The Problem

Expeditious deliverv of G2C services, in terms of regularity, accessibility, availability and efficacy, to the rural poor has always been a challenge for district administration in India. Despite efforts aimed at democratic decentralization, a vast array of basic G2C services say demand for installation of a hand pump in a village -can still be availed of only at the district headquarters. This means that people from remote, rural villages have to travel anywhere up to 50 kms for a service as basic as obtaining a ration card. Since a majority of the rural poor are engaged in farm labour of work as daily wage earners, a single trip to the district headquarters entails a day's wages or work on the fields as the opportunity cost. Service delivery is still not assured. One often has to undertake several such trips before a simple task- say obtaining the copy of record-of-rights, the basic land record document, is accomplished. Further, inadequacy of monitoring mechanisms makes it difficult for the Collector (chief administrator of the district) to ensure the on field availability of key field functionaries. Field staff in vital social sectors like health and education- say an auxiliary nurse and midwife (ANM) working in a remote sub health centre or a primary school teacher posted at a remote hamlet would often remain absent for long periods from their workplaces and district heads would not have any monitoring mechanisms to check such truancy on the part field level functionaries. Such absence would essentially have a deleterious impact on the service delivery efficacy of vital line departments. Serious flaws in service delivery at the field would in turn compel the rural poor, who are hit the hardest by the same, to throng district offices for grievance remediation. Thus the demand load from rural citizens would be highest on the top of the hierarchy, i.e. at the district headquarters while lower down, enforcing accountability for performance would become a difficult task in the absence of rigorous and intelligent monitoring mechanisms. Such state of affairs prevailed till late August. 2009 in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh, India. Essentially, the interests of the rural poor were most seriously affected by this state of affairs and in general, administrative machinery was perceived as quite rigid: difficult, costly and time consuming in terms of access , Poor on field presence of field staff was a serious cause of concern for the district departmental heads on one hand and a monumental grievance for the rural citizens on the other. Janmitra was conceptualized, designed and implemented as a localized innovation in administration with the aim of placing citizen at the focal point of governance.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The primary achievement has been in terms of decentralization of the governmental interface to the level of Gram Panchayat - the grass root level -people's representative institution. A basket of 76 services, selected in a participative framework by the village Panchayats are now being provided through 48 Janmitra centres running in select Gram Panchayat Offices in entire rural area of district Gwalior , . Each, center caters to an average of 5 village Panchayats (each Panchayat has an average population of I500). Field level functionaries of 13 departments register their daily duty presence via biometric fingerprint identification technology at these centres in accordance with an attendance roster finalized for the same. An average of 700-800 applications are being received daily at all the centers (each centre , caters to a population of 7500 on an average) and the disposal rate has all along been more than 95%. An important fact that needs mention here is that time limits have been assigned for the delivery of each service and these limits have been compressed to as much as 50 % as against those provided in the relevant departmental Citizen Charters. High rate of disposal is doable even with these reworked time limits as decentralized service delivery and reengineered processes have remarkably cut down the number of levels up and down the hierarchy that an application has to ordinarily move in a business as usual scenario. On field availability of field staff has improved remarkably as salary cuts are effected to the extent of a day's salary for absence/more than 4 hours of delay in reporting at the centre. Attendance registered at the centres as well as details of applications received, stage of processing and disposals per centre are transmitted from these centres real time via a broadband link or data card and compiled at the district headquarters where the District Collector personally monitors the field activity on a daily basis with Janmitra centres as his eyes. Daily monitoring and availability of full and accurate information with the departmental heads and the District Collector, who in particular, keeps a close eye on defaulting employees and delayed disposals immensely facilitating the process of monitoring and performance evaluation of departments as well as individual employees. The impact has been quite evident in the form of less crowded district offices as the rural population now has a delivery interface much closer to their lives and essentially intertwined as a part of their day-to-day existence. The accessibility, availability and efficacy of governmental service delivery mechanisms has significantly improved for the rural population of District Gwalior

