Incumbent opens first one window Ehsaas centre

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – June 10, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The prime minister (PM) Imran Khan, on Wednesday, inaugurated the first one window Ehsaas centre; the initiative has 6 components, the centre being the first while the others include a digital information and services platform, a mobile application (app), a comprehensive back office digital interface, an integrated database and a uniform and integrated beneficiary targeting policy.

According to a press release, the premier inaugurated the newly established one window Ehsaas centre, at the Sitara market, in the federal capital whereat he also planted a tree.

PM Khan was briefed on the one window centre and Ehsaas one window initiative, users will have access to all Ehsaas services in one place.

According to a press release, on Tuesday, under the Ehsaas umbrella, there are many programmes for 14 different target groups. But often, a poor family is not aware of the benefits they are entitled to and, if they are aware, they have to go to multiple offices to seek help.

With one window Ehsaas, the aim is to deliver services through a single window, a one-stop shop.

To facilitate Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, whose families receive stipends, both point of sale (PoS) machines as well as cash machines, or the automated teller machines (ATMs), have been placed in the one window centre.

Partner banks have opened their branches in the centre, and a national database and registration authority (NADRA) office has been set up.

Having all the services in one centre can significantly facilitate an Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiary, who often previously needed to visit many offices to get complaints resolved.

Ehsaas stipends for children can be accessed at the centre. The digital system, which has recently been put in place does real time verifications from three data sources before the child is enrolled in the programme and if the child doesn’t have a birth registration form—which is a prerequisite for enrolment—the mother can just walk the courtyard to get it made at the NADRA centre rather than taking a taxi to go visit another site.

Ehsaas Nashonuma services are available in the centre. Children at risk of stunting and pregnant mothers can get specialised nutritional food from the office and cash stipends from the ATM.

They get awareness session on health and nutrition. Antenatal services and immunisation services are available at the centre. Students can walk into the centre and get information about Ehsaas undergraduate scholarship, and they don’t have to use an internet café to fill out their application form.

At the centre, there is free use of internet, computer and printer. Someone looking for a livelihood opportunity can visit Ehsaas Amdan and Ehsaas interest free loan desks.

A person in need of financial assistance for health can find out about Sehat Sahulat and, if not entitled in Sehat Sahulat or not in an empaneled hospital can be channeled to Ehsaas Tahafuz or PBM’s health related financial assistance systems.

Somebody wanting to spend a night in the Panagah can book a bed and get free one star bed and breakfast facility.

People can admit a child in an orphanage; and a young woman can get information and be admitted in a vocational centre.

A street child can be admitted in one of our free schools.

Ehsaas registration desks have been set up where people can get surveyed, to ascertain if they are eligible for Ehsaas benefits.

In the centre, dashboards, display information relevant to people’s needs and complaints are addressed in real time.

There is a beneficiary retiring room, in case a woman comes with a child and needs to feed her.

A differently-abled individual can have multiple avenues of redress in the centre. Processes are being made simpler so that they can get a disability card made with ease. In the disability room, non government organisation (NGOs) are given space to provide free prosthesis and orthoses.

Also, a customised wheelchair can be ordered.

The second part is the digital electronic (e) portal with people centred information.

The third part is an app which mirrors information on the digital portal but in addition, it also marks locations of service sites: langars, panagahs and payment sites.

When opened from a mobile, an individual can be navigated to the address.

The fourth part is the integrated digital interface facing the back office, which facilitates access to all those working in the Ehsaas ecosystem with appropriate links and resources.

The fifth component is the integrated database. Previously the 2010 Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) data was siloed; even provincial social protection agencies had to do paperwork to access the database and there were costs involved.

Now, under the Ehsaas data reform, all federal Ehsaas implementing agencies will be able to access the data from the 2021 Ehsaas national socio-economic registry (NSR) through application programming interfaces (APIs) with no cost at all.

This two-way data sharing will enrich the data repository. Data integration will enable transparency. Agencies will be able to see what benefits an individual or the family are getting, and the entitlements they have in terms of various Ehsaas programmes.

The sixth pillar is the standardised beneficiary targeting policy. Previously, all agencies used their own eligibility ascertainment system—this policy will compel standardised beneficiary targeting using the proxy means test, which uses information on household and individual characteristics to compute an algorithm generated score (0-100) for each household, which then serves as a proxy for welfare status.

The information needed to generate the score comes from the national socioeconomic survey.