Digital Development: What Will It Take to Realize the Promise?

Globally, it has been recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic has set back progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the 2030 deadline for the SDGs nears, finding ways to accelerate human development becomes an urgent need.

In many countries, the pandemic forced a move to digital channels for managing and delivering public services. The combination of the need for acceleration and the rapid adoption of technology has given rise to increased interest in the potential for digital tools to create such acceleration. 

For instance, at the seventy-seventh session of the UN General Assembly in September 2022, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a high-level event titled “The Future of Digital Cooperation,” where multiple heads of state and ministers described their experiences and plans for digital development. During this session, Bill Gates announced a commitment of USD 200 million in funding for digital tools such as identification (ID) systems, civil registration systems, and financial exchange systems.

Such systems, which can provide key capabilities across multiple aspects of governance, public services, and social welfare, are collectively known as “Digital Public Infrastructure” (DPI). The term grew from  the UN secretary-general’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, published in 2020, and has seen significant engagement from multilateral organizations: the UN has appointed an Envoy on Technology; the UNDP has a Chief Digital Office; and the World Bank has “ID for Development” (ID4D) and “Digital Government-to-Person Payments”(G2Px) teams. New multi-stakeholder initiatives have also emerged to develop and leverage these ideas. The Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) encourages the use of open-source software for creating DPIs—an approach it argues brings down costs associated with proprietary products and encourages interoperability. DPGA has emerged as a core convener in this space. In parallel, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) anchors the GovStack Initiative, which aims to produce reusable and standardized software “building blocks” that can be used to quickly assemble digital solutions for governance—an approach previously articulated in the British context as “government-as-a-platform.”


Once one gets past the sea of acronyms, the basic premise of digital government is a fairly intuitive set of propositions: governments have to raise revenues, create and manage public goods, deliver public services, and provide social welfare. As these functions are performed more effectively and efficiently, human development outcomes improve. Each function requires multiple offices and officials, working at multiple levels (national, subnational, and local), that must follow multiple processes and coordinate with each other, as well as with private entities and individuals. 

Digitization can make governments perform their functions more efficiently and effectively. Efficiency gains arise through multiple channels: automating data transfer and analysis; creating reusable data repositories; improving coordination; improving citizen-government communication, including through new channels (e.g. chatbots, Interactive Voice Response, etc.); and enabling new waves of process reforms and streamlining. In short, as a government makes progress on its digital maturity journey, digital tools can drive multiple forms of efficiency.  The first wave of efficiency gains is experienced among frontline workers; digitization can reduce the amount of time spent on drudge work, particularly on recording, retrieving, and reporting data. Simple support systems, like checklists and assisted workflows, can further bring down cognitive load.

The second wave of efficiency gains benefits administrators. A frontline workforce using digital tools leads to more reliable and real-time data; such data gives users and administrators greater visibility into how their departments are performing at any given point of time. This data can also be combined with data from other sources, enabling more powerful analysis and more effective visualizations, such as geospatial and GIS-linked dashboards and decision-support systems. These tools enable better performance management, as well as rapid (or even preventive) responses to emerging needs and challenges.

The third wave of gains pertains to senior bureaucrats and policymakers. As a result of the first and second waves of efficiency gains, these officials are able to leverage shared and reusable data repositories to further reduce duplication of efforts. They can make data-informed plans and budgets, and the transmission and implementation of such reforms is further assisted by systems that improve interoperability and coordination across departments.

These gains should translate into improved outcomes for the people served by these governments. At the state level, governments will improve mechanisms for mobilizing, deploying, and targeting resources to drive development outcomes and equity. At the individual level, the experience of interacting with government will be transformed, with easier access to services and greater transparency of government functioning. In fact, once digital data repositories reach a certain level of population coverage, they enable “doorstep delivery,” wherein governments proactively reach out to provide individuals and households with services and benefits.


