Delhi government on Friday signed an MoU with global research centre J-PAL, co-founded by Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, to conduct real-time monitoring of its public services.
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research centre which was founded in 2003 by this year's Economics Nobel prize winners Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, along with Sendhil Mullainathan, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDCD) signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with J-PAL, South Asia, to conduct real-time monitoring of public services offered by the government, said a Delhi government statement.
The project will be kicked off as a pilot, to study the beneficiary experience in ration shops under the Public Distribution System (PDS) as well as in mohalla clinics.
Regular program monitoring is critical for improving public service delivery and beneficiary experience, especially for flagship schemes such as the mohalla clinics and ration shops, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said on the occasion.
"And what better way to monitor than directly getting the citizens' voice in how the services are being delivered. It's also a matter of pride that we are collaborating with a think tank led by Nobel Laureates to pilot such a model across government schemes for the first time in India," Sisodia added.
Under the project an outbound call-centre will be established to gather real-time monitoring data on the quality of program implementation. The data will be collected directly from thousands of beneficiaries daily, the statement said.
Beneficiaries will be selected randomly across Delhi and will be asked a set of questions to understand the standard of services, it said.
J-PAL will analyze the feedback and generate regular report cards, which will then be shared with the departments for further action, said the statement.
Administrative level efforts can only yield limited information, and the information is generally sporadic or untimely. We believe that phone-based monitoring can be a highly cost-effective way to improve the quality of front-line service delivery," said DDC vice chairman Jasmine Shah.
In its earlier association with the J-PAL, the Delhi government in 2015 had designed it's Chunauti programme to improve learning levels of school children.