Bangladesh initiated a journey towards e-Governance in response to its ‘Digital Bangladesh’ policy in 2009. The promise was to ensure accountability and transparency in public services. Faster, smoother, low-cost citizen-centric service delivery was to be put at the center of governance reform. The country’s government quickly formulated a master plan to fast-track g-Governance.
Fast-forward to 2009, a plethora of digitalization initiatives were completed. Bangladesh’s government is now claiming that its Digital Bangladesh policy has been a success. But the victory lap needs to be put to the test. Here are 10 service-centric initiatives that helped drive Bangladesh’s e-Governance agenda.
1.Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Program
The CRVS system started in 2010, a process based on a Unique ID system, to modernize the civil registration processes of different government agencies. The integrated civil registration components are now adopted as CRVS+ (CRVS and beyond) and carry service delivery processes through a smart platform.
2. Digital Filing System
Digital Filing System, in short D-Filing, is a government document management system established in 2016. People call it e-filing. It essentially ensured a ‘paperless government.’ It is the single platform for 19,000 government offices and 1,50,000 officials to serve the 160 million people of the country.
The Ekseba is a platform designed to integrate all government and private services into a single place. So far 8799 offices have been linked with Ekseba and 355 services are available for the citizen. The services are birth-death registration, e-invoicing, agent banking, computer training, courier services, legal aid services, and rural loan disbursement.
4. E-Mutation Management System
It allows applicants to change the title of the ownership of land from one person to another. It has reduced time and cost for the applicant. As of now, 4.7 million land cases out of 5.4l million have been settled through this system. This system is adopted in 492 sub-districts with about 4,500 offices.
5. Digital Land Management System
Digital Land Management System is a transformative solution to address land-related disputes. It facilitates the establishment of online platforms for land-related services such as land registration, and cashless land development tax service.
6. Union Digital Centers (UDC)
Popularly known as “local knowledge center,” UDC takes the government’s services to people’s doorsteps. It is a grassroots initiative led by entrepreneurs from the community. The government just provides the space and some hardware support. 4,501 UDCs were inaugurated in 2010 which was a massive boost for e-service delivery. By 2022, 4554+ UDCs were delivering 150+ services.
7. District E-service Centers (DESC)
DESC is a multipurpose service-giving center from District Commissioner (DC) offices, the top bureaucrat of the district, now running in all 64 districts of Bangladesh. The initiative was begun in 2010 and to date there are more than 150 services offered by DC office which can be requested and accessed by phone or internet. After applying for a service, the service seeker gets a contactless experience (with an updated notification system) of service delivery.
8. National Web Portal
Bangladesh’s National Portal was launched in 2015. It is a portal to provide information about all government services including local government bodies and their functions. As of 2021, there were 1 million e-Directories, 46,000+ registered offices, 2 million e-Service users/month, 5 million contents, and 60 million hits per month.
9. Grievance Redress System (GRS)
The online GRS System in Bangladesh, initiated in 2015, is a platform to address and resolve citizen grievances over public services. More than 8,000 government offices are connected to this system.
10. Agricultural Information and Communication Centre
Bangladesh introduced its tech-driven Agriculture Information and Communication Centers initiative in 2015. It draws in 254 farmers’ associations to power ‘smart farming’ into the agriculture sector. These centers work as info-hubs and provide agro-information to all farmers. It is designed to boost the country’s agricultural output by integrating tech into all agricultural use.