One-Stop Service Centre

Taking Public Services to the Doorsteps of Citizens

Deliver hundreds of public services to the underserved more easily, cheaply and reliably through grassroots one-stop centres hosted in government organizations but run by private entrepreneurs. Show more

D

ecentralizing Public Service Delivery

To eliminate the need for millions of underserved citizens to travel great distances, incur high cost and endure considerable hassle for accessing government services, a2i in collaboration with the Local Government Division, established 5,000+ one-stop service delivery outlets known as Digital Centres throughout Bangladesh in all:

  • Union Councils (Union Parishad) – the lowest tier of the Bangladesh government;
  • Sub-district Councils (Upazila Parishad);
  • Municipalities (Paurashava); and
  • City Corporations.

These last mile access points are about 3 km from the average rural citizen’s home whereas a government sub-district office is typically 20 km and a district office over 35 km.

A sustainable solution to enhance access for the under served

Like many developing countries, in Bangladesh, government offices at the district and sub-district levels provide a wide range of public services which are labor intensive and time consuming for the service providers and recipients alike. Citizens, a majority of whom reside and work in rural areas, typically have to travel long distances to government offices in urban or semi-urban areas foregoing income and incurring additional costs such as transportation, accommodation and food to access even basic services.

The Digital Centres ensure that the underserved such as rural women, people with disabilities and the elderly – regardless of their literacy and ICT literacy – can access vital information and services.

These one-stop service centers are essentially micro-enterprises run by ‘citizen entrepreneurs’ – 1 male and 1 female in tandem with elected local government representatives.

They leverage modern technology to provide citizens both free and fee-based access to public services (land records, birth registration, telemedicine, life insurance, passport and overseas job application as well as application to various other government services) and private services (mobile financial services, insurance, various types of computer and vocational training, etc.). Increasingly, the Digital Centres are catalyzing financial inclusion through agent banking and connecting low-income communities to the wider digital economy through Assisted Rural E-Commerce.

Digital Centre Entrepreneurs: an innovative public-private entrepreneurship model

One of the most innovative aspects of the Digital Centres is their public-private entrepreneurship model. It was designed to bring the mandate and infrastructure of the public sector together with the entrepreneurial zeal and efficiency of the private sector. The Digital Centres are physically hosted in local government offices and 1% of their annual budget is directed towards these enterprises. Meanwhile everyday expenses – like utility charges, internet bills, computer maintenance costs, etc. – are borne by the entrepreneurs who must generate revenues by providing certain public and private services. In practice, this means that if working women and men can only make time after 5, over the weekend or even on public holidays to come to the centres, the entrepreneurs would still serve them. Given they are not salaried government employees, failing to do so would only harm their business. This has enabled citizens to receive efficient, affordable and reliable access to services at their doorsteps.

Facts & Figures


5,200+


Digital Centres

237Million


Services Provided

10,000+


Entrepreneurs

US$28+


Million Earnings

100+


Public & Private Services

75Million


Births Registered

2Million


Migrant Workers Registered

100,000


Youth Trained

Cases and Stories


cases-stories-1

Simplifying the Process of Providing Trade License

Due to the manual process of granting trade license from Pourashova Office, applicants were confronting hassles in receiving the license. They needed to come at…

Simplifying the Process of Providing Trade License

Problem: 

Due to the manual process of granting trade license from Pourashova Office, applicants were confronting hassles in receiving the license. They needed to come at Pourashova Office several times to know the progress of their application process. Thus, the process took lots of time and money of the applicant’s. In addition, due to the absence of database, it was difficult to identify all old businessmen. Therefore, 100 % renewal of trade license was not possible. As well as, authentic inheritors face difficulties in getting their deserved wealth.

Solution:

Online application system for trade license has been introduced as well as manual system also been kept to facilitate the applicants.  After receiving the application by office authority, beneficiaries are ensured application status through SMS/e-mail and requested to pay the fee through mobile Banking/Bkash. After ensuring the confirmation of payment, immediately trade license certificate is printed and sent to the Mayor for sign. Then beneficiaries are informed about the completion news through SMS or by mail. Through these simple steps trade license certificates are provider to the beneficiaries within a short time.

Result: 

After implementing this pilot project, the applicants can apply for the license by online which saves their lot of time. Previously, one applicant needs to come in Pourashova Office 7 to 8 times and requires to spend 5000-10000 taka to receive the license. But, now to get the license one requires to visit 1 or 2 times and needs to spend the specified fee only. As a result, time, cost and visit for the services, on an average, have reduced by 87%, 90% and 75% respectively and ultimately it has raised the revenue collection.

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