9. Learning from Others
9.1 Introduction: Grouping by Business Models
9.2 A Start
9.3 Coins International
9.4 Fine Art Ceramics
9.5 Halberd Engineering
9.6 Ipswich Seeds
9.7 Seascape e-Art
9.8 Whisky Galore
9.10 Andhra Pradesh
9.11 Apple iPod
9.12 Aurora Health Care
9.14 Commerce Bancorp
9.17 Early Dotcom Failures
9.18 Easy Diagnosis
9.23 Google ads
9.24 Google services
9.32 Nitendo wii
9.33 Open Table
9.35 Procter & Gamble
9.36 SIS Datenverarbeitung
9.10 Andhra Pradesh e-GovernanceThe eGovernance system in Andhra Pradesh is an outstanding attempt to overcome the poverty, illiteracy and corruption endemic in India by using Internet technology to empower citizens in their everyday dealings with the State Government.
Andhra Pradesh has a multi-ethnic population of 76 million. Five languages are spoken, but only 8% have completed high school education, and 48% are illiterate. Some 70% earn their living from the land. The average annual household income is $600, with 20% of the population below the poverty line of $49 per year. Some 50% of homes have no electricity, and 69% do not have piped water.
Under the forward-looking leadership of Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the Government of Andhra Pradesh employed McKinsey & Co. to produce a twenty-year plan for the State's agriculture, healthcare, education and industry development. Their Vision 2020 advocated:
1. A radical change of mindset.
2. Simple, moral, accountable, responsive and transparent government.
3. A shift from 'institution-centered' to 'citizen-centered' objectives.
4. Provision of sustainable and affordable IT infrastructure.
5. Software development to center on health, agriculture, education and business.
6. Recruiting recent ICT graduates, while training existing staff.
7. Implementing initiatives created in the late 1990s.
The benefits to State Government included:
1. Higher employee productivity.
2. Better use and re-use of information by Government departments.
3. Reduced maintenance and training costs by adopting common systems and processes.
The 'C-6 Model' envisaged:
1. Content. Develop existing software to desired ends.
2. Competencies. Train existing staff rather than recruit new.
3. Connectivity. Encourage private operators to lay fiber-optic cable throughout the state.
4. Cyberlaws. AP's Information Technology Act 2000 to cover data privacy, integrity, access control, non-repudiation and audit of electronic transactions.
5. Citizen Interface Options. Connect citizen service centers, Internet kiosks, home PCs, etc.
6. Capital. Financing by public private partnership.
Each eSeva center (seva means 'service' in Sanskrit) would run on:
Sun E250 servers, Compaq ML 530 database servers.
Oracle 9iAS, application server running on Sun Solaris.
Oracle 8i R3 database server running on Microsoft Windows 2000.
Network monitoring system running on Cisco.
10 KVA UPS with one-hour backup and 5 KVA UPS for all servers in the datacenter. 10 client machines and 10 printers at each eSeva Center.
Seva centers (outsourced to private companies) would run 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days week over the Internet through www.esevaonline.com. Centers would have 24-44 staff members. Citizens would not be charged for the service, except for utilities, which would be billed Rs.5 per transaction.
Implementation was staggered, with various services appearing as need and circumstances permitted. The computer-aided Administration of Registration Department (CARD), for example, was one of the first eGovernance initiatives implemented, with 2.8 million land records dating from 1983 digitized and accessible from 387 offices around the state. The pilot study conducted in 1996 cost $55,000, and the full project, launched in 1998, cost $6 million. Six months after implementation, some 80% of all land registration transactions were carried out electronically. Land registration can now be completed in one hour instead of 7-15 days of the previous system. Title searches over the past 20 years can be done in 15 minutes rather than the 3 days. Certified copies of documents are obtainable in 30 minutes rather than the 3 days of the conventional system.
Old habit died hard, however. Some 90% rural and 80% urban land registrants attended a CARD office with a document writer or a middleman. The average bribe paid was an additional 7.95% (2.85% urban and 25.81% rural) of the actual fees due. Some 83% (60% urban and 94% rural) of citizens thought the registration officer was corrupt, and 85% (64% urban and 96% rural) thought the Land Department itself was corrupt.
Services for the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewage Board were rolled out early, and quickly paid for themselves. Prior to April 2002, the average number of customers who paid was roughly 60,000 across all districts. From August 2001, thanks to TV-, print-, computer- and word-of-mouth-advertising, the number of paying customers rose to 100,000, an increase of 66%. Customer service improved, and complaint waiting times were generally halved.
The original Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board was unbundled into several companies, and similar improvements achieved.
Services Payable at Seva Centers
Transfer of vehicle ownership
Services Subsequently Payable at Seva Centers
Advice and information on:
The system has been a well-publicized success. Notable features:
1. 7.02 million transactions have been accomplished since inception in August 2001 and Rs.19.6 billion collected.
2. 45 services became accessible, with each transaction designed to take no more than 90 seconds.
3. Time saved was the greatest boon: particularly by middle class citizens.
4. 78% of users were educated, and 97% were literate.
5. Utility payment was the most used: electricity 93%, telephone 77% and 72% for water bills.
6. Investment was drawn from Andhra Pradesh , Indian and overseas sources, including the World Bank and the UK's Department of International Development.
7. The PPP approach is working, with increased opportunities for private companies to employ and train staff.
8. A gradual improvement in the quality of life is being observed.
Government performance has been monitored, as has the behavior of utility payers. Initiatives underway include:
1. Cluster analysis to target consumption, billing and metering irregularities.
2. Similar computer analysis to identify electricity loss and theft.
3. Software to regulate distribution losses and maintenance costs.
4. Software to monitor financial and operational information on individual electricity supplies.
5. A microwave communication-based network to control the power supply to one million customers.
6. Training of officials in the new objectives and priorities.
Traditional attitudes changed slowly. Staff were initially reluctant to input information, and data is still being entered carelessly. The removal of the two greatest perks of a government job — the power of harassment and additional income that comes from bribes— was also resented, being met with non-compliance and sabotage. Attitudes changed when threatened layoffs did not occur, and employees were indeed rewarded for implementing eGovernance projects. Sympathetic training of older staff helped.
Customers unused to paying for utilities, or inured to official harassment, were slow to see advantages, but the Government set up grievance centers, and introduced self-assessment that explained matters more effectively.
Customers in rural areas still walk to government offices, preferring to have the functionary stamp and sign the certificates. Servicing through kiosks may therefore become mandatory.
Change is happening, but not as fast as eSeva planned and hoped for.
The eSeva system is serving as a model for other other Indian States, even as it undergoes developments itself. Fiber optic cables are being laid to all Andhra Pradesh villages, and in time the staffed kiosks will be replaced by PC users. Staff in low-level jobs will need to be redeployed, possibly trained in basic teaching and medical services.
1. What problems did the government of Andhra Pradesh face? Explain how the McKinsey plan sought to overcome them.
2. How was the plan implemented, and with what success?
3. Give some idea of the services the eGovernance system supplies.
4. What are the current challenges and further plans?
Sources and Further Reading
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