Marvi proposes integrated ICT platforms for social protection

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 19 (APP): Minister of State and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Marvi Memon Monday proposed integrated Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms for social protection.

She floated the idea while representing Pakistan in a learning programme titled ‘Cross Country Learning on Integrated Approaches for Developing Social Protection Information Systems through Unique Identity’ as resource person at Seoul, South Korea.

The Learning Programme was organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB), a press release issued here said.

The objective of the Learning Programme was to showcase the successful experience in capitalizing on national identity management system backed by the most recent advancements in information and communication technology to improve social protection delivery.

The programme also discussed the challenges and opportunities to replicate the success stories in other countries.

In her opening remarks, the Chairperson informed the participants that BISP, the flagship Social Safety Net Programme of Pakistan, was providing financial assistance to 5.3 million active beneficiaries who were identified from across the country through PMT based survey of 27 million households and 155 million population.

Since 2008, Marvi Memon said, BISP had disbursed cash grants of approximately $ 4.1 billion. Moreover, 1.3 million beneficiary children were enrolled in schools and approximately $ 240 million were disbursed under this conditional cash transfer.

She also talked about the challenges faced by Social Safety Nets, specifically data linkage challenges between the main programme and other social delivery programmes (in provinces and at local level) and how these challenges can be turned into opportunities for efficient service delivery to the poor by removing the duplication of efforts and resources.

She said that this could be achieved through a core integrated system using BISP’s own Social ID and NADRA’s National IDs.

Marvi Memon shared with the audience that NADRA, having the most extensive national registry of each citizen of Pakistan, is being used as identity source of each BISP cash transfer beneficiary.

NADRA provides biometrically linked ID numbers to all BISP Cash Transfer beneficiaries.

Data integration between NADRA, BISP and other social intervention programmes can greatly help in equal resource distribution to the right target group across the country, she
added.

During the address, the Chairperson also proposed the idea of ‘League of Social Safety Nets’ to the audience.

She explained that the idea was to help accumulate the social safety net information globally against common features: its implementations, effectiveness and lessons learned.

She proposed to make a joint working committee of representatives from key programme implementations around the world, supplemented by an integrated online portal for sharing the information from various social safety nets being implemented across the world.

This working group could also be used to analyze the variations in each implementation and results from each output for knowledge generation, which could be of immense value for global social safety net community. This
information shall be very useful for improving the existing programs and implementing new programs and initiatives by different Social Safety Nets across the world.