Empowering citizens’, particularly the underserved
In the backwaters of the rural areas of Bogra in Bangladesh, young Rahim stood confused between paying a hefty amount to an “immigration broker” for migrating to the dream land of Malaysia, and leaving his hopes for a bright future ahead and joining his poor farmer father in cultivating others’ lands for a living. One day, a big brother from the neighborhood, took him to a nearby UDC and showed him a website. Starting from information about application for migration to Malaysia to applying for government jobs, this portal had all the information he needs! He no longer has to run after dubious brokers for the information and the opportunities he needs. He has finally found his Midas Touch!
Impact of the National Portal
While a typical villager had to travel to the district government office about 40km away multiple time to get a certified copy of land records, she can now apply for it online and receive doorstep delivery of the document. Thus reducing time from 30 days to 16 days, cost from USD 3.3 to about USD 1 and the number of visits required to the government office from 5 to zero
In recognition of these remarkable achievements, Bangladesh received the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Award from ITU in 2014 and 2015 for best use of ICT for information and service delivery to the underserved
With only a small fraction of the 27,000 offices being endowed with functional websites, the web presence of Bangladesh public service was fragmented, and insignificant, at best.
In addition to the non- standard way the information was represented across the websites, most of the information focused mostly on internal departmental information that did not take account of the citizens’ perspectives. Hence, most government websites suffered from old, sometimes irrelevant and incorrect information, differing significantly both in structure and design.