| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In no more than 200 words, illustrate what makes the initiative unique and how it addressed the problem in new and different ways. List the creative and innovative approaches that allowed for its success.
The main purpose of the Tasareeh initiative is to automate the various approval processes through development of an online system, to get rid of the drawbacks in the manual system and make the approval process faster and transparent and increase the confidence level on approval through accurate verification.
Rather than just developing an online system, the innovation lies in the fact that the permit system has been integrated within a GIS environment within the broader framework of BSDI. This has made up-to-date spatial infrastructure data owned by various Ministries, Private and Public organization available to stakeholder community. Stakeholders can now refer to these spatial data while planning and designing a project, even before they raise a request for development approval. This has resulted in reducing the risk of getting a request being rejected very early. Impact of major risk can be monitored easily and issues can be mitigated with alternate plans. Not only this, the approving stakeholders can refer to the spatial data from other stakeholders in a common platform at all stages of the approval cycle making the entire Approval Process much more organized and efficient with high approval confidence.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Tasareeh initiative has been conceptualized by CPO, MOW but actually been implemented by Information & eGovernment Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain with support from all the Government & Public Stakeholders involved in the approval of the Infrastructural Permits. As mentioned the e-Wayleave clearance system is tightly integrated in a GIS framework and hence the GIS Directorate, IGA being the GIS hub of Bahrain had been entrusted with the responsibility of development and implementation of the system.
The GIS Directorate, caters and supports the increasing need of Geographic Information System in the Kingdom. The role of the Directorate is to develop, drive and support various geospatial initiatives catering to the GIS needs of the service sectors and maintaining the National Geospatial Database. The current project is strategically aligned to this initiative.
The implementation of the initiative has both direct & indirect influence on the society at large. While the Government and Public entities involved in the Infrastructure Permit approvals are the Direct beneficiaries; all segment of the society including residents, investors and road users indirectly benefit from the Government providing faster essential utility and infrastructure services aided by the Tasareeh implementation
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The presented implementation strategy depicted below reflects only the eWayLeave Clearance System within the broader Tasareeh initiative.
PLANNING: Feb 2011
In this phase, the main priority was to understand the manual wayleave clearance process and to standardize the different workflow procedures for each stakeholder. Therefore intensive meetings were held where participating stakeholders briefed their wayleave approval process and stated their specific requirements in conjunction to the broader e-Wayleave framework. Through weekly meetings the charter for the E-Wayleave Clearing project has been drafted. Also the stakeholders were made aware of the benefits and efficiency the E-Wayleave system will bring. The aim was to establish a collaborative environment of various Government and public stakeholders working towards a common goal of making the government sector more productive and accountable in delivering shared government services. Implementation scale, deployment dependencies, readiness of users, associated deployment risks, scheduling and resource availability was examined. Also during this phase a detailed pilot approach, identification of appropriate participants, identification of plan the pilot environment was developed
PILOTING: March 2011-Sept 2011
Here the focus was on the high-level integration and interoperability of the Prime Stakeholders in the e-Wayleave process workflow and in enhancing the decision-making capability of the stakeholders by integrating it with GIS technology. It allowed the implementation to validate its approach for full application deployment to uncover operability issues associated with production-like condition and to provide an opportunity to address these issues before full application roll out. Also lot of capacity building programs were carried out to make the user familiar with Geographic Information System and its use in decision making and approval processes.
SCALING: Sept 2011 –Oct 2013
In this phase, the service was extended to all stakeholders identified for the E-WayLeave clearance process with a focus on to enhance the user experience and increase accountability. Due to the huge increase in number of users to the portal, the infrastructure has also been scaled to maintain the sustainability of the Wayleave services and support the integration with the different technologies adopted by the stakeholders. After the deployment during this phase both the manual and online system were operational for 1 year following which the manual process was phased out and entire process of way leave approval went online.
MONITORING: Nov 2013 – Oct 2015
In this phase, the prime focus was to monitor the performance of the implemented system and enhance user experience. With users having something in hand to work with, it was easier for them to visualize many features which were not initially considered in the original plan or were omitted for different reason.
REFINEMENT & ENHANCEMENTS: Nov 2015 - Present
This phase aimed at further improving the efficiencies of the stakeholders not just in Way Leave approval but also in the entire end-to-end Way Leave process and to enhance User satisfaction in terms of more robust process and easy to use interfaces. Activities in this phase include the following.
- Reengineering stakeholder’s internal workflow to increase wayleave efficiency and enhance user experience
- Include Ministerial Permission & Road Crossing Certificate Approval workflows
- Include Municipalities and General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) Approval and Payment processes.
- Enhance overall user experience in the WL system through UI redesigning using state of art technology
- Technology migration to the best solutions to industry based practice.
- Design & Develop Key Performance Indicators in the WL Approval Process
- Design & Develop Reporting & Dashboard Modules for Manage & Monitoring the Process.
- Add the External Stakeholders (Private Entities) to the wayleave process.