The potential of digital tools to drive more effective and efficient governments is of greatest relevance to low- and lower-middle-income countries (LICs/LMICs).  These governments tend to function on limited budgets with low domestic revenue mobilization. High levels of inequality mean most households are also near or below poverty levels, so private resources for development-related activities are also limited. 

Such countries can face capacity constraints at multiple levels. Morton Jerven begins his 2013 book, Poor Numbers, with an account of visiting the Central Statistical Office of Zambia in 2007, where he found that “the National Accounts Division had three employees, of whom only one was regularly in the office.” When he returned in 2010, “the national accounts were now prepared by one man alone”—a statistician who was simultaneously responsible for industrial statistics and public finance. Jerven quotes this man as asking: “what happens if I disappear?”

These constraints are multiplied at the local government level. For instance, Devesh Kapur shows the stark difference in local government capacity among the United States, China, and India: whereas in both the United States and China, close to 60 percent of all public employees work at the local government level, with about 20 percent each at the national and state levels, in India the pattern is reversed; less than 20 percent of public employees work at the local government level, with over 50 percent at the state level, and the remainder at the national level. In other words, local government capacity is about half that of the national level and a third of the state level.

Local government staff often live in a perfect storm of too little capacity and too many responsibilities.11 Limited budgets and difficulties in hiring mean that, much like the Zambian statistician, any given staff member may have to take on multiple roles. This can include roles and tasks for which they have no relevant training. While official training or capacity-building efforts may exist, access to these are likely gatekept; persons who lack what are deemed to be minimal qualifications for such roles are also likely to be denied access, even if they are in fact performing those roles or tasks on the ground. 

When different ministries receive international aid to run targeted programs, local staff are conscripted into an ever-growing number of missions and campaigns. As money and attention recede from one mission, another replaces it; gains made from the mission-mode effort stagnate and then backslide, until a new campaign targets that indicator again. This has its own costs: if the sole local health worker is deployed in a vaccination campaign, other conditions that arise in that time go untreated. 

The irony is that such drives are needed precisely because regular service delivery is unable to cover the population reliably, yet local capacity continues to be stretched thin, pulled from one mission to the next. To the extent that  multilaterals and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) can offer better salaries than local government, this also contributes to the difficulty of attracting qualified and skilled individuals to work in government.

Adding to the patchy state of service delivery is the fact that access to local government services is often politically determined. In places where patronage politics has taken hold, weak state capacity is a corollary of political control over state schemes and benefits. If the local administration were genuinely effective at providing services to all residents, political leaders could neither claim to  residents—their potential voters—that they (the politicians) should be credited for ensuring the residents received those services, nor could they prevent service delivery to individuals or groups whom they wish to coerce. This means that local (and, by extension, more senior) politicians have an incentive to keep local governments ineffective— a situation Athakattu Santhosh Mathew calls “state incapacity by design.”

In practice, this means the day of a frontline worker can involve running from one task to another, frantically trying to scribble down data from each interaction, which might eventually be entered into a digital system (by the worker or a data entry operator). They may face pressure— or receive incentives—to keep some of those cases and data out of the official records. They often have to spend large amounts of time retrieving data and compiling it into various formats for reporting to various agencies, including donors and multilateral agencies. Rarely, if ever, are they paid for time spent on data entry or reporting. 


There is, conceptually, a simple solution to these challenges: equip frontline workers with digital tools, which automate the dullest and most repetitive parts of their work, while guiding or assisting them with more complex tasks, thereby allowing them to focus on human interaction. When paired with shared and standardized data registries, this will create a flow of reliable and regularly-updated data to administrators, policymakers, 106 the fletcher forum of world affairs and donors. That data can be further translated into public dashboards, open data systems, and request tracking systems, which provide visibility into the workings of government as a whole and into the status of a given request or complaint. 

Realizing this promise, however, requires successfully implementing digital tools and solutions for effective governance and service delivery. This is not easy for a number of reasons. Broadly speaking, we overestimate what digital tools can do, and we underestimate the human and political factors that contribute to their success.

