Janaagarha supports the Department of Housing and Urban Development (H&UDD) to manage all its critical initiatives through a standard performance management structure and dashboard. Solid Waste Management mobile application Ama Sahara and its web dashboard were the first steps towards creating this structure.

Ama Sahara, a programme launched by Odisha Government on August 31, 2020, includes a mobile application and a web admin portal and dashboard. The mobile application has 2 modules: government and citizen.  The government module allows all stakeholders associated with the functioning of MCCs and MRFs to record and monitor data on waste collection, segregation, processing, sale and disposal. The app and the web dashboard capture metrics used by ULB Commissioners and senior H&UDD officials for performance reviews.

Citizen module enables posting of SWM complaints and requests, as well as payment of SWM user fees. Citizens can track the status of their complaint using the app itself, and any delay in complaint resolution will be automatically escalated to senior government officers. The system brings in transparency, accountability and builds trust among the citizens.

The web dashboard collates all key project metrics and other project management information from the SWM service chain across all 114 ULBs in the state

Milestones

  • As of April 2021, 74 ULBs can ‘add user’ features on the web portal and access the mobile application. But 55 ULBs are using the application, of which 19 ULBs are making entries for MCC/MRF and User fee, whereas 36 ULBs are only collecting user fee
  • Starting March 2021, Rs 2.7 lakh has been collected as user fee via Ama Sahara application

Way Forward

  • To make all 114 ULBs live on Ama Sahara, which will enable them to create entries for MCC and MRF operations and collect user fees.
  • At least 40% of Odisha’s urban citizens are registered on the app by July 31, 2021
  • At least 20% of SWM user fee transactions are using Ama Sahara by July 31, 2021

Janaagraha and Ama Sahara

The project was designed with the support of Principal Secretary-UD, DMA and Additional Mission Director – Swachh Bharat Mission at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (H&UDD)

Dhenkanal and Paradeep Municipalities were the pilot ULBs. The team frequently interacted with the Sanitation Expert, Municipal Engineer, and EO of these 2 ULBs to inform the application’s design. Presently, the team is handholding all 114 ULBs to collate data, add user profiles and facilitate user fee collection. The team also worked closely with UCO Bank’s managerial and technical team to enable the payment gateway.

Staffing

Janaagraha supports the Odisha government to improve the quality-of-service delivery by ULBs by strengthening human capital by bridging the gaps in numeric and skill adequacy of the municipal workforce.

Importance of Strengthening Human Capital  

Local governments struggle to provide essential services in their jurisdiction, and our city systems are in a state of decay. Furthermore, there is a lack of urgency in fixing our broken systems. These issues are further calibrated with a high rate of vacancies in human resource across local governments in India. This is leaving aside the critical question of whether existing staff possess the required skills and competencies.

The Economic Survey of India echoes our views by highlighting a strong correlation between a city’s capacities and its service delivery, which is measured by four indicators: access to treated tap water, connection to the piped sewer system, accessibility to public toilets, and wastewater outlet connected to closed drainage. For example, better service delivery is positively correlated with capital expenditure and staffing (see ‘Per-Capita Capital Expenditure & Services’ and ‘Adequacy of Staff and Services’). More resources seem to be associated with better outcomes. Resource mobilization by ULBs, therefore, remains one of the critical challenges.

We believe if local governments come forward and join hands to explore the adoption of municipal shared services, it could help bridge the capacity gaps in numeric and skill adequacy. Such a model could also help lower the financial burden of scaling up capacities of the local governments struggling to generate enough revenues to meet their staff salaries.

Objectives

  • Undertaking a comprehensive municipal human capital position study for Urban Odisha, which includes investigations into numeric adequacy, skills adequacy, and performance management, help create a road-map to bridge gaps and improve outcomes.
  • Conceiving a Municipal Shared Service Centre and an Odisha Municipal Data Society to support the long tail of small municipalities to improve skills and competencies, deliver better services at lower costs (particularly for payroll processing, vendor payments, property tax collections and other functions as deemed fit).
  • Implementing a certification-based skilling program for municipal staff across functions and departments.

Milestones

  • Revenue Staffing Assessment in Urban Odisha: The programme took off on March 1, 2021, with an assessment of Revenue Staffing across 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in Odisha.
  • A time and motion study was put in action to evaluate fundamental gaps in capacity for revenue officials in Urban Odisha.
  • Sixteen ULBs were consulted in the process, and inputs collated from over 60 officials across various ranks. Findings from the study have helped unravel human capital capacity gaps in the revenue section across Urban Odisha.

Similar studies are planned for Human Resource and Finance & Accounts Section for ULBs across Odisha.