- Incorporate additional spatial data layers to support and increase the confidence level of approval.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The e-Wayleave system is a mixture of G2G & G2B. The System has in fact made the Government to Government data transmission and services more accountable, flexible and standardized which in turn had tremendously increased the decision making capabilities of the organizations thus improving the equilibrium of governance by Bahrain Government Organizations
The main stakeholders with their role in the project is given below
o Ministry of Works, Kingdom of Bahrain (MOW) – The Central Planning Office (CPO), MOW has been responsible for leading the initiative and has been the prime stakeholder in designing and rolling out the initiative. They are also responsible for administering the Wayleave approval process. The other directorates within MOW particularly the Roads Directorate (RPRD & RPMD) and Sanitary Directorate (SEPPD, TSE) also participate in the Wayleave process either as Wayleave Requestor or Approval entity.
o Information & eGovernment Authority (IGA) – The GIS Directorate, IGA had been entrusted with the responsibility of designing, development and implementation of the eWayleave system within BSDI framework. The entity provides the base-map data and manages BSDI implementation which provides a platform to share geospatial data by all participating stakeholders. IGA provides the technology innovations.
The following stakeholders participate in the process as End users, either by publishing or approving Wayleave request and sharing spatial data and information over BSDI to support the overall process.
o Electricity & Water Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain – The Electricity & Water Transmission and Distribution directorates (EDD, ETD, WDD, WTD, PSDE, PSDW) of EWA
o Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA) – BATELCO & Bahrain Interchange Exchange through TRA
o Ministry of Municipality & Urban Development
o Tatweer Petroleum, Bahrain
o Bahrain Petroleum Company
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
i. Improvement of Wayleave Lifecycle
Online transaction made the Wayleave approval process an easier experience for the stakeholders. In the earlier manual process, an annual average of 7,068 wayleave requests were created in 2011-2013 as it involved a lot of paper work, while with the e-wayleave system the annual average for 2014-2016 was 11,536 wayleave requests with 80% approval rate.
In the developed online System, the Wayleave Request is delivered to concerned Stakeholder instantaneously thereby considerably reducing the Wayleave Approval Cycle Time.
The current developed online system has totally eliminated the issue of lost Wayleave.
From weeks and if not months in the manual process, Wayleave now gets approved within 5 days provided it satisfies all requirements in the E-Wayleave System.
Making the Wayleave request and approval process available through a web application, has helped the process go near paperless, creating a clean and green environment.
ii. Cost Efficiency
With the automatic E-Wayleave clearance system, the stakeholders not only are saving hugely on resource cost but also on logistics and contingencies involved in the entire Wayleave Approval Lifecycle.
It also provides tools which allow various stakeholders to know each other’s project plans in a same location resulting in sharing the execution cost which in turn provides effective cost saving for government.
Since the entire deployment has been taken care by IGA through the already implemented spatial data infrastructure, it has tremendously decreased the cost of technology ownership of the External Stakeholders.
iii. Government Service Efficiency
The reduction in time for Wayleave approval process has resulted in timeliness of service delivery by government authorities, so is Stakeholder’s accountability. With the new system in place, there is a marked Transparency in the Wayleave lifecycle resulting in tremendous improvement in the efficiency of Ministries, Public and Private Organizations in serving the citizens in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
iv. Improvement of Wayleave approval confidence
The Current system integrated with Bahrain Spatial Data Infrastructure providing all spatial information within the application interface itself has greatly improved the approval confidence.
v. Process standardization
Business process work flows have been re-engineered where few un-useful procedures have been dropped from the process and some functions have been added to speed up the workflow. This has also led to process standardization of Wayleave Request & Approval across Stakeholder Community. In addition, customized internal workflows with auto distribution of wayleaves were implemented to increase the time efficiency of wayleave approval.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Several challenges had to be overcome before the system could be successfully implemented and made operational.
I. At the beginning, each Stakeholder had their own policies and internal workflows for the Wayleave Approval. Striking the right balance between the process generalization and stakeholder specificity posed a huge challenge. A Single Point of Contact for each Stakeholder was designated and he was involved in the project continuously to ensure that the design met the requirements of all the departments at a very early stage.
II. The existing infrastructure was not sufficient to handle the hugely increasing number of users with the same quality of service. This challenge was overcome through thorough system design and upgrading and enhancing the existing infrastructure to handle additional and data volume for the next 20 years.
III. Various engineering design standards integration with Online GIS environment was a challenge posed which was sorted out by innovating the open standards compliant GIS infrastructure.
IV. Since there were many stakeholders involved in the project, the Data inconsistency and coordinate system mismatch of the data from various Stakeholders posed a threat to the system. It was mitigated through development of data standardized documents and implementing the same for each stakeholder.
V. Transition from the Manual System to the E-Wayleave System was in fact a challenge. After much brainstorming with the stakeholders it was decided that both processes would operate parallel for one month after which the manual system will fade out and give way to the full-fledged E-Wayleave System
VI. Migration from the old e-wayleave system to the latest version was also challenging, due to huge technical transformations and high risk to wayleaves which are still in the approval cycle. An extensive Migration plan was tested and successfully implemented to transition to the latest version of the system.