Mobile Inspection of Development Work
Sabarkantha District Panchayat

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India plans to spend INR 800 Bn for Rural Development works. This amount is spent across 600,000 villages of India in small amounts varying from INR 30,000 to 500,000. There are 580 Districts in India. Every district in India spends more than INR 3 Bn as development funds across all schemes. At present there is no system to track and monitor all the development works from district level and due to this exact information or progress about the construction work of Awas (Houses)/Toilets/C.C.Roads/MGNREGAWork/BNRGSK/BRGF works /Anganwadi buildings etc. This leads to wrong reporting, corruption, delays and misuse of Government funds. The report from the field staff who deal with such schemes was considered to be final, leading to excessive dependence on their reporting and thus governance was trust based rather than fact based. There was no easy way to verify the authenticity of the reports. There was no way to monitor each and every work and reports were always aggregate statistics rather than data on work progress. At best only a small sample check of 3 to 5 percent could be carried out. This was not enough to bring efficiency and effectiveness of the execution process. Inspection report was filled without visiting real site of development work. There was no way to ensure that the field staff actually visit the site for inspection. More often than not armchair reporting led to vast difference is reports and field reality. Long duration of implementation, lead to time and cost overrun and abandonment of project due to delay in project was unavoidable. The District Panchayat was not able to monitor financial progress against physical work for Awas/Toilet/ MGNREGA works. Payment was done without any valid proof. So there were chances of fraud and corruption.Inspection and monitoring of various schemes /projects of State/Central government didn’t yield exact results. There was lack of valid and reliable data regarding progress or completeness of various development works. So district authority was not able make a plan based on actual facts.There was duplicity of development works assigned to beneficiary. Such bogus works led to misappropriation of Government money.Formats and parameters were not standardized. So inspection authorities had different formats for same works in same district for inspections. Further, due to manual process, ordering and reporting was delayed for any development work. Beneficiaries did not really care about using the funds for the purpose for which it was given. This led to non compliance and diversion of government funds.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Mr.Nagarajan M.(IAS) saw that benefits were not reaching the beneficiaries for whom grant was sanctioned. So he proposed and implemented “MOBILE INSPECTION SYSTEM FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT WORKS” project which helps government employees to carry out Inspection of MGNREGA, TSC Toilets, Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) Houses and Backward Region Grant Fund(BRGF) works using latest technology and user friendly m-governance tools. Main priority areas to work were: 1. Control over quality and timely execution of development works. 2. Generate valid and reliable data for evidence based decision making. 3. GPS and photo tagging to decrease duplicity and authenticity of development works. 4. Inspection report to make a payment to reduce corruption and fraud. 5. Provides valuable data for GIS based planning. 6. Third party inspection methodology using other department staff for monitoring. The project uses the latest technology to eliminate delays and errors in inspection and monitoring of various projects/schemes laid down by State/Central Government. Now inspection order is generated and sent to inspection authority by sms and E-mail also. The project has a facility to capture the work stage details, Images and Videos of work with other relevant data, carrying out Geo-tagging of work at various stage with GPS coordinates, generating inspection order and mailing the same automatically to inspection officer and ordering authority in pdf format. There is a linkage provided in the system where inspection report’s GPS co-ordinate link would be located and shown on map. Main target audience are ordering officers like District Development Officer, Director of District Rural Development Agency, Taluka Development Officers and inspection authorities like Gram Sevak, Talati, Technical Assistant (MGNREGA), Cluster co-coordinators etc. Due to implementation of this project, timeliness and quality of development works have improved. Orders and reports are sent by sms and e-mail leading to reduction in time taken for administrative process. Due to timely reporting of works payments are done quickly with photo and GIS proof of development works. Now accuracy of reports is ensured up to almost 100%. There is improvement in reliability and validity of data generated from the field. Monitoring at district level has become very simpler. Dashboard review gives real time progress of all development works at a glance to district authority. Authenticated data gives opportunity to make evidence based decision making by district authority. Standardization of formats and parameters was done. Due to GPS tagging and time stamping it is ensured that the government