An obvious barrier to adopting such systems is the lack of underlying  infrastructure. Such systems work best when frontline workers can use mobile devices that are connected to the internet. The availability of 3G or higher speed internet connectivity, basic mobile connectivity, mobile devices, or reliable electricity cannot be taken for granted in many parts of the world. To be fair, products and systems can be designed while keeping these realities in mind. Nonetheless, high-connectivity systems imported to low-connectivity contexts will break down, leading to even higher levels of repetitive work and frustration. 

For instance, India’s rural employment guarantee scheme has recently introduced a new rule for recording attendance of workers: they will only be considered to have completed a day’s work (and hence receive the day’s wages) if geotagged, time-stamped photographs are uploaded twice a day—morning and evening—in a specific mobile app. Site supervisors and workers struggle to fulfill this requirement because internet connectivity at work sites is low or non-existent; the app allows only live photos, not ones stored in the phone’s gallery, so one supervisor “…click[s] and upload[s] photos of the bare ground” at the spot where he has mobile connectivity. (He can do this, he says, because the local government office to which he reports understands the problem and allows this workaround.

A second barrier relates to the overarching capacity challenges noted above. The delivery of a particular service may need money, data, and physical resources, with multiple actors involved in providing these. Digital tools can automate and assist with some of these steps, but there may be little they can do in others.

While one can apply for a water connection or report a leaking pipe online, laying new pipes or repairing old ones remains a physical task. If the government agency lacks pipes or digging equipment, the best a digital tool can do is to highlight the unresolved requests in ever-brighter colors.  Until someone is empowered to send over the missing resources, gaps in service delivery that require physical resources will remain unresolvable.

A third barrier has to do with designing fit-for-purpose digital systems. Understanding how existing systems function, and designing a digitally-enabled alternative, requires an understanding of multiple areas: the service, the local context, what exactly the digital components are expected to do, and how they are to achieve these objectives. Most likely, this will require multiple persons with the relevant knowledge to work together. Insufficient attention to such rigorous and collaborative design, often a result of impatience and a habit of top-down imposition, sets up reforms for failure and/or worse-than-expected results. 

Adukia, Asher, and Novosad illustrate this type of failure with respect to the most basic of infrastructure: roads.14 They show that when the placement of rural roads was determined by a top-down formula, road construction did not lead to economic development in villages, or indeed shift any development outcome, except one—enrollment of children in middle school. Furthermore, this only occurred in a subset of villages, where education might enable migration to places with better job prospects. Connectivity is arguably a necessary but not sufficient condition for development; this is as true for digital connectivity as physical. 


Digital tools are not introduced into a vacuum: people are already doing various things in order to access and deliver services. Luke Jordan describes this reality in a series of questions:

Are people already trying to do what the technology is supposed to help them do?

If yes, how are they doing it now, and are you sure you know why that does not work? And why will technology make any difference to the reason their existing attempts are frustrated?

If not, why would having technology make a difference? Why would someone who did not want to do X now want to do X just because some tech exists to do it?

At a minimum, the introduction of a new system comes with switching costs. Some of these are literal, physical costs, such as the costs associated with supplying people with smartphones and/or internet connection. Workers have to be trained to use the new tools; while training is normally accounted for in program costs, time spent in a training session is time not spent delivering services; if the sole nurse in a rural health center is away on training, any treatment or referrals will have to wait until they return.

Along with training sessions, help desks for ongoing support are advisable, and these too have to be factored into the budget. Even when all this is done, there are psychological costs associated with learning and adopting new tools and systems, as people are already used to doing their work in a certain way.

In addition, the very feature that makes digital tools attractive to managers and administrators—the real-time visibility they provide to each worker—may be perceived as a threat by some. The new mode of working may be perceived as onerous, especially during the transition period, when the old and new systems may have to be simultaneously maintained.

