World Bank Acknowledges Efforts of Punjab IT Board

World Bank has chosen 15 projects that are improving public sector performance through the use of innovation and inter-agency coordination, from all over the world. Among the 15 selected, two of the projects have been developed by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

Dr. Umar Saif revealed the news while discussing the World Bank report on ‘Improving Public Sector Performance through Innovation and Inter-Agency Coordination’.

He added that the inclusion of the projects in the report is a matter of pride and honor for Pakistan. One of the projects is the citizen feedback monitoring program, which has been used by 20.5 million people since 2011 to give feedback, suggestions and complaints against 70,000 officials. According to the report, inexpensive smartphones have been used in Punjab to monitor the performance of officials in several sectors.

Furthermore, the report reads

“The Punjab government has scaled up a small pilot in one of its districts to create a wide range monitoring program that leverages the ubiquity of cellphones to proactively solicit feedback from users of public services.”

Moreover, the report reads that the smartphone revolution in Punjab has shown how a government could easily improve data collection and service delivery by using cheap and easy-to-use smartphone applications.

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The second project mentioned in the report is the e-Vaccs smartphone application that has helped improve the vaccination coverage from 25% to 88% and has helped in eradicating polio.

The vaccine application was launched in October 2014, before that the vaccinators reached just 25% of the polygons the PITB used to measure geographic coverage across the province. However, in May 2016, that figure increased to 88% while the percentage of fully immunized children under 20 months rose from 62% in 2014 to 81% in 2016 and 95% of children were fully vaccinated against polio. The report highlights that after having 7 polio cases in 2013 and 5 in 2014, Punjab had only 2 cases in 2015 and 0 in 2016.

The report also notes that a district in Sindh has also implemented biometric monitoring systems to help reduce employee absenteeism in 45,000 schools. Meanwhile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s government is also taking a legislation initiative to create new norms for millions of day-to-day state-citizen interactions, inducing higher citizen expectations, and creating new standards of behavior for government servants.

Complete report can be accessed on the World Bank website here.

Image source: World Bank report