staff actually visit the site and prepare the reports. The photo identity proof of beneficiary is also recorded in the system. This ensures that there is no bogus beneficiary. The photo of the asset created along with the beneficiary is also taken on record. Payments are released only after such reports are submitted. Now the beneficiaries have come to understand that they have to comply with conditions of the grant. The can no longer divert the funds and get away with it as each and every work is tracked. Geo-spatial analysis and algorithms can predict possible duplication of works. This can be re-verified on the field. The systems yields valuable data for integrated district planning based on GIS. For the first time in India the District Officials are able to take a holistic view of progress of work and also make a perspective plan for the district converging schemes and resources as per the socio-economic and geographic conditions of each village.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The features of the mobile app make the initiative creative and innovative: 1.There is no such system in any district of India. Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India is now adopting this system as a best practice and is in the process of issuing guidelines to all states to implement this system. 2.The mobile inspection data has been put up in public domain at for transparency. 3.The attitude of Government staff has improved from resistance to reluctant acceptance to proactive adoption within a period of one year. This system helps then do their work quickly and efficiently. 4.An android based mobile application is made for inspection of work. The actual work is done by regular government staff as part of their work. No vendor or agency is involved in day to day working. 5. Facility of GPS and photo/video tagging with inspection of development works is given. 6.Inspection can be ordered and reports can be submitted via e-mail and SMS to increase real time recording and reporting of data. 7.Dashboard for various level decision makers to monitor development works. 8.Standardized formats exist for collection of only useful and relevant data.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Initially, analysis and review of existing reports and methods for various development works was done to finalize the concept of new initiative. Deep R & D was done to develop concept of inspection and monitoring of Project Management Process through online work tracking and inspection of sanctioned work. Similar initiatives in corporate and international NGO like , , were also analysed. Review meeting and Informal gathering were organized to take feedback and standardization of formats of mobile inspection of development works.Sensitization workshop for supervisor regarding importance of timeliness and reliable data collection and reporting were held. Extensive training & capacity building of field workers was conducted to use touch screen device and mobile application by power point presentations, screen caste videos of mobile application and field training. On a pilot basis, Inspection of 12489 houses sanctioned under Indira Awas Yojana (central government scheme) in last five years was undertaken in September 2013 through 40 teams to cover 1440 villages of both Sabarkantha and Aravalli district. It was found that more than one third of the works were actually completed but were not reported. They were immediately taken as completed and the last installment was disbursed. The project scope was expanded to cover regular inspection of Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) works and then to all rural development work of District Panchayat and DRDA. In August,2014 the scope was further expanded to cover District Planning Board (Ayojan Mandal), Tribal Area Sub-Plan (TASP), State Government programmes. The system is also used to monitor service quality at Primary health facility, Anganwadi centers, Primary schools etc. Effective coverage of 100% of all rural development works implemented in district is done.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Nagarajan M. IAS (District Development Officer): 1.Analyzed and reviewed reports of various development works that did not give proper answer about the quality of work and transparency in payment system. He developed the concept of inspection and monitoring of Project Management Process through online project tracking and inspection of sanctioned works. 2.Actively guided and implemented Government Process Re-engineering (GPR) efforts. 3.Increased participation of employees of all levels by conducting seminars and workshops. Created elearning content for employees to understand and operate the system. 4.Reduced usage of paper and implemented email and SMS as part of Governance process. Director District Rural Development agency and Taluka Development Officers: 1.Conducted the initial pilot in a timely manner by quickly assembling inspection teams and working across departments and geographies with good co-ordination. 2.Review meeting and Informal gathering were organized to take feedback and standardization of formats of mobile inspection of development works. Elected Representatives of District, Taluka and Village Local self Governments: 1.They were provided awareness and sensitization to the system. 2.They were taken as partners in implementation. This reduced resistance to adoption of the system. 