Workers also have legitimate concerns about privacy and surveillance.Unless it is clear to people how a new technology will help them, there will be resistance or even backlash. Even if the benefits are clear, those who are making a parallel or corrupt income will continue to look for ways to resist the new system, or come up with ways to work around it. As Michael Hobbes puts it, whenever a new standard is introduced, “some…will become sophisticated to meet it, and others will become sophisticated to avoid it.”

Successful change management is both art and science. It involves a genuine and empathetic understanding of people’s lives and challenges as well as designing and introducing tools and systems in ways that make their lives easier, and communicating those benefits clearly, backed by data from the system itself. At the same time, one must be savvy in picking one’s battles, understanding which patterns and behaviors are more amenable to change and which are more entrenched in local political economy. Before taking on reforms that could alter local political arrangements, one must build a strong track record, trust among stakeholders, and a favorable constituency. 



The final and most foundational challenge for successfully implementing any tech-enabled reform is the lack of good data. The computer science adage of “garbage in, garbage out” applies here. While there are statistical techniques to assess the quality of data—and these can be built into digital tools—these techniques will still only bring to light issues with the data, and fixing those issues is typically beyond the capability of that tool itself.
When it comes to public services and social welfare, in many countries, base data is incomplete, unreliable, or inaccessible. Official statistics are flawed, partly for methodological reasons and partly for sheer lack of coverage. Efforts to improve these can run into the same capacity constraints discussed earlier—recall again Jerven’s anecdote about the sole, overworked Zambian statistician.
The gaps in official statistics were on stark display during the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments and public health specialists struggled to estimate the incidence, prevalence, and mortality associated with
COVID-19. In many countries, total population estimates were based on census data from a decade or more ago; tests were not widely available, and interpreting test results required a specialized knowledge of the test and nuanced understanding of country context; and health systems tended to
record basic data, such as cause of death, in inconsistent and incomplete ways.
The World Health Organization (WHO) drew attention to these gaps in its attempts to estimate the true death toll of COVID-19:
Without timely, reliable and actionable data we cannot…accurately measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to better inform public policy and prepare for future health emergencies. According to WHO’s World Health Statistics 2020 report, for almost one-fifth of countries, over half of the SDG indicators lack recent, primary data. The availability of data also varies widely by income group and by indicator.
Even where data is available, there may be gaps or flaws that only a person familiar with the local context and the systems that generated that data can identify. Especially where the source is not automated, a person who enters data into a system and who understands how that data will
reflect in the broader dataset or subsequent analytics, can manipulate what they enter to present an inaccurate view of reality.
In fact, one of the most cost- and effort-intensive elements of introducing a digital system is “data migration,” which refers to entering data into the new system, either from previous electronic systems or from paper records. Assessing the quality of data in such records, ensuring that it is transferred without any further deterioration, running parallel data collection activities to address gaps, and maintaining data security and privacy protection measures throughout these processes all amount to an immense challenge
Systems used for delivering services on-demand, such as public grievances, requests for connections, requests for permits and licenses, etc., can sidestep some of these challenges by starting with minimal or no data migration. A new, more reliable set of records will be generated as the new system functions, eventually reconstituting the entire database. But this is a slow process, requiring patience and consistent practice over time. If changes are made to recording formats or practices while such incremental collection is ongoing—as might be done for addressing problems or bringing further improvements to the service delivery process—there must be a plan for ensuring consistency among the data collected before and after such changes.
There is also the risk of exclusion if service providers start to rely solely on system-generated data and an intended recipient is interacting with the system for the first time after the transition. This can be mitigated by maintaining parallel systems, with records in the older system removed when they are added to the new system and a validation process is completed to ensure both records are consistent and complete. Maintaining multiple systems, however, is also a slow and costly process. 
Over time, the greatest value of digital systems lies in the creation of good data. Data can drive improvements in performance, identification of highlights and persistent problems, advanced analytics (including early warning systems), and opportunities for collaborative problem-solving.
Reliable and trusted data drives down transaction costs across sectors, enabling new industries and entrepreneurs to emerge. Thus, any tech enabled reform must build in mechanisms for ensuring data quality and integrity and for safe and trusted access to data. If that data is kept siloed, inaccessible, and underutilized, the gains from digital transformation will be only partially recognized. Instead of becoming valuable job aids, digital tools will remain surveillance and control mechanisms, probably invoking periodic backlash.
Ideally, each reform initiative will include setting up a “data steward” (or working with an existing one), with the mandate to ensure data is complete, timely, and verified; that the systems that handle data are secure, with safeguards against data breaches; and that datasets have been through suitable privacy-protection measures (such as pseudonymization, anonymization, aggregation, etc.). While change management may require limiting what data is shared and to whom at any given stage, the overall intention should be to make high-quality open data accessible to the public and to enable greater public participation and accountability.
To be sure, visibility is a vector of power: what is legible to the state is more likely to be governed, and groups may deliberately choose to keep their activities out of public view, maintaining their preferred
parallel systems.20 For instance, M.R. Sharan writes about how a policy of publishing all works undertaken under India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Manrega) led to the creation of a remarkable accountability and anticorruption NGO, Bihar Manrega Watch, and the various forms of backlash its founder, Sanjay Sahni, experienced. Sahni’s story illustrates that visibility alone cannot drive change, but that it can enable various social movements and innovations.
Open data is the final stage in a long journey. The potential gains from this transition are enormous and will more than justify the money and effort invested in moving to a well-designed and well-managed digital system, where management and reforms are informed by data and open data drives transparency and accountability. Further, well-designed digital systems bring a level of resilience and adaptability to governance, as illustrated by Ukraine’s Diia system, which has continued to function even through a protracted war.


