Case Studies

Acies Innovations

CFAR: Streamlining Data Collection and Analysis

CFAR, a Delhi-based, non-profit organization is a public-interest research and advocacy group. Their focus for the past 20 years has been to take forward the rights of the marginalized citizens of the society including the urban poor, the girl child, transgender persons, sex workers, single women, and unorganized workers, among others. Their goal is to shape inclusive policies and programs from a gender and development perspective.

Read more about CFAR


CFAR, along with WASH interventions captured huge amounts of data in Excel from wards in Jaipur and Bhubaneshwar, tracking the development and beneficiaries from 2019-2022. But there were several issues with this model of data collection:

  • 1. Data analysis: While data analysis is possible in Excel, it is effort-intensive
  • 2. Data management: Excel becomes slow and unresponsive with large quantities of data
  • 3. Data duplication: There were several instances of duplicate data which was affecting the analysis

The M&E process for this project was at SMART™ level 2 due to manually-driven workflows and lack of automation


After a thorough examination of the data, a solution was devised and deployed:

The free Microsoft 365 NGO license was leveraged to build a dynamic dashboard in Power BI which automatically collects updated data from Excel. Power BI would then build multiple reports in the dashboard. The dashboard displayed current state of interventions, progress made over time, and trends over the years.


The system worked effectively in capturing, converting, and visualizing the data. The system also:

  • 1. Enabled the teams to delve deeper into analyzing and researching the data which resulted in clearer interpretations and visual representations.
  • 2. Helped to derive and identify not only successful practices and methodologies adopted by CFAR, but also those practices that could be improved.
  • 3. Derived meaningful correlations and inclusions in society (across gender, caste, VMPG groups) that was brought about by WASH service intervention.
  • 4. Extracted useful and socially inclusive practices at the institutional level from the insightful graphical representations

Up ahead:

Apart from the current use-cases, future interventions from the dashboard analysis could drive social changes in different ways:

  • 1. The steady growth trends that have emerged in WASH Service inclusions could be compared with the trends in social, gender, and caste parameters.
  • 2. The settlements that show more representation, leadership and participation of the community could be analyzed with the number of successful WASH services implemented and an inference could be arrived at.
  • 3. The correlation between WASH Service inclusion and how it catered to not just SDG 6, but also how it impacted SDGs 5,10 and 11 is another key aspect that could encourage the concerned governing bodies to look into and adopt similar practices in other districts and cities.
  • 4. Settlements categorized as emerging, maturing, and matured can be analyzed for their social, gender and caste inclusive practices; this could encourage the decision makers to take concrete socially inclusive measures.


The identification of resources that are freely available to NPOs and the utilization of the right tools at the right levels of systems can drive NPOs to faster actualization of their goals. With the implementation of a dashboard, CFAR could save time spent on redundant processes and focus on creating impact.

Analytics, insights-building, and dashboards are powerful tools to fast-track social/institutional changes. What are ways in which a dashboard can impact an organization? Here are a few examples:

  • 1.Live, intelligent, and relevant data gathering and insight building shows the actual state of affairs, shows the areas of improvement, the impact of the intervention, and aids in faster decision-making.
  • 2. Collection of data at different level (ward level, intervention level, etc.) helps in reporting tailor-made insights at stakeholder levels; every stakeholder will get meaningful reporting based on their area of focus.
  • 3. Newer interventions can be tested and their efficacy can be understood at a faster pace.
  • 4. Fast-tracks change management based on quick feedback and granular status details.
  • 5. Effortless automated and customized reports open up newer avenues for innovative interventions and solutions.

Due to the apt usage of AI and efficient and ergonomic utilization of resources, CFAR has better streamlined processes, taking its M&E process from SMART™ level 2 to level 3, is growing faster towards having managed streamlined programs, and is another step closer to being a SMART™ organization: one that can continue creating steady and diverse impact at a much faster rate.

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