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CONIN: Finding, reaching and helping at-risk children through the cloud
Mendoza, Argentina-based CONIN works to not only eradicate child malnutrition in Argentina but also to serve disadvantaged families at risk of falling through gaps in social services. With Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft cloud services, the nonprofit helps more children and families receive the resources they need to thrive.
Its previous, analog-based systems helped the nonprofit impact the lives of thousands of youth. But with an Azure—powered IT system, CONIN is now poised to improve family health across Argentina-and beyond, as they begin to expand their services in Latin America.
As nonprofit leaders know, effectively tackling a problem begins with understanding it. So when CONIN set out to map malnutrition in Salta, a northern and remote province of Argentina, the family-focused organization turned to the flexible and comprehensive solutions of Azure.
By identifying the most pressing needs of different pockets of Salta—from lack of clean water to insufficient healthy food—CONIN input data into an application developed and hosted in Azure, which they then displayed and shared in Power BI. The result: an accurate and up-to-date visualization of on-the-ground realities. They could then partner with the regional government to pinpoint priorities and direct limited resources at the most urgent issues first. What’s more, this detailed map provided the data to develop a long-term solution: CONIN and the Salta government drafted public policy to prevent malnutrition in the future—and ensure the area’s children have a healthy start to life.
The impact of the Azure mapping solution does not end in Salta. CONIN is rolling out the system in other communities in Argentina as well as in parts of Latin America and Africa. And other nonprofits will save time and resources by transferring an already developed solution to their own Azure environment.
Like many nonprofits, CONIN relies on a combination of staff, volunteers and partners to carry out its mission. And although CONIN’s dedicated team has already served 20,000 youth over several decades, leaders within the organization knew they could reach even more people in need by leveraging cloud-based tools.
CONIN, then, developed an app in Azure that triggers an alert whenever the nonprofit-and government-run community census identifies a child in need. Take, for example, an alarm CONIN staff received about Bryan, a cheerful and playful boy who was born with Down syndrome and severe kidney problems. His mother, who didn’t even know she was eligible for services, was invited to the nonprofit to begin the process for getting care for Bryan. CONIN paid for Bryan’s surgeries, arranged for transportation to and from medical visits and now enrolls Bryan in a special CONIN school. The system also allows CONIN staff to track the boy’s health with digital updates on his progress.
Without this alert app that automatically analyzes data to identify families in need, Bryan may never have gotten a fair shot at a happy, healthy future.
Proactive nonprofits not only help the at-risk families that seek them out but also bring in others who may never have known about their services. CONIN teams used to do this community outreach and information-gathering with inefficient paper surveys. Since receiving an Azure grant, they canvas Argentina’s poorest neighborhoods with a digital, cloud-based polling solution.
“Today, the technology makes it much faster: It enables us to have every child in the system,” says Teresa Cornejo, president of a CONIN network member that addresses nutrition in Salta. By inputting information designed to identify families in danger of malnutrition, lack of education or unmet medical needs, the data is automatically synched to folders accessible anywhere—from CONIN’s offices to employees traveling the dirt roads of Salta.
Canvassers go door-to-door with mobile phones or tablets, making the highly detailed data they collect immediately available on an Azure cloud platform. CONIN, other partner nonprofits and the government of Salta province use this up-to-the-minute information to work toward their goal: making malnutrition a problem of the past.