Case study

Empowering 10 Million Women Through Real-Time Mobile Data

Overview

The Tata Trusts and Google created the Internet Saathi program to reduce the digital gender divide in rural India. They use Collect, our mobile data collection app, to track and assess the program as it brings 10 million women onto the internet for the first time.

Partners

Tata Trusts

Google

Sector

Philanthropy

Location

About 100,000 villages across 12 states in India

10 mil.

women trained

100,000

villages covered

25,000

total saathis

200 mil.

data points collected

The Problem

Tackling India's digital gender gap

In today’s world, a wealth of information is easily accessible on even cheap smartphones. However, most women in rural India just can't access this information.

Though India has the second largest internet population in the world, only 30% of India's internet users are women. This percentage drops further in rural areas, where only 1 in 10 internet users is a woman.

The Solution

Empowering 10 million women through real-time mobile data

Internet Saathi, a program pioneered by Tata Trusts and Google, aims to close this gender gap and empower women in rural India through digital literacy. With the help of local NGO partners, the program trains “saathis” (meaning “friend” in Hindi), who train other village women how to use the internet, search government websites, and more on Android devices.

Internet Saathi is growing by leaps and bounds. Every month, the program adds another 2 NGO partners and reaches an additional 10,000 villages. With this rapid growth, it's essential to keep a close eye on its progress, find problems in real time, and continuously assess its impact.

The Tata Trusts partnered with us to track the Internet Saathi program through real-time data. We deployed Collect to create a comprehensive data collection and tracking system, available in 7 languages for its 24 (and growing!) NGO partners.

Data collection

Our mobile data collection app, Collect, is being used to collect data to track each saathi's progress and impact. Before each saathi starts trainings, they record key data about themselves. Then, after finishing the trainings, each saathi conducts a survey to assess how much each trainee’s digital literacy has grown.

Data visualization

Collected data is visualized on an interactive dashboard that helps Google and Tata Trusts assess the Internet Saathi program, monitor their impact, and improve trainings. The dashboard includes saathi profiles, key monitoring and impact metrics, geographic and date filtering, and detailed drill-downs.

Optimized for low-tech users
Robust language support
Ensure geographic data is perfect
No internet required
Capture high-quality images
  • The saathis are members of the villages where they conduct trainings, so often they are not very tech savvy. Collect’s intuitive interface ensures that no one has a problem collecting data.

  • With surveys across 12 states, Internet Saathi must adapt to multiple languages. The entire Collect app can be converted to any local language by simply changing the language setting.

  • Collect’s monitoring feature lets saathis select their correct village from a pre-set verified list, rather than entering incorrect village names.

  • India’s rural villages are notorious for poor network connectivity. Data is continuously saved to the phone’s local storage, then synced with central servers when internet is available.

  • During each survey, saathis capture pictures of their trainees and other data to prove that they are collecting authentic data. This helps Internet Saathi keep an eye on data quality.

Learn more about Collect

25k

saathis collecting data

24

NGO partners monitoring data

200k

data points collected per day

All visualized in real time on a single dashboard for the program team.

All visualized in real time on a single dashboard for the program team.

Track outcomes, not outputs
Monitor key impact metrics
Filter by geography
Filter by date
  • Our custom index — the Digital Literacy Score — gave a North Star to the program.

  • All the data that decision-makers need about their impact is available through interactive charts.

  • All charts and data are available at state, district, or partner levels for even more granular monitoring.

  • Users can pick from preset time frames — last 30 days, this quarter, last year, etc. — or create a custom date range.

View saathi profiles
Dive into the details
Filter by geography
Zoom into map-based views
  • All the data that decision-makers need about saathis on the ground is available through interactive charts.

  • Decision-makers can explore details about saathis' work to better understand their economic impact.

  • All charts and data are available at state, district, sub-district levels for even more granular decisions.

  • Mapping makes it easy to quickly compare different geographies on key metrics or targets.

Our implementation services helped the program scale up to 24 partners in just 1 year.

They're still growing, adding 2 partners every month.

Our implementation services helped the program scale up to 24 partners in just 1 year.

They're still growing, adding 2 partners every month.

Mobile app deployment
Mobile app deployment

We helped the Internet Saathi team set up Collect and manage their teams, geographic baseline uploads, application testing and more.

Training & support
Training & support

We created audiovisual support materials to help training and provided field support via email, call, help desk, and extensive FAQs.

Capacity building
Capacity building

We spent one-on-one time with the internal staff to help them learn how to independently manage their project on Collect.

With Collect, we could create a common platform across multiple states and districts. Our program quickly scaled to multiple geographies, requiring language support across multiple languages, which Collect could manage with ease!

Shreeya Ramakrishnan
Shreeya Ramakrishnan

Consultant (MIS and M&E)

Tata Trusts

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