FEATURE STORY May 10, 2019

Technology for Social Good in India

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Photo Credit: World Bank


STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mobile-based applications adopted in World Bank projects in India are helping farmers make informed decisions.
  • Technology is making it easier for health workers to track growth in children; it is providing doctors critical information about patients.
  • Digitization is making municipalities more accountable and accessible.

From using drones to plan water supply schemes in hard-to-reach locations, to deploying satellite imagery for enhancing land usage, or using mobile phones to track children’s health, technology is changing the way we live.

Making farmers resilient

This $12.67-million  Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change project that started in 2015 has so far empowered more than 8,000 farmers to adopt climate resilient practices.

Prioritizing interventions

Satellite images taken from a height of 900 km in Karnataka capture crucial data like land use as well as land cover, groundwater prospects, and soil characteristics.

Geographic information system (GIS) technology can also map nutrient deficiencies in the soil, which helps with crop planning.

The Karnataka Watershed Development Project, known locally as Sujala, covered over half a million hectares of land in seven predominantly rain-fed districts in Karnataka between 2001 and 2009 and was the first to deploy the use of satellite remote sensing and GIS mapping effectively over a large area.

Supplying Water in Challenging Terrain

To tackle this, drones have been used to click high resolution images in high altitudes and challenging topography in World Bank’s Shimla Water Supply and Sewerage Service Delivery Reform Project. This, along with GIS technologies, has helped the state government prepare a 24x7 water supply model for the city that addresses issues such as pressure management, transmission and distribution networks, and identifying illegal connections.


"When the [app] shows temperatures of 35-40 degree Centigrade, farmers will wait for cooler temperatures before transplanting paddy mat nurseries into the field. Otherwise, there is a fear of losing crops in high temperatures."
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Ramchandra Prasad Verma
a climate smart village resource professional in the Barachatti block of Gaya district in Bihar, India

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Photo Credit: World Bank


Tracking health

All across India approximately 150,000 Anganwadi workers are using smartphones to track growth and nutrition in children. Photos of the hot lunch served to the children at health and nutrition centers, for example, can now easily be shared with block, district and state-level officials.

“It’s easier to work with mobiles than registers,” confessed an Anganwadi worker in Madhya Pradesh.

The World Bank has so far invested about $306 million in nutrition through the ICDS Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project.

In Chhattisgarh, a mobile based application called Nutri-Click provides real time, need-based, one-on-one counseling on appropriate nutrition and care practices to pregnant women and caregivers and mothers of young children and their family members.

Digitizing Medical Records

Doctors in 36 public hospitals in Tamil Nadu can now access, collect and analyze critical health data for quick and timely interventions with the click of a button. The system also helps with retrieval of manual records as well as maintenance and management of medical equipment, making the entire process transparent and convenient.

The $110.3 million Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project was active in five Tamil Nadu districts. A second phase will now aim to cover another 222 hospitals across the remaining 25 state districts.

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Photo Credit: World Bank


e-Governance

—98 percent of which were redressed.

Through the Karnataka Municipal Reforms Project, municipal revenues have increased while interface between citizens and local administrations has vastly improved.

Vocational Training

World Bank’s Vocational Training Improvement Project has helped digitize activities such as admissions, examination management, and certifications in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) under the National Council of Vocational Training.

The portal provides detailed records from more than 13,000 public and private ITIs across the country, including data related to courses offered, admissions, examinations, placements, etc.

So far , saving time and effort.



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