Across ~700,000 villages in India, elected representatives, government officials and civil society organizations, at the grassroots level, use limited and outdated data, along with inaccurate assumptions, to deliver services to citizens. This leads to an increase in power imbalance and disparity in well-being outcomes. The proliferation of cheap smartphones, affordable internet and open source software provides an opportunity to leverage technology to address this issue.
Additionally, PRI (Panchayati Raj Institutions) forums like the Gram Sabha are not able to ensure accountability in governance from the bureaucracy, partly contributed to by the lack of actionable data related to development. Even elected representatives like the ward members do not have access to the comparative picture of development in their ward with respect to the Panchayat.
D@GR is a product of our focussed research in the area of participatory governance. D@GR helps to decentralize problem solving and decision making (https://youtu.be/O_176LCbQSk). It uses mobiles to capture data on welfare indicators across 12 thematic areas (like Agriculture, Energy, Drinking water, etc). The data is then analysed and presented, through easy to understand dashboards in vernacular language, in real time. These dashboards enable decision makers to prioritize welfare activities.
The cross-thematic nature of the data helps the PRI members address issues cutting across themes. Multiple iterations over time help compare progress across geographies (spatial) and time (temporal). This analysis is also of interest to grassroots organizations working in the same context.
Agriculture as an occupation involves different actors, each possessing a mix of required attributes like assets, time, skills, inputs, equipment and other resources. Since in most cases, a participant needs to interact with other participants in a timely and non-exploitative manner, ready availability of information and optimal exchange of resources is very important.
Currently, there is no formalized system to seek information and exchange resources. Deals are made by matching supply and demand on a one-to-one basis which in most cases are not the best possible arrangements. In cases where supply does not meet demand, the productivity and consequently income from agriculture suffers.
AgMEx is a place where,
information is available transparently to make mutually beneficial trades (Low entry barriers, less information asymmetry, low transaction cost).
supply and demand is matched in the most optimal way possible
using the principles of market forces and competition, the most optimal rate of exchange of services is decided
The transaction boundary for an AgMEx centre can be a village or a cluster of villages. The resources which can be traded include:
Land of Medium and Large farmers who need skilled and unskilled labour
Time and Skills
Time of labourers who need employment (agricultural labour, casual labour, skilled labour)
Skills related to better agricultural practices from an external agency (Government sources, grassroots organizations)
Inputs like seeds from farmers with excess seeds or seed banks
Inputs like seeds and medicines from government sources and private vendors
Owners of equipment like tractors, irrigation pumps and threshers who want to earn rent
IdeasUnbound conducted research work in Dindori district through which it was inferred that there is a paucity in affordable, ecofriendly & sustainable solutions in various aspects of rural lives. In addition, the geography, exposure & infrastructure at Dindori is challenging for local innovators as well as for innovators from across the country. Subsequently, the time lag in connecting innovations to Dindori leads to the community missing out on new age lifestyle choices.
A comprehensive analysis of innovative products & services, drawn on 12 broad-based parameters, enabled identification of solutions with the highest social impact. IdeasUnbound developed 'Navsamvat' which brings together social innovators, local community & other stakeholders onto a common platform. Navsamvat is a dynamic ecosystem that allows for new-age innovators to create the highest social impact. It aims to pursue demand driven, new age skill development, leading to improved lifestyle choices for the community.
Primary healthcare providers in rural areas mostly provide OPD services and in some cases, also provide minor OT, dental and eye care services. Some models involve running a mobile healthcare unit providing doorstep delivery of healthcare services. These providers (individuals and institutions) need to track their patients over time using technology, to enable easier diagnosis. There is a need for a technology enabled patient tracking system which is affordable and not over-engineered.
IdeasUnbound created an affordable and simple patient tracking system for primary healthcare providers in rural areas. It uses a mobile interface to track data for a patient over multiple visits. It also allows for differential levels of access and visibility for the management, doctor, nurse, health worker and pharmacist. The dashboards provide an analysis of trends in health indicators and illnesses at multiple levels (geography wise and hierarchy wise). The solution also allows for auxiliary functions like tracking medicine stocks.