Tata Trusts' project gives fillip to micro-level planning in rural India

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Tata Trusts, one of India's oldest non-sectarian philanthropic organisation that owns two-third of shares in Tata Sons, has launched four pilot projects across the country for micro-level planning to ensure effective implementation of various government schemes in rural areas.

The pilot projects are being undertaken under the DELTA (Data Evaluation, Learning, Technology and Analysis) initiative of the organisation.

The four locations where the pilot projects are currently underway are Vijayawada in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrapur district in Maharashtra, Balasore district in Odisha and West Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, covering a total of 17 lakh households.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has decided to adopt the same methodology for the chief minister's 1,000 village program in that state.

"Tata Trusts has developed a systematic structure of participatory micro-planning based primarily on data intensive model village goals. It is a system of collecting data from communities, as well as government departments, analysing and reproducing it in the format which can be used to prioritise activities, optimise resources and track the progress," said a newsletter of the organisation.

City Data for India Initiative, a Tata Trusts' program in partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD), helps in building the data capabilities of Indian cities. The initiative has been designed to support and enhance the effectiveness and impact of the flagship urban development programs like Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

Similarly, Tata Trusts through its project, SPARC (Supporting Parliamentarians on Analysis and Research in the Constituency), aims to support Members of Parliament to use data and technology as a backbone for development activities in their constituencies. For the purpose, the SPARC associate program offers opportunity to young professionals to work with the members of parliament from across India. The scope of work could range from supporting an MP to pilot a self-help group (SHG) that could employ more women to strategising on how to spend MP Local Area Development Funds (MPLADS) to create a larger development impact.

The objective of the project includes micro-targeting of interventions using data from mobile-based, real-time data survey and creating a model of convergence of government schemes, improving last-mile linkage of individuals to schemes and empowering communities, open data platform which tags all individual data across sources against a single identifier, creating example through Aadhar seeding, PDS digitisation, effective use of data to aggregate for policy-level interventions, says Prabhat Pani who currently heads the portfolio of digital interventions that focusses upon promoting digital literacy amongst rural women and children and finding technological solutions to reach the power of digitization to various stakeholders.

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