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
While the concept, basic programme design and leadership in implementation were provided by the Collector and District Magistrate Gwalior, Mr. Akash Tripathi every stage in the execution process, from design to implementation involved extensive and multi layered consultations with eclectic stakeholders who contributed immensely to the successful execution of the project. The most important role in the identification of services to be delivered at the centres was played by Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) namely the Gram Panchayats. Proposals were drafted by each of the 302 Gram Panchayats in development block Barai recommending a cluster of services central to the requirements of the village dwellers. These proposals were duly sorted and processed department wise at the level of District Panchayat and eventually the Collector who has been the prime mover of the project gave a final shape to the consolidated proposals. The Collector also co-ordinated with the 13 participating line departments at the district level, guiding them through analysis and re-engineering of their service delivery processes and in the preparation of their departmental attendance rosters. The department heads played a pivotal role, in not only liasioning with the district administration for the necessary groundwork in a constructive manner but more so in leading at their respective levels, the initiative to re-engineer processes that were detrimental to expeditious delivery of services and in motivating the field level functionaries to accept own and run the proposed system. The IEC campaigns as well as training for the programrne were conducted in active collaboration with the local NGOs, and media. IEC campaign was primarily aimed at informing inhabitants of remote villages of the wide array of services they could avail of at the centres. Local media, both electronic as well as print, played a pivotal role in informing the public about the initiative, HCL Infosystems Limited supplied hardware solutions for the centres which the entire software design, development and interfacing was done in house by National Informatics Centre, Gwalior. The task of MIS data entry- was outsourced to Jyoti Infotech Limited that meticulously selected and trained qualified local youth as computer operators for the centers. Physical infrastructure upgradation of the Gram Panchayat offices as Janmitra centers was wholly delegated to Panchayats which executed the task efficiently with local people's active participation.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
Since the initiative primarily involved decentralization of the governmental interface to the village Panchayat level, it entailed crucial co-ordination between eclectic stakeholders -- from departmental hierarchies to district administration: from people's representative institutions to private companies. As mentioned earlier, project design commenced with the selection of services which was done in a participative manner by the village Panchayats. This exercise commenced in the first week on July,2009 and by August 9,2009, the final list of 65 services had been drawn up. The biggest challenge before the team was to co-ordinate the activities of a large number of departments and to get all of them to come to a common platform through Janmitrra. For this, periodic meetings were organized starting the 3rd of August to begin with department wise, wherein field staff brainstormed with their line heads to devise process solutions with their extensive field experience. This was followed by interdepartmental brain storming sessions chaired by the Collector in which detailed modalities for implementation were worked out. Valuable contributions came in these meetings From the PRIs which provided an extra departmental and more responsive perspective to service delivery. By August 29, re-engineered processes as well as attendance schedules of all 12 participating departments had been finalized. While software development for the attendance monitoring module had commenced by the beginning of July, service delivery module was designed only by the end of August as it entailed generation of specific, citizen friendly form formats in the local language for each of the 65 services. reporting monitoring and evaluation formats as well as interlinking with relevant departmental software for performance appraisal of their departmental employees. Hardware procurement process commenced on August 17, only after decisions regarding power solution for the centres had been taken and was completed by September 12, on site installation of procured hardware commenced thereafter in a block of 7 days. Once the modalities for both the modules had been fine-tuned, a block of 15 days (August 25 to September 9) and thereafter another of 7 days (September 12 to September l9) were modeled as capacity building modules for the computer operators as well as the field staff and center supervisors. Simultaneously, a 25 minute long awareness building film directed by a respectable local NGO was screened across the 59 Panchayats in Barai block during the evenings for IEC activities. The project was inaugurated at the Janmitra centre situated within the premises of Gram Panchayat office, Simariya Tanka village on September 25, 2009. As on 23 Oct 2011 , 348103 ( Three hundred forty eight thousand one hundred and three ) applications have been received so far at these 48 centres and the disposal rate is more than 95% while remaining applications are being processed strictly within the time limits.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Experience in implementing myriads of government programmes monitoring the performance of key line departments in different capacities and having extensively interacted with the citizens in the context of their problems, Collector Gwalior had identified two key objectives while conceptualizing the project- one, ensuring timely, regular and efficient availability of basic G2C services through field functionaries in vital social sectors and two, bringing administration closer to the citizens. i.e. improving access by placing the governmental interface as close to the citizens as possible. The core strategy adopted by the project team that included the Collector as the head, Chief Executive Officer, Zila Panchayat and other departmental heads was that of extensive participative and multi-stakeholder based consultations at the project design stage in a bottom to up stream. While the process of services selection was wholly executed by the PRIs so as to be effective and reflective of the real needs of the rural poor, the team worked cohesively in doing detailed analyses of service delivery processes and in re-engineering them so as to make service delivery faster, easier more economical and more local. Suggestions of field level staff themselves were most useful in delineating the re-engineered processes. In the framework that emerged, every employee involved in the authoritative disbursement of each of the 76 selected services had an attendance schedule fixed up in the Janmitra centre falling within her/his territorial jurisdiction. Such detailed attendance rosters were prepared for each employee in each department for each centres. Throughout the process, open channels of communication across the hierarchies facilitated emergence of realistic and highly effective solutions that were thoroughly rooted in field experience. Once the design had been finalized the task of software design and development was taken up by National Informatics Centre, Gwalior. With Biometric Fingerprint Identification Technology as the platform, fingerprint templates of more than 3200 employees were generated, stored and locked to preclude the possibility of tampering with fingerprint data. Open competitive tender route was adopted for the procurement of system hardware. The issue of legal validity of certain services (for instance a copy of the record-of-rights which by law was hitherto issued only at the tehsil level) was resolved by delegating to the Janmitra center supervisors the authority vested in the associated tehsil level functionary under the State Land Revenue Code. Finally, intensive capacity building exercises were designed end executed to train computer operators, employees, center supervisors as well as field staff.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The main obstacle in the successful operationalization of the centers was the abnormal power situation in the rural areas. The rural area of district Gwalior is predominantly tribal, dacoit infested and remote and wholly connected to the rural feeder which supplies 4-5 hours of power mostly between 1 AM to 5 AM in a day. This meant a power back up solution that would run the Janmitra machines – a computer system, Biometrics Machine , a printer, 2 tube lights and a fan for 7 hours during the day time (Janmitra centres are open from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM) when there is no power supply in the villages. The technical team studied a number of alternative solutions- using solar panels powered systems as complete stand alone power systems or generators/inverters only to provide the required back up. Expensive power solutions were not thought to be feasible as the locals feared thefts . . Solar systems would need constant servicing and careful handling in the extremely rugged and dusty environment of rural areas . Generators would be beyond the project’s budget and the operating cost too would be high. Finally, the team zeroed on sine wave inverters with parallel batteries that alone would back-up for 8 hours and would still be within the project budget. Laptops which are low on power consumption would adjunct inverters to serve the purpose.
Further, one had to grapple with a scenario in which the end users i.e. the rural poor, the field staff, the centre supervisors and the computer operators themselves were not well acquainted with computer systems and associated technology which made psychological gearing up as well as capacity building for the change all the more vital. As age old processes were modified in a decentralized delivery mode, attitudinal change took quite an effort, constructive communication and hand holding at all levels, led by the District Collector.
While the front and i.e. the interface with public is essentially computerized with a fool proof system for receipt, tracking and deposal of applications, monitoring of back end process is being progressively computerized as alerts are generated whenever a pending demand tends to approach the time limit. Real time transmission of all data relating to process takes place to the district officer for the purpose of monitoring. Real time monitoring of services being delivered are again a challenging job because of poor network and communication connectivity in rural area of the district .The basic softwares designed in such a way that data can be sent even low speed Data Card ..Since no proper connectivity is available at remote locations so broad band connections and data cards are preferred mode of connectivity . Daily data files related to attendance of fields functionaries and demand applications received from general public transmitted to district headquarter . Files thus received merged and hosted in a website for monitoring purpose by higher authorities .

