, Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has operated through an international sponsorship model program since 1986, supports over 80,000 sponsored orphans in 27 countries. The faith-inspired humanitarian aid and development agency identifies orphans – who may be living with surviving relatives, and uses the poverty graduation model to train those families on skills that benefit the orphans by encouraging family self-reliance.
Each child is supported through contributions donated by a sponsor, which provides the orphaned child with education and healthcare.
Islamic Relief saw its international sponsorship model program, which includes orphans and their immediate family, grow quickly:
Islamic Relief looked to cloud and mobile technology to help manage program growth, beginning with the installation of Salesforce’s CRM in 2011, followed by tools from Conga to help automatically create formatted reports for distribution to their diverse donors.
TaroWorks’ offline mobile field service app – integrated with Salesforce – was deployed in 2021 to allow Islamic Relief’s nearly 350 data collectors to register orphans and their family members into the program. It is also used to collect other field data that is analysed by Salesforce and presented to stakeholders in donor reports. The data analytics support field operations and business decision-making in the last mile, even when internet or mobile device connectivity isn’t available.
Inconsistent or no data connectivity is just one of the challenges organizations like Islamic Relief face when trying to scale field operations in remote locations. Legacy data collection systems of paper and spreadsheets, a one-way – rather than two-way – information flow from the field to headquarters, and data silos within the business can be overcome by digitizing operations to centralize data. This approach also provides more transparency, increases data collection accuracy, and generates reports in real-time.
When trying to help an organization use cloud and mobile technology to streamline field and other business operations, we’ve learned at TaroWorks that it’s important to understand the organization’s process flow so you can identify which program or business functions will benefit most from being digitized.
The process Islamic Relief uses to manage its orphan sponsorship program is as follows:
During the NetHope webinar, Anwar explained that frontline field staff who gather data used to manage the international sponsorship model program “work in a lot of rural areas where there’s probably little or no connectivity so many of our staff rely on offline forms to capture that reporting data.” Using TaroWorks in mobile tablets rather than paper, “ allows us to capture that data offline and then sync that data (which includes photos and signatures) once we are in the office and have an online connection.”
All questions from paper data sheets were created as fields in TaroWorks, and enhanced with validation rules to ensure data was entered correctly before mapping results into Islamic Relief’s Salesforce database.
One of the biggest challenges to overcome in streamlining the international sponsorship model program was strengthening the reporting process, which they improved using Conga in the Salesforce ecosystem.
International sponsorship model program funding partners are now able to click a button in Salesforce, which takes them to Conga Composer and then the report is saved to the orphan’s record in Salesforce. Conga also helps translate donor reports into different languages so they can report back to their diverse donors.
This process has saved a significant amount of time from when the report is collected by the field officers to when donor officers download and generate the translated report. “You’re talking about hundreds and thousands of hours,” said Anwar.
Anwar explained during the webinar that digitizing the international sponsorship model program has had many benefits including:
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