Jayesh Bhave, Director CMGGA, and a recent joinee to the Ashoka world, writes on how the programme is helping the Government deliver the benefits of welfare policies even to the most underprivileged person (Antyodaya means ‘the last person in the queue’) in the society.
Ashoka launched the CMGGA programme in January 2016 when the Hon'ble CM Manohar Lal put forward the urgent need for ground-level feedback and recommendations to fulfill the vision of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. This unique programme is a strategic collaboration between Ashoka and the Government of Haryana, and we are proud to be associated as a knowledge and operational partner. Currently running in its sixth year, the CMGGA programme engages ~25 young professionals over a period of one year to promote transparency, efficiency, and citizen-centric service delivery across different departments in Haryana. The Associates are posted in each of the 22 districts of Haryana to work closely with the Chief Minister’s Office and the District Administrations.
In September 2021, after an intense process of diagnosis and analysis, we identified the State’s priorities in consultation with the Chief Minister’s office, following which the relevant interventions were designed and revamped by the programme team at the state level and then implemented with the help of CMGGAs at the district level. Wanted to briefly share a glimpse of these interventions and the progress made so far.
A mission mode project to bring all the departments on a digital platform developed by NIC called eOffice where 50+ State Departments and all 22 DC offices have been onboarded. Associates worked closely with the district administrations to facilitate need-based training, drive data-based reviews to digitize all files movement. I am very happy to share that we have seen a sharp uptake in this - 5.9+ lakh eFiles, 6+ lakh eReceipts have been created and moved.
Associates facilitated timely delivery of scheme and service applications by driving Right to Service (RTS) scores. The CMGGAs also facilitated multiple senior District Administration reviews for the timely resolution of citizen grievances resulting in 4+ lakh monthly scheme and service applications processed promptly.
Parivar Pehchan Patra
In line with the Hon’ble CM’s objective of reaching out to the Antyodaya, as a first step Associates closely supported the district administration to set up Nodals at each level of administration and ensured data-backed focus on completing income verification. Relevant government departments and we worked together and streamlined the operations to enable income verification of 10+ Lakh families. Currently, we are formulating recommendations to support the government’s key initiative of raising annual family income to INR 1.8 lakhs for the poorest ~1 lakh families in Haryana.
National Education Policy
COVID has affected the education system heavily, and to bring the learning of students in Haryana back on track, Associates worked in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education and School Education. We facilitated capability development of 24,000+ Anganwadi workers through 700+ trainings. Along with partner organizations, we enabled Student Assessment Tests (SATs) for 18 lakh students and Parent-Teacher Meetings (PTMs) across the State.
In line with Ashoka's vision to maintain a robust knowledge repository, we are proud of the response to the Research papers authored by our Associates. Four such research papers were published, and another three research papers have been accepted for publication in prestigious peer-reviewed journals in the last 15 months.
Further, CMGGAs have recently started work on 2 core priorities for the State - Meri Fasal, Mera Byora (with an objective to raise Farmer income), and Welfare Scheme Analyses (with an objective to analyse the on-ground implementation of various citizen-oriented schemes and suggest relevant changes to make the schemes more robust, efficient, and easier to deliver).
As I had mentioned earlier, the Associates work closely with the District Administrations and as such work in a remote environment in the Field. The programme follows a Field and Forum approach i.e. after six to seven weeks of working in the Field, the CMGGAs assemble in one place for ~1 week. This helps them to better understand and implement projects under these sectors and to synthesize learnings for their holistic development. Every Field-Forum cycle is designated as a Term, and the year is divided into 5-6 terms.
The programme also stresses on a regular connect with the Associates in the form of weekly Associate call, Module discussions, Reflections and Step-backs, again spread throughout the year.
We in the program also want to create strong and ongoing professional development of the Associates. Currently, Associates are enrolled with the Behavioural Insights for Innovative Policy (BIIP) programme. BIIP is an 18-hour certificate program created by Ashoka’s Centre for Social and Behaviour Change delivered over three months by eminent behavioural scientists and policy leaders from across the world. We are hopeful that the tools which Associates learn in the BIIP programme will augment their professional efforts in the policy domain.
I joined the programme recently in July. When I started to unpackage the full extent of the program, I was very impressed with the various systems and processes which the earlier leadership has incorporated over the years. The programme has come a long way from where we started in 2016, and with each year the programme only gets richer. I am proud to be associated with the programme and Ashoka University.