Australia Awards is the Australian government's largest development initiative in Africa
granting over 1000 scholarships a year to promising African leaders.
• Australia Awards is having a tremendous impact on skills development in Africa.
• The good news? They are getting thousands of applications for scholarships every year.
• The bad news? Reviewing each application manually takes time and they have outgrown
this method of reviewing applications. The growth in the number of applications has led to a
situation where some applications are hardly considered at all.
• Australia Awards has staff who are highly trained in Microsoft Excel as well as traditional
programming methods. They have filtered applications as far as they could using traditional
techniques. However, since most of the application form is comprised of long text essays,
they were unable to analyse the data programmatically and automate their workload.
Elucidate developed a custom machine learning system using cutting edge Natural
Language Processing (NLP) techniques to evaluate every application in order to prioritize
applications of the best candidates. The application was designed to be transparent such that
staff could understand how every model decision is made.
• Cut number of applications requiring manual review by over 50%
• Saved over two thousand hours of manual review
• Staff were better able to understand how decisions are made and cater for potential biases.