One should not, however, believe that this journey can be completed by relying on technology or technologists alone. The success of any digital transformation program is predicated on multiple factors and capacities, most of which are non-technological, and many of which are transdisciplinary. Digital technology is not so much a silver bullet as a lever; as in Archimedes’ famous proclamation about moving the world, the challenge is less the lever, but rather a suitable fulcrum on which it can rest
This article was featured in the Data Governance Network Knowledge Secretariat’s bi-monthly newsletter. To download the softcopy of this article, click here.


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Prashanth Chandramouleeswaran

Associate Director – PFM Mission

Prashanth has close to 15 years of experience in the social sector where his work has spanned across program management, outreach, government and donor partnerships, marketing communications and capacity building. He has worked extensively in the urban service delivery, urban development, livelihoods, water supply and sanitation disciplines. Before eGov, Prashanth has worked with the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and helped build one of the largest urban development capacity building programs in the country, and the The/Nudge Foundation, where he led the operations for a transformational livelihoods program (Future Perfect) to help underprivileged youth secure employment in the service sector. Prashanth transitioned to the social sector after his MBA in Sustainable Business Practices from the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), and believes in the potential of technology to transform the lives of people and bring positive change in society. Prior to the MBA he has worked in the automobile, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

Chandar Muthukrishnan

Chief Operating Officer

Chandar has 25 years of experience in enterprise software application management across manufacturing, telecom and media domains. He has experience working in both start-up and mature environments and has taken a start-up team to a medium-sized enterprise of 2000 people. Chandar has played key roles in Business Enablement, Program management, Product Engineering, Consulting, Account Management, and Process Engineering. Before joining eGov, he was Senior Vice President of Client Solutions & Business Enablement at Prime Focus Technologies Limited. Before that, he had worked with Wipro for 10 years, where he worked in various roles in software delivery. He is an Electrical & Electronics Engineer from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University.

