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See full case study - Indiagovernance.gov.in

See full case study - Indiagovernance.gov.in

Governance Knowledge

Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, TransparencyPublic Grievances and Accountabilityand PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilitySMS based Monitoring SystemOctober 2010Lessons LearnedMonitoring and evaluation is an integral part of any development project. It helps to quantifytargets achieved and validate whether actions are carried out as planned. It also helps inidentifying problems and making decisions accordingly. For these reasons, the SMS basedmonitoring system can have a significant impact on developmental progress. The following arelessons learned from the Bihar experience that should be considered when attempting toreplicate the model.Keys to SuccessNeed for a Paradigm Shift to Daily MonitoringDevelopment programmes are notorious for failing post-implementation because of a lack ofsustained efforts. Monitoring is a crucial component in sustaining a programme; although thismay be commonly understood, efforts are generally erally insufficient in this regard.Bihar’s SMS programme is groundbreaking in that it has transformed the monitoring timelinefrom occasional to daily. This major shift in governance practices enhances accountability as itleaves little opportunity for slacking or corruption.Streamlining processes through appropriate technology choiceDevelopment projects are complex; they consist of many stages from planning toimplementation to monitoring and updation. They often also require a large resource base –financially and in terms of manpower. As such, it is important to consider tools that willminimise these complexities.This system has streamlined the typical process by choosing an appropriate technology.Minimal training is required for sending text messages. Moreover, SMS is one of the fastestforms of communication. This digital platform rids the need for paperwork and hence speedsup data analysis for improved efficiency and effectiveness.Considering Financial and Environmental SustainabilityMobiles are low-cost and today it seems that nearly every household in India has access to amobile. This means that even people in the most remote of locations are familiar with mobiletechnology. By leveraging a tool with these features, a monitoring programme can be bothfinancially and socially sustainable.9Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India

Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, TransparencyPublic Grievances and Accountabilityand PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilitySMS based Monitoring SystemOctober 2010Additionally, mobiles are minimally dependent on difficult to maintain factors such asinfrastructure, electricity and internet connectivity, which make it an ideal choice for catering tothe least developed of areas.Change ManagementA sophisticated change management strategy was undertaken by the General AdministrationDepartment of Bihar to implement the SMS based monitoring system. Devising forward-looking plans, creating a comprehensive training ng module, making physical visits to each blockto train reporting officers, and lastly, appointing IT officers to facilitate, assist and monitor theentire process, made for a well-functioning system that could streamline sustainable operationsImplementing an End-To-End ModelUnderstanding that simple submission of ground level data would not be sufficient for creatinga meaningful impact was a key factor to achieving success. From this understanding, the SMSmonitoring model was designed and implemented as a fully integrated system. A message sentby the BDO/implementing officer to the appropriate number is only the beginning. The data isthen stored in a central server and decoded, resulting in daily reports that display district wiseprogress s of schemes. Cumulative data can be displayed in an easy-to-interpret, graphical formon an online dashboard and is accessible to both state officials and the public at large.Moving ForwardWhen considering replication of a programme, it is always important to consider whether thereis room for improvement. In this case, enhancements can be made in a few areas. For one, toreach full compliance, a reward-based programme for incentivising monitoring would bebeneficial. Through this, well-performing officers would be given some sort of extrarecognition. Secondly, the tool itself could be made more user-friendly through integration oflocal language capabilities. Lastly, the dashboard could be made into a two-waycommunication platform, whereby the public would be able to provide feedback on the datagathered and the system in general.Research was carried out by OneWorld Foundation India (OWFI), Governance Knowledge Centre (GKC) team.Documentation was created by Research Associate, Attrika Hazarika and Knowledge and Research CoordinatorNicole AnandFor further information, please contact Naimur Rahman, Director, OWFI, at owsa@oneworld.net10Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India