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
A self-sustainable user fee based service deliver centre called 'Samadhan Ek Divas' has been in service at the district headquarters for quite some time now. Funds were available in the district as profits from this project. This corpus of Rs 10 lakh was utilized for the purchase of hardware while village Panchayats allocated a chunk of their untied funds for physical infrastructure up gradation of their offices remodelling them as centres. As software development was done in house, it did not entail any financial investment. The revenue model of the project was operationally designed to be self sustainable with a user fee fixed for each service. `Below the Poverty Line' (BPL) applicants are however charged 50% of the user fee. Revenue generated at each centre is ploughed back to meet the operating costs (Stationery, maintenance etc). On an average, revenue up to Rs 4000 per month is being generated per centre which is sufficient to meet the operating costs as well as build up an investment corpus for meeting the future up gradation needs of the centre. Hence no external financing is now required for the protect. The key human resources employed in the project are computer operators who've been carefully selected from amongst the qualified local youth in Gwalior by Jyotishree InfoTech Limited. Systematic pre as well as post implementation training and hands on experience have equipped these personnel in efficacious management of the computer systems and software. In a short span of time, the operators have been able to successfully commence the task of decentralized MIS data entry for National Employment Guarantee Scheme the flagship wage employment scheme of the Union Government at the Janmitra centres. When the project was scaled up to cover the entire rural area of district , we were sanctioned a fund of Rs 38 Lacs by the state government innovation fund . This was sanctioned on the basis of the excellent performance of the Janmitra Centers in the Barai Block . This fund is utilized to scale up the project to 48 centers throughout all the four rural development blocks of the district Gwalior . The centre supervisors have emerged as responsible responsive and accountable centre coordinators, who have successfully managed to guide visiting field staff, center operators and most importantly, the citizens visiting the centre to their satisfaction. The success and popularity of Janmitra centres in the villages arises, in part, also from the on field availability of field employees in a manner not experienced before. The manner in which field employees of the 12 departments have responded to the initiative is no less overwhelming. The percentage attendance recorded at the centres has been above 95% in every month since the time of its commencement. Software developers at National Informatics Centre, Gwalior as well as the service staff of hardware suppliers have provided remarkable handholding support and guidance to the centre operators and supervisors .

