Only 27% of Social Enterprises have access to CSR funds to Scale Solutions, as per India’s first Tech for Good Report 2021. It also says that 91% of the companies across the Industry are working on Tech for Good as a strategic priority. NASSCOM Foundation, in partnership with CGI, has released this report in March to demonstrate the intent and focus of organizations, social enterprises and civil society towards the creation and use of technology for social good.
CSR and Tech for Good
The report has said that in some companies, Technology development and social development work doesn’t overlap. The report contains insights from the inputs received from 548 organizations: 305 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 124 social enterprises and startups, and 119 corporates. It provides unique insights into how the industry focuses beyond traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to create Tech for good solutions to help build a better, more sustainable society.
The report has highlighted the challenges social enterprises face and the existing gaps in the social technology supply and demand.
The key findings of the Report
Clear Tech for Good focus: 91% of the organizations view Tech for Good as a strategic focus. 61% have already established a Tech for Good practice, while for 30.3%, it is a key strategic focus and is working towards it. 6% plan to create a new Tech for Good Practice and 2.5% is not currently looking at Tech for Good.
Education and Livelihoods emerge as top focus areas for Tech for Good: 9% of the organizations rated Education as the highest Tech for Good focus. Livelihoods closely followed this as a focus area for 50.43% of organizations.
Tech for Good aligns with business strategy: For 93.97%, Tech for Good development aligns with their business strategy, while 66.38% reporting complete alignment and 27.6% displaying partial alignment with their plan.
Current Local issues influence Tech for Good more than the Global issues: 26% reported aligning Tech for Good to solve local issues, while 42.9% organizations aligned their Tech for good to solve global issues.
Employee Engagement and Innovation quotient: 3% of organizations align their Tech for Good with Employee engagement and innovation quotient development.
Dedicated teams for Tech for Good: Over 65% of the organizations have dedicated teams for Tech of Good, of which 36% of the organizations have these teams present across various business units.
Budgets for Tech for Good: A company with a clear Tech for Good practice spends an average of $36,515 on Tech for Good per year. This is over and above their regular CSR contributions.
Mobile and Web apps are the preferred choice: While mobile apps (81.36%) and web apps (84.48%) rule the Tech for good development space as the most preferred technology, Artificial Intelligence (64.10%), Big Data (54.78%) and Cloud (72.65%) are also growing in this niche.
Lack of Funds: is the largest challenge for social enterprises to scale up their Tech for good solutions, as pointed out by 92% of them. Only 27% of social enterprises received CSR funds for scaling up.
Gap in Tech creation and usage: There is a massive gap of 40 percent points in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solutions by the companies and their use by NGOs. There is also a large gap for Big Data (29.21), Cloud (31.01) and Blockchain (27.98).
Gap in NGOs Tech Skills: The study also exposes a significant skills gap for the NGOs across all technologies with a minimum 20 percent point gap in mobile app usage skills and a maximum 50 percent point gap for usage of AI based solutions.
COVID-19 lockdown ushers in change: Several organizations felt the strain due to the pandemic. 72% social enterprises claimed their business was severely affected by COVID-19 and 57% of the NGOs reported a hindrance in their monitoring capabilities. The whole ecosystem found new opportunities in adversity with 63.5% of the organizations (corporates, social enterprises and NGOs) creating new technologies to tackle various challenges.
– 6% worked on creating Tech for remote work
– 9% worked on Tech for remote Education
– 9% worked on new ways of monitoring and reporting
While releasing the report, Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “India is a country brimming with innovation potential with technology industry leading the way. While business innovations are a norm, the last few years have seen the industry invest in meaningful tech-based social innovations. To demonstrate this ‘Tech for Good’ potential of the industry, its best practices, and to encourage more organizations to follow suit, the NASSCOM Foundation is proud to present India’s first-ever Tech for Good report“.
“The report covers inputs from 548 organizations, including companies, social enterprises and the NGOs. It provides critical insights for companies to create new Tech for good innovations and exposes the current gaps in the tech ecosystem and NGO skills. It also recommends solutions to fill those gaps. We are happy to have a like-minded partner in CGI and hope that the report can act as a baseline and an inspiration to all the companies who have a strategic intent towards Tech for Good to find scalable and sustainable solutions to our country’s social issues.” he added.
“Technology and innovation play a critical role in enhancing the overall social and economic well-being of our communities.” said George Mattackal, President, Asia Pacific Global Delivery Centers of Excellence, CGI. “We are pleased to partner with NASSCOM Foundation on this report which highlights Tech for Good insights that will aid other organizations and us to drive relevant and responsible innovation in support of our communities.”