BAHAWALPUR-In Global Innovation Competition held in Kenya, Pakistani model prepared by the Bahawalpur district coordination officer and his associate has grabbed the top prize.

DCO Imran Sikandar Baloch and Asim Fayaz made the model for the improvement of service delivery of government departments by using modern technology including smart phones. Top 10 contestants were selected with their best models from across the world at the competition organised by the Global Innovation Gala. However, the Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit emerged as the winner.

The project aims to improve service delivery in under-resourced, conflict areas with lack of data-driven performance management systems. “Our initiative, by enabling the monitors to report through smart phones and by simply ringing parents, saw increase in the attendance of teachers and students from 78 percent to 92 percent,” explained Baloch at the competition.

The Pakistani project emerged as the winner among a total of 196 entries submitted from across the world. Following an online voting system, 31 semi-finalists were drawn from the top 27 voted ideas along with four wildcards. A £65,000 (pounds) grant was awarded to the winning team.

“Technology was an enabler in this process and not the end result. We want to use this £65,000 award to extend our initiative into health, livestock, & agriculture,” added Baloch.

The DCO said that under the project, the results of education sector improved from 78% to 92%. He added that further improvement in the sector is possible. He said that after its success in education sector, the service delivery model would also be used in health, livestock and agriculture departments.

Dr Sheila Ochugboju, the chair of the jury, explained, “This performance management system has three components: results, focus on inclusion and tested technology. In addition, it is a model that can be replicated outside of

Pakistan.” The jury comprised experts in information systems and governance, together with other peers. They shortlisted 10 finalists drawn from eight countries Kenya, Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The two runner-ups were from from South Africa and Indonesia, each received a £35,000 grant plus expert mentorship over a six-month period.

The competition recognises and rewards innovations that enhance government transparency and accountability. It is part of Making All Voices Count, which is backed by the Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development and Omidyar Network.