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“Digitisation of Andhra Pradesh through eGov’s platform has really benefited govt employees by saving almost 19hrs of their time every week. Earlier the citizens used to run around to access municipal services. Today the ULB officers run around to deliver services to the citizens”

-Shri Kanna Babu, Ex. Director, CDMA

Ministry Of Defence

Till date we have seen that citizen services are made online either in a single ULB or at district, or state level. This is a beginning where multiple citizen services are simplified, standardised and launched at once pan-country across all 62 Cantonment Boards and eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC, DGDE and MoD teams have played a major role in the speedy implementation of this initiative. I congratulate all of them.

Shri Ajay Kumar, Defense Secretary, Government of India

Ministry Of Defence

Till date we have seen that citizen services are made online either in a single ULB or at district, or state level. This is a beginning where multiple citizen services are simplified, standardised and launched at once pan-country across all 62 Cantonment Boards and eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC, DGDE and MoD teams have played a major role in the speedy implementation of this initiative. I congratulate all of them.

Shri Ajay Kumar, Defense Secretary, Government of India

Till date we have seen that citizen services are made online either in a single ULB or at district, or state level. This is a beginning where multiple citizen services are simplified, standardised and launched at once pan-country across all 62 Cantonment Boards and eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC, DGDE and MoD teams have played a major role in the speedy implementation of this initiative. I congratulate all of them.

Shri Ajay Kumar, Defense Secretary, Government of India

eChhawani is an effort towards offering multiple citizen services in a simple and straightforward manner to citizens across all Cantonment Boards and is the result of efforts of eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC and 62 Cantt Board Administrators supervised by DGDE and MoD. It is a new start and a digital milestone for 62 Cantonment Boards across the country.

Smt Deepa Bajwa, Director General, DGDE

eChhawani is an effort towards offering multiple citizen services in a simple and straightforward manner to citizens across all Cantonment Boards and is the result of efforts of eGov Foundation, BEL, NIC and 62 Cantt Board Administrators supervised by DGDE and MoD. It is a new start and a digital milestone for 62 Cantonment Boards across the country.

Smt Deepa Bajwa, Director General, DGDE

eChhawani is inaugurated today with 8 municipal services and I’m confident that this will continue to enhance citizen centric services for residents of our Cantonment Boards. This is a great step towards ‘good governance’ and is a shining example of India’s emergence as a leader in various sectors offering ease of doing business and ease of living for citizens. I congratulate all stakeholders involved in this initiative and I expect that officers will continue to take feedback from the citizens on whether this initiative is fulfilling the aim of citizen centric governance.

Shri Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, Government of India

During mSeva WhatsApp Launch- Public grievance redressal in a time bound manner is of paramount importance for the Govt of Punjab. As a part of the “Digital Citizen Services First” approach, we digitized citizen-centric municipal services since 2018 and more than 8 modules can be accessed via web portal and mobile app. Extending the services , we now aim at the resolution of civic complaints with the widely used messaging platform, WhatsApp. Driving a paradigm shift from clicks to personalized seamless conversations will result in improved citizen experience and foster belongingness among citizens with speedy resolution of issues

Shri Ajoy Sharma, CEO, PMIDC

The success of this initiative is driven by how the citizens of the state are enabled to access the services of the Planning Authorities anytime, anywhere. These services will also have a direct impact on the Ease of Doing Business ranking for the state which has been one of our priority focus areas. We believe that DIGIT open platform will be a key enabler in the areas of online building permission system and help Planning Authorities to create a citizen-centric urban governance

Shri.A.Namassivayam, Hon’ble Minister for Town Planning, Govt of Puducherry

Viraj Tyagi

Chief Executive Officer

Viraj Tyagi is the CEO of eGov Foundation. He is passionate about the impact of a jugalbandi of Digital Public Goods, policies, and ecosystems in solving complex societal problems at scale and speed. Before joining the impact sector, Viraj was an entrepreneur and corporate leader with wide-ranging experience in building large businesses in Europe and India. He is a serial entrepreneur, an active investor in start-ups, and a mentor to entrepreneurs. Viraj was the CEO and co-founder of NettPositive – one of the first Big Data and Analytics companies in India. He is also a co-founder of the fintech start-up – Finnable. He is on the board of several start-ups and companies. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore (IIM-B) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT – BHU).

