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See full case study - Governance in India

See full case study - Governance in India

Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Transparency Public Grievances and Accountabilityand PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityJaankariJune 2010Figure 7: Percentage of rural area by districtWho is accessing Jaankari services?While conducting primary research, anecdotal evidence was collected regarding the significantuse of Jaankari services by minorities, particularly women and physically challenged persons.Jaankari software requires operators to collect callers’ gender and allows for miscellaneousobservations where ‘physically challenged’ can be noted. Unfortunately, this data, as it standstoday, is inaccessible at the call centre level and therefore, could not be used for verification.However, while phone interviews were conducted with10 citizens that were randomly chosenfrom Jaankari’s November 2009 records (totaling to 1162), one citizen divulged his physicalhandicap and one interview resulted in a woman user; although much too small of a samplesize to deduce greater relevance, this is a step towards understanding who, outside of theordinary citizen, may be utilizing Jaankari services.19Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India

Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Transparency Public Grievances and Accountabilityand PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityJaankariJune 2010Lessons LearnedKey Achievements1. Provides guidance to citizens on formulation of requests and RTI in generalCitizens often know the problems they face, however formulating related questions that willlead to resolutions is not an easy task. For example, a citizen may know that they desire a roadthat connects their house to their farm land, but stating the problem in an RTI application willnot result in an explanation of why the road has not been built or if it is on the agenda to bebuilt.Jaankari operators are critical for this purpose; they are able to guide requesters to framequestions related to their problems. Furthermore, considering that the literacy rate in Bihar is47.5 percent (Census of India, 2001), the written Act is not legible by over half the populationand likely not comprehendible, due to language barriers or difficult to understand governmentjargon, to many more; the RTI helpline that Jaankari operates allows for this population todevelop a real understanding of the Act.2. Provides access to underdeveloped areasData collected from Jaankari indicates that many citizens utilizing Jaankari services hail fromwhat appears to be underdeveloped localities. Although the data may not show large variancesin development indicators icators across districts in the state of Bihar, anecdotal evidence suggests ageneral consensus of underdeveloped areas in the state, thus it is reasonable to assume thatdifferences are noticeable to a larger degree on the ground. It is also then reasonable to say thatthe correlation between low development indicators in certain districts, and high use ofJaankari services in the same localities, illustrates the ability of the call centre to attract citizensfrom the most disadvantaged areas.3. Provides access to remote areasData collected from call centre operators along with anecdotal evidence gathered from keystakeholders, suggest that remote areas are using Jaankari services. As a telephone-basedinitiative and hence an eliminator of travel, it is expected that remote localities would reap thelargest benefits from Jaankari. The data confirms that those who are aware of the initiative 5 and5 Call centre leaders indicated that there is a high level of social workers in certain remote/underdeveloped districts.Researchers were told that these social workers are gathering RTI requests from the locals and calling Jaankari toprocess the requests in bundles. Although the exact process that occurs on the ground, particularly the arrangementbetween social workers and locals requesting information, this interaction is important to note as it is likely havingtwo major effects: one, awareness levels in these areas may be high and rising due to the social workers’ presence;20Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India