Media CenterCRS to Ramp Up Data Science Capabilities to Reach More People

Photo by Jason Florio for CRS

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(571) 263-1193

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, June 13, 2022 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has partnered with Element22 to apply advanced data science capabilities to take life-saving programs to scale and improve the lives of millions more vulnerable people worldwide. CRS will work with Element22, a consulting firm specializing in data science, to map its data systems and create a roadmap to strengthen and future-proof its data architecture.

“Investing in better data science is key to deepening the impacts of our programs on the lives of millions of communities, families and individuals,” said Sean Callahan, CRS CEO and president. “With new technologies and improved methods, CRS can drive a culture of data-informed decision-making.  We aim at continuously growing as an agile and innovative organization, and with improved data architecture and systems we will be able to better meet the needs of our project participants.”

CRS will work to improve existing data systems, including data collection, storage, management and analysis, building on years of investments in Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) and MEAL (monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning). CRS projects increasingly use mobile technologies for efficient data collection, and in response to the COVID pandemic have developed improved remote data capabilities.

In addition, CRS can play a key role for local partners worldwide in supporting high quality data analysis and use – including by project participants. “We are steadfast in our commitment to local leadership in the countries where we work, and as our local partners carry out more and more of their own projects, we see our value in supporting them in this way,” Callahan said.

The investment will also allow CRS to better understand and meet the requirements of vulnerable communities and to effectively leverage donor contributions. Improved cost efficiency and effectiveness analysis, for example, will equip CRS to better understand needs, resource requirements, and impact.

Element22 founding partner, Predrag Dizdarevic commented, “Element22 is excited and honored to be part of this very important initiative. We look forward to bringing our expertise to help CRS scale its work with advanced, actionable insights, faster response times and greater operational cost efficiency.”

“We are confident that by enhancing the data culture within CRS and increasing data-informed decision-making at all levels of the agency - from project managers to executive leadership – will help scale the organization’s critical work around the globe,” said Stephen Daffron, who is the co-founder of Motive Partners and funding this initiative. In addition, Dr. Anthony Scriffignano, an internationally recognized data scientist and Chief Data Scientist at Dun & Bradstreet, brings 40 years of experience in advanced analytics and multilingual challenges in support of the project.

As with all of CRS’ work, data privacy and protection are paramount, and CRS’ application of responsible data principles includes informed consent and de-identification of data to safeguard and protect participants. This investment will enable CRS to deepen its responsible data practice and further embed relevant practices across its data ecosystem.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Online Tools: CRS Online Press Room:

Element22, founded in 2009, is the leading management consulting and solutions provider committed to modernizing data, data management and analytics. The firm combines strategy, execution, and analytics expertise to deliver innovative solutions. Element22 helps clients achieve major data driven transformations by utilizing the latest methods and technology to tackle complex client issues while managing execution risks and creates value for clients by leveraging data management best practices and advanced analytics techniques. Learn more at

Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
June 13, 2022

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More