Demonstrating how tech, policy, and forward-thinking can solve fundamental issues at scale
Author: Chandra Kiran, Product Manager, eGov Foundation
Innovation: Combining Existing Elements in Novel Ways
The Background: The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound and devastating impact on the economic prospects of marginalised urban communities, including vulnerable groups such as migrant labourers, women, transgenders, and people with disabilities globally, exacerbating their struggles and driving them further into poverty.
In the Indian state of Odisha, approximately one-third of the urban population, or around 2 million individuals, are engaged in informal economy work. These workers face heightened vulnerability due to a lack of social protection, limited access to productive assets, reduced working hours, decreased wages, and sudden layoffs, further worsening their precarious situation.
In this context, the Government of Odisha launched an urban public works initiative named “Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI)” on April, 18th, 2020 across the state’s 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
UWEI aimed to create rapid, immediate and mass employment opportunities for urban poor, informal and migrant labourers, rendered unemployed and vulnerable in the face of Covid-19 infused crisis while addressing the needs of creation of durable community assets.
Twelve months on, with over 7,500 projects worth $15Mn being implemented across 114 ULBs, and more than 1.5 Mn person days generated, the state government then decided to convert the UWEI into a full-fledged state sponsored scheme called “Mukhya Mantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan (MUKTA)”.
About MUKTA (Mukhyamantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan) Scheme:
MUKTA aims to achieve the objective of providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to the urban poor, informal and migrant labourers. This will be achieved by creating and maintaining ecological sustainable and climate resilient community assets such as paved roads, drains, rainwater harvesting, community centres, plantation, water bodies rejuvenation and public space development, critical to ensure inclusive, sustainable and equitable urban development across all Urban Local Bodies of the State.
Till date, about 25,000 works have been taken up by over 0.75 Mn individuals across 114 Urban Local Bodies with a budget of about $50 Mn Further, 5,368 Mission Shakti Groups (Groups formed to achieve economic independence of women) and 438 slum dwellers’ associations have also been engaged as implementation partners under this ambitious scheme of the Odisha’s government’s Housing & Urban Development Department.
The scheme stands out for its distinctive and unprecedented bottom-up, people-centric design. It endeavours to achieve convergence among several crucial aspects of urban development, including:
- Sustainable livelihood to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised people living in the urban centres.
- Protection of the environment.
- Creation of climate-resilient community assets.
- Building trust-based partnership with community-based organisations.
- Strengthening governance and achieving community led development.
Need for Muktasoft
To implement the scheme successfully and ensure all above mentioned objectives are met, there needs a comprehensive digital solution that imbibe smart payment principles for frictionless and faster payment to the Implementing Agencies along with tracking the project lifecycle including project creation, estimation, contracting, measurement, billing, dashboards, all inclusive.
Hence, MUKTASoft is a cutting-edge application developed on the DIGIT Digital Public Good (DPG) platform, specifically designed to streamline and track the implementation of MUKTA scheme activities across multiple levels of hierarchies and requirements. This innovative application facilitates the enrollment of wage seekers into projects, monitors attendance, ensures timely payments for completed work, and provides a user-friendly interface for government stakeholders to monitor program success, track budget utilization, and identify any risks or delays. MUKTASoft is a powerful tool that enhances transparency and efficiency in the implementation of the MUKTA scheme.
Advantages of using MUKTASoft
1. Better visibility on all the MUKTA scheme activities
a.Registries and Databases
- Shared registries of wage seekers.
- Shared registries of self-help groups, mission shakti groups, area-level federations, community level federations and other organisations.
- Open project registries.
- Community asset registries.
b. Visibility on project execution
- Contracts created, in progress, and completed.
- Payments requests raised, pending, and completed.
- Projects on track and delayed.
- Attendances of wage seekers.
- Payments of material vendors.
c. Dashboards and reports
2. Fastrack progress
- Reduce time to project completion.
- Reduce time to contract acceptance and closure.
- Reduce time to address risky projects.
- Automate payments.
- Automate approval workflows.
MUKTASoft is set to be launched in May 2023 as a pilot initiative in two ULBs in Odisha. This strategic approach allows for early adoption and feedback from the ground, providing valuable insights into the utility of the application. Based on the feedback received, further enhancements will be made as needed to maximize the impact of the application in effectively managing and tracking the MUKTA scheme activities.
Stay tuned for more updates!