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
5. Janmitra Samadhan Kendra is a self-sustainable, full equipped system of G2C service delivery. There is full participation of the local Panchayati Raj institution namely Gram Panchayat’s and Janpad Panchayat, in establishing and running of these Janmitra Centres. One time expenditure on infrastructure and hardware is just Rs. 1 Lac for one center which has been arranged through Panchayat funds and MGNREGS contingency funds. These two financial sources are available through out the state and country at the district level. Similarly recurring expenditure for running these centers is being managed through user charges collected, Panchayat funds and MGNREGS contingency fund which are also available on a regular basis throughout the state of M.P and country as well. Since all the G2C services offered at Janmitra Center all actually being delivered at the centre only, by the employees of the respective department giving their regular attendance at this centre, it’s a simple and highly effective model of public service delivery. The software developed by NIC Gwalior is tailor made for the project and can be used anywhere such project is to be replicated, in a matter of no time, in any part of the state or country. In fact, looking into the simplicity and effectiveness of these Janmitra Centers in Gwalior, the state government of Madhya Pradesh has taken decision to replicate this model throughout the state and formed a committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary, General Administration department to oversee the process of this replication . Janmitra Samadhan kendras were first started functioning in the remote and backward block Barai of District Gwalior. Looking into the overwhelming response rural masses in the first six months, it was felt that these centers should be scaled up throughout the district in all the remaining three block namely Dabra, Bhitarwar and Morar. This model is so easy to scale up that district administration decided to scale up in the month of March and on 7th April the project was scaled up from 12 Janmitra centers in one block to 48 Janmitra center throughout the 4 blocks of the district. So, this scaling up to the tune of three times was achieved in a matter of just around a month. This experience clearly brings out the fact that Janmitra Samadhan kendras project is very easily scalable. Similarly, Janmitra project was launched with 53 G2C services initially but during the course of operation, public demanded for new services. On such demand we examined the feasibility of the new services and then added them. In a run of sixteen months total number of G2C services have been scaled from 53 to now 76. This again proves the inherent scalability of the project.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The most important impact of the initiative has been on the accessibility and effectiveness of the delivery mechanisms for the rural poor. The far-flung rural hinterlands of in the district are today flush with on field activity-with field functionaries like health workers, school teachers , Anganwadi workers (in charge of mother and child care in a village) etc attending to their field of responsibility daily under effective top level monitoring through the instrumentality of the Janmitra centre.