Elzan Mathew

Director – Engineering

Elzan is the head of software implementation at eGov with 19 years of industry experience handling various state implementations and partner-led deliveries. She has been an integral part of the organisation for the past 15 years where her contribution extends from product management, development, and delivery of the product suits. She is instrumental in the success of eGov’s presence in various locations like Chennai Corporation, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and many more.

Aveek De

VP – Sanitation Mission

Aveek is passionate about sustainable transformation in the social impact space. He has held leadership roles at the intersection of solving complex societal challenges and technology. He has successfully led large-scale transformational programs in education in rural India and Africa, ecosystem development for small and medium entrepreneurs, natural resource management, and groundwater management by influencing governments and communities.
Before he transitioned to the development sector, he spent 15 years in the corporate sector with DEC, Bharti, Gallup, and IBM in sales and marketing, strategic consulting, and business operations. He enjoys setting up green field operations and was instrumental in opening opportunities in the Middle East and West Africa.
He has a BTech in Electronics Engineering from UVCE, Bangalore, and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. He is a Salzburg Global Fellow.

Jojo Mehra

Chief Product Officer

Jojo Mehra leads product management eGov. He is a digital innovation professional with experience in leading product development, business model innovation, and digital strategy. He is passionate about the role that digital technologies and innovation can play in addressing some of the most pressing societal challenges we face. He believes that we have entered a new techno-economic paradigm that is changing our work, our cities, and our societies and that it is incumbent upon us to ensure that this change works for the many and not just a few. He was part of the early team at some of the pioneering digital start-ups like and Yoomedia Plc. and also co-founded a shared accommodation platform and an HRtech startup. Jojo holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Loyola College (Chennai, India), a postgraduate degree in Creative and Media Enterprises from the University of Warwick (UK), and recently attended a Master’s programme in Technology Governance and Digital Transformation from the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia).

Pradipta Kundu

Director – Health Mission

Pradipta leads the Health Mission at eGov. A software professional with over 23 years of experience, Pradipta, in the last five years co-founded Samanvay Foundation a nonprofit focussed on technology-heavy lifting; worked on service delivery improvement by the govt hospitals in tribal, underserved areas of eastern Madhya Pradesh; and led an open source software community. A strong supporter of open source technologies, she has led and anchored two popular open-source projects focussed on the social sector. Before that, in her last job at ThoughtWorks, India (a global IT consultancy) she played various roles from managing large software delivery projects to exploring the possibility of IT to improve the health of the underserved working with large and small, international and local NGOs, and governments in multiple countries.

Poornima Muniswamy

Program Director

Poornima has spent most of her career working on projects and programs in management consulting and technology. She thoroughly enjoys conceptualizing, designing, and delivering programmes to solve complex problems.
She has worked on complex transformation programs across multiple countries, connecting the content of business transformation with technology and change management requirements. Over the last few years of her career, she worked on large multi-stream, IT-based organisation transformation programmes.

Manish Srivastava

Chief Technology Officer

Manish has 25 years of experience in creating enterprise-scale software. He has experience working in both start-up and mature environments and has set up two startups from the ground up in Enterprise Customer Experience Management and the other one in Wind Energy Scheduling & Forecasting. Manish has played key roles in Technology and Innovation Management. Before that, he was with Infosys for 17 years, where he worked in various roles as a technology consultant and solution architect with various Global 2000 companies. He is a ‘96 batch, B.Tech. graduate of IIT-BHU. Manish is passionate about technology and deeply vested in the societal good that it can bring. He also mentors a few startups.

