The internet is changing the world at an accelerated rate. Pakistan, with almost 64 million internet users and 62 million people connected to mobile data, isn’t the exception. As a result of their increasing digital sophistication, Pakistanis have grown accustomed to receiving better digital services from their government. The Government of Punjab has been striving to modernize in recent years
The Punjab Public Management Reform Program (PPMRP) has sought to change citizens’ perceptions, increase access to administrative services, and improve public employee performance and the management of public resources as part of the government’s governance improvements and learning from prior pilot projects in education and health.
Before that, there were several challenges for the Punjab government in providing public services. As a consequence of this, social outcomes in the province suffered: immunization rates were low because vaccinators were absent (49 percent in 2014), according to reports from the provincial immunization department.
Citizens were dissatisfied with these public services in general. The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 mandates that the government be more transparent and accountable via technological solutions.
Citizens may now go online to learn more about institutions, policies, procedures, and investment projects available on the websites of 84 provincial public entities , including government administrative departments, attached bodies, hospitals, and universities.
Citizens may also inquire about the means and methods of particular services via a 24/7 Citizens’ Contact Center at Lahore.
The number of inquiry and feedback calls rose from 50,000 in 2013 to 2.9 million in 2018. To serve the citizens more efficiently, 161 citizens’ facilitation centers have been established throughout the province to provide selected services under one roof and closer to the people – promoting social accountability in Pakistan’s largest province.
Improved employee performance through better management
The PPMRP created smart management solutions to assist government agencies in improving their Employee performance and overall User Experience.
The use of smartphones, centralized dashboards, and mobile apps has improved the efficiency of monitoring and analyzing the daily activities of hundreds of field employees in the health, agriculture, and education departments.
E-VACCS has provided valuable data that has informed the company’s decision-making. This information helped identify low-performing areas and take remedial action, which was crucial in addressing absenteeism of field vaccinators. E-VACCS assisted the management of the Health Department by allowing them to check whether children in remote regions.
Similar tools have assisted assess school and agricultural staff performance, as well as informed remedial actions for improvement where appropriate.
Tax collection is being digitized.
The PPMRP also supported technological solutions to enhance tax collection, thus expanding the tax base and improving transparency. In Punjab’s 36 districts
For example, old manual cadasters of urban properties have been digitized and geo-mapped, adding more than 1 million new property records to the tax base. This technology made it possible to issue digital tax.
The introduction of e-Vestment and the consolidation of property tax data have resulted in an increase of 115 percent in urban property tax revenues since 2013. These exciting initiatives and changes have transformed the governance landscape in Punjab and brought government services a step closer to people.