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The i-community solutions Portal

HP has developed a suite of web based applications and services, which provides the citizens of Kuppam constituency easy access to much needed information and services based on a web services architecture. Applications have been developed in the areas of Economic development, Health, Education, Citizen empowerment and interface to Government, as identified by the people of Kuppam. All the applications are bilingual and are available in English and Telugu languages. The application also allows dynamic telugu language support and supports entry of telugu text and retrieval of the same. Though developed specifically for the Andhra Pradesh context, the applications have been built in a modular and configurable manner so as to allow replication in other regions with minimal customisation. The following applications were developed in phases.

1. Yojanalu – Government to Citizen services

The key objective of offering this service is to create awareness and disseminate information on various Government of Andhra Pradesh schemes spanning across different departments and sectors. All Departments pertaining to Agriculture, Medical & Health, Sericulture, Self Help Groups (SHG), Welfare and Development among others offer a number of schemes and is often difficult for citizens to keep track of relevant schemes. It is also a cumbersome exercise for citizens to access the required application forms and to submit them.

The application provides brief details of a large number of schemes, their eligibility criteria, target sector, community(s), the benefit, and the contact person(s) for further processing. The application enables a set of standard queries to identify schemes’ information based on either the offering department or target community. A citizen can walk to a nearby Community Information Centre (CIC) and query for relevant schemes. On identifying an appropriate scheme, the application can be filled online and submitted at the CIC itself. Submitted applications can be processed by government officials at the backend and the status of the application can be updated. Different roles for government officials mapping the current workflow have be provided. The Yojanalu application offers the following features

• Information on a large number of government schemes offered by different departments
• Scheme Query facility based on department or target community
• Ability to administer/manage(edit) the published scheme information
• Online submission of scheme application forms
• Printing of application forms in the same format as the original paper forms
• Retrieval of saved or submitted application forms
• Processing of application forms by government officials at the back end and status update
• Status query of submitted application forms
• Reporting of the number of applications submitted against each scheme

2. Public Grievance System

To bring the administration closer to the people and to bring in transparency, a Public Grievance System (PGS) application has been developed. In addition, PGS enables the administration and alleviates the burden of manually collecting, filing and processing grievances submitted on paper.

The citizens can lodge their grievances at a nearby CIC, addressed to a particular department in a particular location. For each grievance lodged, the application generates an acknowledgement with a unique grievance id. Once the grievance is submitted, the Government official can view, track status, assign, forward, resolve, update action taken, close and query a set of grievances. The citizens can query the system based on the grievance id and get the status and progress of their submitted grievance. The application also supports a higher level role that can be used for monitoring the status of grievances across departments and locations. The application facilitates generation of location-wise report for analysis. Features of the applications in brief are

• Log grievances against specific departments and locations
• Ability to define multiple roles for grievance redressal
• Backend workflow supports assign, forward, resolve, update action taken and track status functions
• Citizens can query status of applications at every stage
• Location wise query for grievances

3. Certificates

The Government issues various certificates to citizens such as birth, death, income and caste etc., . These certificates should be submitted to avail various welfare programs. To apply and possess these relevant certificates, citizens have to travel to the right office and submit all relevant details. A burden, especially as it means foregoing a day’s wages to accomplish the task.

The CIC makes the entire process a lot easier. Citizens can apply for these certificates online, and the relevant administrative division processes the application, mailing the certificate directly to the individual’s residence.

4. Farming Information System

Agriculture has always been the predominant economic generator within developing economies. But farmers continue to till the land along age-old practices. Information regarding new advances and latest developments in the field are still out of their reach. Knowledge of market prices will also help them sell their produce at better rates and newer markets, but no such information is available to them. With the establishment of ICT-based solutions, the i-community provides farmers with cost-effective access to information, best practices and expertise helping improve returns from the small land holdings that they have.

The solution developed by HP provides farmers with modules on Package of Practices; Tele-Agriculture (to solve problems); Market Intelligence; Expert System and Training and a supply chain module to facilitate the farmers to procure farm inputs and for selling their produce.

5. Electronic Employment Exchange Solution

The employment marketplace in developing economies is unorganized and often times ineffective. With no process/model in place to help bridge the demand supply mismatch, high underemployment and unemployment numbers seem to be the norm across similar regions. HP has developed an Electronic Employment Exchange solution that is an e-marketplace for labor, bringing job seekers to employees in the rural job markets. This program helps the economic development within the community with additional job creation.

Job seekers and Job Providers/Employers can walk into CIC and register their needs, in the skilled or semi-skilled category. The system helps them find each other based on needs, increasing jobs within the community.

6. Self Help Group – performance management and training system

Self-Help Groups are a mainstay for poverty alleviation in emerging markets. Institutions that monitor SHGs seek a powerful tool that can track performance covering both financial and nonfinancial (social, educational, health, etc.) parameters.

The institutions are also looking at ways to enhance the income generating capacity of the groups and are investing in better training for the same. The i-community offers SHGs a means to better manage and monitor their resources. HP provides these groups with MIS solutions that can help administer both financial and non-financial transactions.

The SHG solution automates the process of setting up, running and monitoring a Self Help Group, provides mechanisms for capacity building, skill enhancement and information dissemination.

7. Directory Of Services

Information has become crucial in today’s society, even in emerging markets. The HP i-community realized this need early and has helped compile a directory of various services in and around Kuppam. As part of the solutions portal, a directory of services has been created with a key objective of increasing awareness to the various educational and vocational opportunities, Healthcare service providers and Agriculture Test Labs/facilities available in and around Kuppam. The directory can be easily updated at the user-end and further adds value to other solutions.