| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Bearing all disadvantages of the old Financial support program in mind, the Program needs to be designed carefully, with clear built-in exit strategies.
Because of the solid background of the ministry in providing other similar services, such as the provision of different financial services to various beneficiaries, Government assigned the project to the ministry. Therefore, MOSD had to adopted various strategies to minimize drawbacks in the system and to improve the program up to the standards and that coordinates with the social aspects for the Bahraini society.
First, benefit levels are often based on and scaled according to the total income of a household. Second, strictly enforce eligibility requirements. So total income (head of household) from different sources, such as salary, pension, other fixed government allowances (eg, social allowance), social assistance allowance, income from rentals, income from CRs. On the other hand, income from Commercial Registration (CR) if exist, should be calculated with other incomes. Yet there is a criteria for CRs in which number of CR branches should not be more than one, the number of employees in the CR should not exceed 10, and the total salaries of employees in the CR must not exceed BD 1000. Furthermore, the income from properties for which household is paying electricity bills, no matter the number of properties he/she owns.
A pilot of the project was implemented and called "CTP Program – Cash Transfer Program – Phase I" to allow for examination of full impact, MOSD invites beneficiaries to visit available community centers on their neighborhood to update their status. MOSD collected data of a number of 40,000 who did updated information related to their bank accounts and some other issues if any is existing. This sample helped in measuring statistics, in addition to general evaluation of benefits and weaknesses, and of course, citizen's opinions.
Benefits and weaknesses were evaluated in the CTP Program before implementation on a bigger scale basis.
The project team members gained more experience. By detecting issues at the pilot, the team could conduct tuning to the program to reducing the risk of propagating possible problems. smaller scale study the integration and technology to handle huge number of applicants. Also made the team better equipped for the larger scale deployment.
One of the statistics indicates that the number of new applicants who have not benefited from previous systems reached 66.8%. which showed that the changes made in the criteria has had the opportunity to those group of citizens to benefit from the proposed program.
A monthly evaluation is then carried out for all mismatched information to measure the accuracy of the system, the data through the integration with other governmental bodies, and the financial cycle.
Task Name Duration Start Finish
FS Project 68 days Thu 7/4/13 Tue 10/8/13
FS Requirements 1 day Thu 7/4/13 Thu 7/4/13
FS Requirement Analysis 26 days Tue 7/9/13 Wed 8/14/13
FS ETL Requirements 1 day Mon 7/15/13 Mon 7/15/13
FS ETL Analysis 26 days Wed 7/17/13 Thu 8/22/13
FS Development 39 days Sun 7/28/13 Thu 9/19/13
Registration Module 37 days Sun 7/28/13 Tue 9/17/13
ETL 17 days Sun 8/25/13 Mon 9/16/13
Payment Module 20 days Sun 8/25/13 Thu 9/19/13
FS Test 40 days Tue 8/13/13 Mon 10/7/13
System Test 33 days Tue 8/13/13 Thu 9/26/13
FS UAT 23 days Tue 9/3/13 Thu 10/3/13
UAT Feedback and Bugs Fixing 22 days Sun 9/8/13 Mon 10/7/13
Reflect Needed Changes on SA to deploy FS and SA applications in one schema 5 days Sun 9/1/13 Thu 9/5/13
Moving to Production 20 days Wed 9/11/13 Tue 10/8/13
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
MOSD seeks other parties' views to discuss the alternatives to reform and improve the Financial support Program taking into account the importance of simplifying the registration process, the reduction in inequality, in addition to other importance political considerations. Therefore it was important to involve a group of parties into reviewing the criteria.
Initially, MOSD started seeking the World Bank's advice and asked for a study that is covering universal cash transfers programs and discussing other practices, in addition to reveal a targeting method based on income that seeks to collect comprehensive information on household income and/or wealth and verifies the information collected against independent sources. However, Parliament role was very valuable as they have influential role in the government.
MOSD also have encouraging the citizen of Bahrain to get on its hotline free number in addition to social media to reach out opinions and open the chance widely for the public to debate and vote on how to improve its services, where Financial support system took a big part of it.
Several central government agencies were involved with the development of Financial Support Program. Their roles range from strategic development to provide information about individuals, where such data basis are linked and integrated into one system that is ran by MOSD.
The Governmental bodies who are linked into the Financial support Program are:
• MoSD: Social Security Allowance
• MPF: Military Income
• SIO: Civilian Income
• CIO: Gender, Marital Status, Relationship, etc
• EWA: Income from Properties
• RCO: Widowed and Orphans' Allowances
• Ministry of Interior: Residency
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Technical cost is as follows:
Phase I costs around B.D.89,000
Phase II costs around B.D.98,000
Future Phase II is estimated to cost around: B.D. 60,000
The project is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The operational cost of the financial support program since its inception in 2008 is B.D. 1,207.819
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• Reducing inequality
• Contribute to promotion of solidarity
• Simplifying and dignity. In which, a citizen is not require to prove any information related to him/her or to bring along documents. Only the ID card and IBAN no. is required.
• MOSD is proud to be the first in the region to deploy such system
There are many benefits of the system that can be summarized as follows:
• Save beneficiary's right to receive the total dues.
• Sophisticated system that perform all Payment Process:
o Confirm Banking information
o Create financial transactions
o Generate payment reports
o Generate monthly payments
o Generate treasury files
• A High-level Monthly integration: The integrity between the involved entities is now being carried online and on the spot without any manual interaction to define the eligibility of citizens for financial support, where it reveal the following:
o Validate Marital status
o Validate employment status
o Validate income
o Validate CRs
o Update Fsupport subsidy
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The Financial Support system with its many integration touch points has to be continuously monitored by administrators and backend users. The citizen usually fix all his corresponding information in various governmental entities and accordingly request the financial support services. Shall the information provided during registration, matches the information registered in the relative entities, the application passes. However, if the information differs, the registered application gets communicated with the corresponding entity in order to verify the information.
A monthly evaluation is then carried out for all mismatched information to measure the accuracy of the system. Approximately 1% inaccuracy has been reported of the overall financial support beneficiaries.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Obstacle 1: Detailed business processes:
Money should be transferred to persons who meet a certain criteria. The eligibility criteria varies depending on the overall income of the head of household. Detailed eligibility criteria and taking in consideration the special cases of the citizens has been a main challenge the in business process.
Obstacle 2: Governmental bodies approvals for data access and usage:
Gaining approval of integration across governmental entities was very challenging in terms of data security and confidentiality. Such Critical foundation for ensuring the appropriate sharing and use of data.
Obstacle 3: Data security and integrity:
A system with the mass data of the population of Bahrain is considered a highly sensitive and contains confidential information of Bahraini citizens. therefore, the highest measures of access privileges has been adopted for each and every user group. In addition to monitoring administrators access with the state-of the art network security implemented.
Obstacle 4: Citizens must keep their data up to date to avoid any disrupt in the subsidies.
As this is a solely citizens’ responsibility to maintain the freshness of the his information. It has been recorded as one of the main challenges in the system. An awareness campaign has been triggered nation-wide in order to request the citizens to maintain healthy governmental records in order to avoid any disruption in the services provided by the government mainly and the financial support in specific.
Obstacle 5: Social aspects for the Bahraini society:
The World Bank has provided a model to implement the financial support in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Despite the high standards used in the given model, it has failed in the implementation to meet the citizens’ expectations and to support the Bahraini society. Therefore, the Ministry of Social Development has managed to tweak the system to meet the Bahraini citizens social aspects.