Executive Summary

Plan International Norway aimed to streamline its program reporting by shifting from laborious manual processes to cutting-edge technology. BearingPoint helped the non-governmental organization (NGO) develop an innovative AI-powered application that enables significant automation combined with increased efficiency and better insight into its programs.

As an aid and development organization, Plan International Norway is continuously exploring ways to become more efficient in how we deliver impact. In our pursuit to test generative AI, we found expertise in Plan International Norway’s longstanding partner BearingPoint. Together we have made a successful MVP resulting in efficiency, new insights, and new ways of working for us at Plan International Norway.

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Kari Helene Partapuoli, National Director, Plan International Norway

Systematizing large volumes of textual data requires suitable tools

Plan International Norway implements long-term development programs focusing on children’s rights and well-being. The NGO’s aid programs receive financial support from donor organizations such as Norad, which require regular reporting to ensure transparency and accountability in fund utilization.

As a result, Plan International Norway needs to process huge amounts of textual documentation received from various subsidiaries. However, structuring the information into brief reports was challenging due to the vast data gathered from each program managed in different countries. Because the NGO teams spent a lot of time and effort consolidating reports and ensuring the information was correct and consistent, Plan International Norway wanted to explore the possibilities of the latest AI technologies and use them to improve operations.

Incorporating human-in-the-loop capabilities into innovative technology

BearingPoint applied its extensive Generative AI (GenAI) expertise to pioneer a digital solution for the reporting process of Girl’s Get Equal, one of Plan International Norway’s programs. The project team built an innovative application that allocates tasks between people and AI. The AI scans the source documents, pulls out relevant information, and then organizes it in information blocks. Plan International Norway’s staff can work with the information blocks and iterate on the AI-generated drafts to produce different chapters in the report. The chapters merge into the final report, summarizing information on various donor requirements, like outcomes, cross-cutting issues, and significant deviations.

The project team incorporated GPT-4 from Azure OpenAI into the redesigned process adapted to large language models, using the standard report parts as a basis. BearingPoint worked closely with Plan International Norway teams to gather feedback on the quality and flow of generated chapters, to track AI misinterpretations, and to measure overall satisfaction with the results produced by the AI.

BearingPoint also designed the user interface to combine the power of AI and the specialized knowledge of Plan International Norway’s experts, resulting in higher efficiency and quality of outputs than what could have been achieved separately. Finally, BearingPoint delivered a comprehensive presentation demonstrating the organizational case for change.

Using Generative AI to facilitate easy reporting for humanitarian programs

Plan International Norway now benefits from a powerful tool to enhance report writing with the new AI-based application. By processing large amounts of text and writing the reports automatically, the application reduces the time spent with document read-throughs, as AI can produce the necessary chapters by itself. Moreover, the human-in-the-loop component helps maintain the high-quality content of the reports.

Program information is now well organized and easy to access, which helps speed up writing report chapters. Additionally, the tool enables new ways of working for the NGO staff, as more people can join in the conversations, and new report versions can be created on the spot during meetings. The new Generative AI application also improves job satisfaction by eliminating repetitive tasks. Moreover, the solution enhances report quality by using AI to find new trends and insights that may be challenging for humans to spot when dealing with such large volumes of documents.

Plan International Norway

Plan International is a global aid organization dedicated to children’s rights, working on both long-term development programs and emergency relief efforts. Plan International Norway is part of a global network present in 83 countries and 57,000 communities, with a commitment to children’s rights since 1937.

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