13 December 2021
CSO Uses Data Dashboard to Track SDG Impacts of 5,000 Employees
Photo by Markus Spiske
story highlights

Catholic Relief Services supports over 130 million people around the world, with more than 5,000 employees spread across 100 countries.

The organization adopted a cloud-based data dashboard to gather program impact data more consistently and easily.

Civil society organizations may sometimes criticize governments for their lack of reliable, accessible data to measure achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, but CSOs themselves may struggle to easily leverage internal knowledge and statistics to gauge their impact on the 2030 Agenda. This can particularly be an issue for larger organizations—those with a geographically broad scopes of work as well as a high number of employees.

Founded in 1943 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to serve Second World War survivors, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) supports over 130 million people around the world. With more than 5,000 employees spread across 100 countries with a global portfolio of disaster relief and sustainable development projects that involve liaising with governments, civil society groups, and educational institutions, CRS is the definition of a data-rich NGO. While the organization has long-standing methodologies for monitoring and evaluation, they recently recognized the need for a technical solution that could let their country programs easily report field level outcomes as well as view trends across their global efforts.

After connecting with Vera Solutions—a social enterprise and Certified B Corporation that provides cloud solutions to help organizations track impact—CRS chose to adopt and adapt Amp Impact for their reporting needs. Built within the popular customer relationship management platform Salesforce, Amp Impact allowed CRS to quickly develop data dashboards using custom or standard indicators. As a cloud-based platform, CRS team members and external partners can view and upload data from any location with Internet connectivity through a user-friendly interface.

“Having this information stored into a computer or stored in someone’s country program is like having a car in a parking lot—it’s a resource that we are not using,” a CRS team member says in a video describing their efforts to leverage data. “Amp Impact has provided us with the platform… where the country programs are able to enter data and also observe what are the results they have been achieving at the local, regional, and global levels.”

Because Vera Solutions constantly observes how Amp Impact is being used by a community of international NGOs—including Oxfam International, Plan International, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and War Child—the company can develop new features for implementers and grantmakers when data gaps or best practices are identified.

“[Amp Impact] is bringing these marvelous resources that we have in the field in order to enable our learning, analysis, and see how we are moving towards higher objectives that the agency is working towards.”

This article was written with support from the UN World Data Forum Secretariat. Read additional SDG Knowledge Hub stories about the UN World Data Forum, data impact, and news.

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