OneWorld's ICT Innovation for MGNREGA

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  • 1. November 14 th , 2011 [email_address] Timely and easy Access to Information through ICT KNOWLEDGE FOR COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT AND ENHANCED LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES OneWorld’s ICT Innovation for MGNREGA
  • 2. Context
    • Knowledge for Community Empowerment and Enhanced Livelihood Opportunities
    • OneWorld’s ICT intervention in support of MGNREGA – to help realise the promise of livelihood security and right to work of the rural poor
    • Empowering target beneficiaries access optimal benefits from MGNREGA
    • Enabling, within the framework of rights, entitlements and information:
        • Communication and awareness on MGNREGA
        • Access to work and rightful wages for workers
        • Accountability and transparency on the ground
    • Uses a mix of technologies – ICTs and biometrics, and social-community media
  • 3. Programme Components
    • Soochna Seva Kendra (Info kiosks) supplemented by Hand Held Device (HHD) to automate Biometric worker attendance, job demand and work allocation, issue of receipts, and work measurement on ground
    • Community Radio Awareness on MGNREGS and knowledge participation of workers
    • Digital Knowledge Repository Platform for collaboration between Govt., NGOs and the private sector for discourse on MGNREGA, and to create a resource bank on the scheme
    Pilot innovation in two districts: Bhilwara and Udaipur in Rajasthan Served over 8600 MGNREGA workers Bhilwara Udaipur Suwana Block Girva Block Panchayats: Kanda, Rupaheli, Haled, Suwana Panchayats: Kurabad, Paramda 10 villages 10 villages
  • 4. The Journey: Soochna Sewa Kendras: From Panchayats - to field - to mobile
    • Started 2 nd Oct 2009 with set up of Soochna Seva Kendras
      • Kanda and Suwana Panchayats (Bhilwara) and Kurabad Panchayat (Udaipur)
      • Serving a total of 20 villages
      • Innovative touch-screen voice kiosks enable workers to get work/wage information by simply touching icon on screen
      • All transactions biometrically verified
    • In 2010, services enhanced with on site Hand Held Device , for:
      • Biometric and GPS-based attendance, e-muster roll, grievance input and job demand
      • Mobile-based Job Card Retrieval facility for work-related information on mobile
    • In 2011, integration of existing biometric application with National UIDAI Authentication Module - on interest from Govt. of India
  • 5. Simplification in MGNREGA processes owing to ICT-transactions most visible in Job Demands Job demand is also most preferred transaction at kiosks The Journey: Job demand using Information Kiosk and getting acknowledge receipt Job Demand process post info-kiosks Job Demand process before kiosks
  • 6. The Journey: Attendance registration from work site using HHD Hand Held Device allows biometric and GPS-based attendance registration and tracking of workers Worker attendance and worksite progress monitored online on http://report.nrega.net   Job demand and grievance registration from worksite in lieu of visiting kiosk
      • HHD tool overwhelmingly preferred by workers as helping bring transparency to ground
  • 7. Complete end-to-end ICT ecosystem piloted
  • 8. End-to-End ICT Ecosystem: Progress and Outcomes
    • E-enabling of MGNREGA processes for timely and easy access to information and payment of rightful wages
      • Text-to-voice functionality promotes inclusion of illiterate and women workers
      • Knowledge of MGNREGA provisions about which workers were not aware before: like unemployment allowance
      • Bottom-up field monitoring with HHD eliminates proxy attendance and ghost workers
      • Effect on reducing corruption and bringing transparency
      • Grievance redressal mechanisms create empowered environment
      • Significant increase in worker participation noted
      • Near 12000 transactions at the Info-kiosks
      • 1040 Job Demands registered
      • Biometric registration of over 8600 MGNREGA workers
      • In view of success of intervention, Suwana Block has mandated job demand through kiosk only
  • 9. End-to-End ICT Ecosystem: Learnings Source: Case Study for the World Bank Institute’s Access to Public Information (A2PI) Initiative
    • Perception Mapping:
    • 90% surveyed users stated importance and usefulness of info-kiosks
    • Job demand made easier: 85% users
    • Improved access to scheme information: 65% workers
    • Biometric system very helpful in reducing corruption: 94 % workers
    • Evidence of benefits in:
    • Information empowerment of workers
    • Empowerment of and independent participation by women workers
    • Workload sharing at Panchayat level on MGNREGA processes
    • Reduced instances of corruption
  • 10. Community Radio To increase workers’ awareness and participation on MGNREGA and social issues Training and handholding support to develop a cadre of local community radio volunteers Participatory scheme of radio production - over 142 radio volunteers trained in Suwana and Girva blocks Local radio initiative in Suwana named ‘Apna Gaon Apni Baat’ (Our Village Our Message) National broadcast of 17 episodes of MGNREGA radio series created with community voices on AIR FM Rainbow India; listenership of over 1 5000 across 12 states 57 narrowcasts locally across 19 listeners’ groups , spurring constructive discourse in community Issues covered Biometric payment, NREGA Mate, Livelihood, Child marriage, Dowry, Village concerns, Literacy, Violence against women, Sanitation, Hygiene, NREGA song and slogans, Helpdesk on farming, Water conservation, Gender discrimination in education, NREGA, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Kiosks, Training of Mates, Social Audit, Bank Loans, NREGA works, Biometric attendance, Bhajans, ICT technology in Dairy, ICT technology in Hospitals, Radio plays on NREGA, Revenue Department, Social Welfare, E-mitra, Women's Day, Budget
  • 11. Recommendations
    • Portable ICT solution may be considered to allow greater reach to villages
      • Hand Held Device presently assists kiosk operations on the field
      • Opportunity for HHD application to be enhanced so it can function independently as a complete kiosk
    • Text to speech application on mobile may be explored
    • Need for institutionalising the project at Government, district and state levels
    • Need to explore revenue generating mechanisms to determine the feasibility of up-scaling the project
    • Integrating Banking Component with ICT Ecosystem for direct deposit of wages into worker bank accounts
  • 12. Deu Keer, MGNREGA Worker, Mangrop Village The best thing about the Soochna Sewa Kendras is that we can get work whenever we want. Earlier this was not possible. It was difficult to get work. Moreover with the thumb impression attendance now, we can be sure that the correct attendance is being recorded. This also means the computer calculates our wages, so we get our correct wages. This is a good service. Sita Sharma, MGNREGA Worker, Pander Village Earlier we used to make 5 to 7 rounds of the GP, but getting work used to be so difficult. Today just with a thumb impression we can get work. Now I have work, I earn my wages, and I am even saving money. I can even SMS if I have any need. Gopal Jat, Mate, Suwana Village Earlier we had to approach the Secretary and Sarpanch for job demands. Now this is automated. Even illiterate workers and women can access information through this service. The work load of mates has reduced due to automisation of work. We can even register grievances on the system. I once put in a grievance regarding late payment of wages. I got my payment within 3 days of that. I think the nearby villages should also have SSKs. This will benefit them like it has benefited us.
      • Worker Testimonial
  • 13. Thank You Experiences and learnings from pilot implementation of OneWorld’s intervention formed key inputs for the National Framework on ‘Biometrics Enabled ICT for People’s Empowerment under MGNREGA’.