Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar on Wednesday emphasized the need for investing more in technology and data in order to ensure full transparency in social welfare system and improve the delivery of human capital services.
As reported by Dawn, the PM’s aide highlighted the experience of Pakistan in scaling up the Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) programme using data and digital technology during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Nishtar made this statement while speaking at the World Bank ministerial conclave entitled ‘Arresting Human Capital Losses due to Covid-19: Re-imagining Service Delivery in a Digital Age’.
The meeting focused on how countries can make the most of the digital age, making smart investment decisions around technology and innovations for services that better protect, build, and utilise human capital.
Speaking about the Ehsaas programme, Dr Nishtar explained that it was a great example of how the pandemic’s soci-economic fallout could be countered with the help of cash support programmes.
“Ehsaas Emergency Cash demonstrated how cash transfer programmes can be deployed to counter the socio-economic fallout such as the Covid-19,” she said.
She explained that in order to deliver cash to 15 million families during COVID-19, the digital capabilities established in year 2019 as part of Ehsaas, were adapted to deliver Ehsaas Emergency Cash particularly a new biometric payment system, a demand side SMS based request seeking platform and a new wealth profiling big data analytics mechanism.
Representatives from countries like Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Senegal, Turkey, Uruguay, Bangladesh and others participated in the video-linked meeting.
The conclave showcased ways in which countries can reimagine and refine service delivery to better serve their populations in the face of Covid-19, taking advantage of the digital age. Strategic investments in delivery systems, innovative solutions, personalisation of existing services, or actions to reach previously unreachable groups were featured.