3.The increase in monitoring and control was shown as a step for transparency and Good Governance and not for any vindictive measure. 4.Data on work execution and work status is provided to them on a proactive basis. Assistant Engineers, Talati, Gram Sevak, Technical Assistant (MGNREGA), Cluster Co-ordinator (NBA): 1.They helped in standardization of formats and helped improve the mobile inspection system. 2.Participated actively in User Acceptance Testing I-diagnosis Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Ahmedabad: 1.They developed the mobile application and have given continuous support for finalization of mobile application.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project represents a low cost model for monitoring rural development works. A back of the envelop calculations show that the project costs are covered in six months. The service has been locked for 3 years. The per inspection cost at present is INR 150 which is already lower than the manual methods. With higher number of inspections across the project time frame of 3 years, the per inspection cost will be reduced drastically to INR 15 at the end of project life. The project is scalable as new device can be deployed anytime if needed. Hardware (Tab. device) and mobile application expenses were done from Backward Region Grant Fund. The cost of each tab with software and services is fixed for three years and can be used for unlimited inspections without any extra cost. Tab and software licenses are permanent assets for the organization and any number of departments/schemes and works can be added for inspection. Hence over a period of 3 years the cost per inspection will go down drastically. Moreover latest technology like mobile and cloud have been used to keep overheads and running cost low in future. The data collected viz. Work status and GPS help in GIS based planning and decision making which cannot be quantified in money terms. Existing government human resources are used. So no extra cost was done for human resources.Training and capacity building of all stakeholders were done by vendor free of cost.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Quantitative Impact: Total 35,501 inspections of development works and Kachcha Makan (housing status) survey have been done up to 27/10/2014. 1. Kaccha Makan Survey (Housing status) – 6845 2. Toilet Survey – 1512 3. BNRGSK (Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendras or a Village Knowledge Resource Center) – 186 4. Awas – 15050 5. Toilet – 8792 6. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee act – 430 7. C.C Road – 897 8. Other Backward Region Grant Fund works – 1789 Qualitative Impact: 1. Up to date information is available for all works executed/under- execution in district. 2. Online monitoring of progress of all works is easy with district dashboard. 3. Duplicity of work has been avoided by mapping of GPS locations. 4. Control the Quality of work by analysis of Videos and Photos 5. Facility for generating all type of reports i.e. work wise, stage wise, village wise etc. 6. Facility of generating instant report and their comparison with previous report to check the pace of work has given real time and reliable data for evidence based decision making for district authority. 7. Evidence based payments are made by payment authority, which has reduced fraud and corruption in development works payments. 8. Inspection order by sms and e-mail has reduced use of papers and increased speed of inspection and report submission. Overall the efficiency of the department has shot up. Importantly due to better inspection and monitoring, the funds are being better utilized now and that is visible in faster and focused development.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1.Dashboard monitoring is done by ordering authorities through various reports like total numbers of inspections done against total number of inspections assigned. 2.GIS mapping on dashboard to ensure real site inspection of development works. 3.SMS and e-mail system to ensure timely submission of inspection report. 4.Payment is made only after signed copy of inspection report is submitted. 5.Randomized review of inspection report to ensure qualitative data collection and photo tagging.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Obstacle-1: Fear of adapting to new process. Steps Taken to overcome-1: Review meeting, feedback of stakeholders, informal information gathering and importance of need of change in current process management. WhatsApp group has also been made for feedback and views from various stakeholders. Obstacle-2: Fear of using an android mobile as means for administration Steps Taken to overcome-2: Informal meetings were held to know how to use mobile device. Mobile games were introduced to ensure that employees are comfortable with touch devices. Obstacle-3: Fear of use of mobile application Steps Taken to overcome-3: Power point presentations and screen cast videos of mobile application were made and delivered to council to understand how mobile application can be used Obstacle-4: Lack of data connectivity for submitting inspection report. Steps Taken to overcome-4: Data store facility is given in mobile application and data syncs whenever data connectivity is available. Obstacle-5: Some stakeholders have faced problem for English language. Steps Taken to overcome-5: Mobile application is also made in vernacular language (In our case it is "Gujarati").