As on 23 Oct 2011 performance analysis of Janmitra samadhan Kendra are
Application Received 348103 ( Three hundred forty eight thousand one hundred and three )
Application Disposed off 344816 ( Three hundred forty four thousand eight hundred and sixteen )

Thus it is clear more than 98 % applications have been disposed off . The attendance plan is working remarkably. More than 3200 fields functionaries are giving their scheduled attendance at these 48 Janmitra Samadhan Kendra The attendance linked cuts have become fewer as the number of defaulting employees are decreasing with increased monitoring and evaluation by the district authorities.
Field level staffs availability and performance have been considerably improved after implementation of this project . A detailed impact analysis study conducted by Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management , Gwalior revealed that as much as 40 % demand load on district level offices has dropped after implementing this project . On analysis of the data received from various Janmitra Kendra it is clear that actual delivery time has been reduced as much as 70 % in as against implementation of this project . Further Janmitra covers all important 13 departments of the district so service delivery matrix of major departments is much more efficient as against of previous model .Janmitra service delivery model is so proven that people sometimes refer Janmitra Samadhan Kendra as mini collectorate .
The conversion from manual to computerized system has reduced the level of corruption because of transparency in the working of the system. On-time delivery of the service and time limit-mechanism has improved then quality of service delivery. The biometric system for attendance has increased the on-field availability of field-functionaries. Thus the working of the overall system has become faster as compared to centralized, manual system.

The overall impact of this project on the employees can be summarized as the impact on work, efficiency and effectiveness. The responsibility on the employees has been increased because of traceability in case of missing any deadlines in demand delivery etc. Their attendance has shown a significant rise due to the biometric system and because of this on-time service delivery is possible. The efficiency of the employees and field functionaries has improved. The deduction from the salaries of the poor performing employees has also motivated them to do better. The essence of / Janmitra lies in an appropriate blending of technology with human skills to provide a basket of G2C services in a time bound, decentralized and citizen friendly manner and at monitoring the presence of field level functionaries with a view to improving public service delivery in crucial sectors of public importance.

Recently Govt of Madhya Pradesh introduced MP Public Service Delivery Act 2010 . A provision of penalty has been made in the act in case of any failure in delivering citizen services with in stipulated time limit . These centers are also working as service delivery hub for MP Public Service Delivery Act 2010 .

Contact Information

Institution Name:   COLLECTOR GWALIOR
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   AKASH TRIPATHI
Title:   MR  
Telephone/ Fax:   07512446200
Institution's / Project's Website:   gwalior.nic.in
E-mail:   akashtripathi@hotmail.com  
Postal Code:   474012
City:   INDIA
State/Province:   MADHYA PRADESH
Country:   India

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