Gautham Ravichander

Director – Policy & Advocacy

Gautham leads eGov’s policy initiatives with the Government of India and partner states. He started his career at Janaagraha where he led the Ward Infrastructure Index Program and was a founding team member of The Education Alliance. Gautham has a MIB degree from The Fletcher School at Tufts University where his studies focussed on social enterprises and leveraging business models to reach underserved populations. At Fletcher, Gautham organized and co-chaired the first Tufts Innovation Symposium on Scaling Innovation in Emerging Markets.

Krishnakumar Thyagarajan

VP – GTM & Advisory

Krishnakumar is focussed on creating and deploying solutions seeking profound outcomes in urban governance. Effectiveness of Citizen Services and governance. He has 22 years of experience spanning leadership roles in Tech Mahindra where he spearheaded new practises in the company. He began his career as a strategic consultant. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt and holds an MBA from SP Jain University.

Ameya Ashok Naik

Head of Policy & Advocacy

Ameya leads the policy partnerships, advocacy, and monitoring-evaluation-research portfolios at eGov. He started his career as a speechwriter with Dr. Shashi Tharoor in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, followed by stints as a researcher with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the World Peace Foundation, and the International Peace Institute, and most recently worked with the Macroeconomics and Policy Advocacy team at Tata Sons. A psychologist and lawyer by training, Ameya holds MA & LLM degrees from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy; he also serves as a Faculty Fellow with the Takshashila Institution, where he teaches policy analysis.

P.R. Krishnamoorthy

VP – Delivery

As VP of Service Delivery, with a Master’s in Engineering, he leads the Operations and Support Team and manages our major client for the last 9 years with result-based Operational Support. He has extensive experience in driving product/technology strategy in Municipal and Government business environments with strong expertise in Technical consulting, New product commercialisation, Product innovation, Quality systems, and leading-edge Citizen-Centric technologies. He demonstrated strong acumen in spotting emerging Need-of-the-hour technology opportunities and developing niche product capabilities aligned to business plans.

Varun Basu

VP – Growth and Partnerships

Varun has 18+ years of global experience spanning software development, product management, business development, partnerships, and strategy. He has worked in a diverse range of fields from software to spirits to food & beverages. He has significant experience working with early-stage startups and has successfully helped them grow and scale their businesses.

A techie at heart, he started as a developer, and he moved on to Product Management & Sales for a data security startup where he led business development & partnerships. He then went on to manage Diageo’s strategy for emerging markets (LMICs) including Latin America, Africa & South East Asia to focus on the growth of the mainstream spirits category. 

In his last role, he was Global Head of Sales & Product at LitmusWorld, a SaaS Customer Experience platform. Varun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Calcutta University, a Master’s in Computer Application from Vellore Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Gp. Capt. Sudheer Gattu (Retd)

Vice President – Program Management

Sudheer is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and SPJIMR Mumbai, and a proficient veteran officer having years of corporate leadership experience including a stint as an SBU head at a listed EPC company. At eGov, Sudheer leads the Urban mission and the Program management function. Previously, he provided delivery and operations leadership for a 1500 crore greenfield infrastructure project for the govt of Maharashtra including P&L management of a business (800+ team) with 300 crore in annual revenue. Before joining the corporate world, he was a key member of the 500 crore R&D programme at DRDO for the development of indigenous light combat helicopters. At the Indian Air Force, he oversaw large-scale aircraft operations & maintenance, and steered production planning, material planning, and aviation safety management.

Government Of Andhra Pradesh

The AP govt recently rolled out the prestigious Ward Secretariat Program for doorstep delivery of 24 urban services. This was rapidly enabled on the Core Municipal Platform, ensuring easy roll out and consistency of operations.”

Shri GSRKR Vijay Kumar, IAS Commissioner, and Director – Municipal Administration, Andhra Pradesh

Nagpur Municipal Corporation

In 2008, as a part of the comprehensive eGovernance initiative that was meant to provide efficient services to citizens, administrators and corporators by implementing integrated governance solutions, NMC revamped the entire legacy system with eGov’s integrated e-governance system based on open technologies for over 60 functions of the ULB.