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
A.Government to Citizen: i.Quality and progress of development work has been improved. ii.Transparency and Good Governance – as data is in public domain. iii.Quick decision to ensure timely disbursement of funds to the Citizens. B.Government to Government: i.There is an improvement in reliability and validity of data for various development works. So now district authority is able to make evidence based decisions. ii.With Mobile application inspection and monitoring, almost 35,000 development works have been completed with photograph of beneficiary, beneficiary’s photo identification proof and development work with GPS tagging. This has been achieved with minimal use of human resource. iii.District authority is now able to perform a desktop review with back-end web application and gives feedback to all level government servants. iv.Due to completion of work in time payment for development work has become speedy and transparent. v.Corruption has decreased with use of Mobile Application. Government staff from any department can do inspection of any development work done in district. This type of third party evaluation has reduced a chance of corruption and false report submission. vi.Valuable field data is generated for GIS and Geo-spatial analysis and convergence planning. It enabled Integrated District Planning across department and schemes. vii.Reduced complaints from Elected Representatives on work quality or timely execution. c.Government to Employee: There is an improvement in efficacy and efficiency of employees. Employees are able to complete inspection of all works in time with minimum resource utilization. Real time submission of report with GPS tagging has improved authenticity of report submitted by employee. District authority and all level other officers can easily monitor progress of all development works with necessary information. There is a reduction in paper work.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Sustainability: 1.The cost of each tab with software and services is fixed for three years and can be used for unlimited inspections without any extra cost. Tab and software licenses are permanent asset to the organization and any number of departments/schemes and works can be added for inspection. Hence over a period of 3 years the cost per inspection will go down drastically. 2.Moreover latest technology like mobile and cloud have been used to keep overheads and running cost low in future. The data collected viz. Work status and GPS help in GIS based planning and decision making which cannot be quantified in money terms. 3.District panchayat has used some e-government standards as follows: a)xml schema is used for generation of data elements. b)Land region codes are used as per government standards. 4.The application is developed in modular and extensive manners. Standard based approach is adopted. Extensive use of web services / API to enable an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Application is built for quick scalability and state wide using cloud mode in Software-as-a-service) SaaS mode Replicability: Owing to the widespread use of mobile technology in the recent past, any mobile based solution is quite replicable. Special focus has been put on mGovernance lately which emphasizes on using mobile devices for effective service delivery and administration. Certain features of the solution make this initiative replicable as far as the idea of mGovernance is concerned. 1.It is an android based mobile application supported by web site. 2.Ordering authority sends order to inspection authority through sms and e-mail. 3.GPS tagging of inspection is done. 4.Photos or video of work, beneficiary and photo id proof of beneficiary are taken. 5.Store facility in mobile application and sync data whenever data connectivity is available.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
1.Review Meeting, Informal Gathering are needed to spread awareness amongst all stake holders about important objectives of the project. 2.Use of social media like Whatsapp, facebook group is useful for feedback and reply. Social media use is highly encouraged even in government organizations as it helps to overcome communication barriers and is a speedy and effective way of communication. 3.Field trials by real users have given great inputs to make system user friendly. This has helped us realize the importance of user feedback and diverse opinions to develop a good solution. 4.Use of android based mobile application is very crucial in the era of android technology. The ease in availability of android based solution is also helpful. 5.Mobile application in local language has great effect on utilization and adaptation of newer technology. It helps officials in overcoming the initial fear of using technology for day to day administration. 6.Continuous guidance, appreciation and technical support by district has played crucial role to scale up and cover all types of rural works done in district.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Sabarkantha District Panchayat
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Nagarajan M
Title:   District Development Office, Sabarkantha  
Telephone/ Fax:   +919978406246
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   District Panchayat Office, Near Old Market Yard, Himatnagar
Postal Code:   383001
City:   Sabarkantha
State/Province:   Gujarat

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