Monitoring the Monitors: Using ICT to Improve Government Process Evaluation and Monitoring, Punjab, Pakistan

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Ali Hasanain, Saad Gulzar, Yasir Khan

Abstract: In many developing countries, accurate data on resource utilization in public schools, hospitals, and other service facilities are rarely available. This creates two parallel sets of problems: First, a lack of data for process evaluation can lead to misallocations in medicine, human and other service delivery resources. Second, information bottlenecks between service facilities and government supervisors create space for absenteeism, bribe-taking, and resource theft. Information Communication Technology (ICT) presents several promising solutions. ICT facilitates both the rapid collection and centralization of facility-level data and the communication of data to relevant government managers. In the Monitoring the Monitors (MM) program, the Department of Health, Government of Punjab, has replaced the traditional paper-based monitoring system—which collects data on facility utilization, resource availability, and worker absence—with a smartphone application which centralizes data via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) in real time. This program was developed by Mr. Zubair Bhatti, a former civil servant, and implemented by Asim Fayaz, a computer science graduate from the Lahore University of Management Sciences. Data are geotagged and time-stamped, and photographs are required to improve authenticity.

Blog Post: Read an IGC Blogpost on the project written by the authors.