Friday July 19, 2024

One Stop Shop Ehsaas Centres to be opened in 154 districts

By Myra Imran
July 01, 2021

Islamabad : One Stop Shop Ehsaas Centres would be opened in 154 districts to serve Ehsaas beneficiaries, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Sania Nishtar while briefing media about the facilities available at One Window Ehsaas Centre in Sitara Market on Wednesday.

Dr. Sania held an open house with print and electronic media at the Centre which was followed by a round of the facility by SAPM wherein they explored operations of One Window Ehsaas Centre, learnt about all Ehsaas facilities, and met with staff and beneficiaries.

Giving an interactive demonstration, Dr. Sania said that there are programs for 14 different target groups under the Ehsaas umbrella. “But often, a poor family is not aware of the benefits they are entitled to and, if they are aware, they need to go to multiple offices to seek help. With One Window Ehsaas, the aim is to deliver services through a single window, a one-stop shop.”

She said that the Centre has six pillars: a one stop shop, the Ehsaas Centre; back office digital interface; a public facing digital information and services platform; a mobile app; cognitive API architecture—the integrated database; and finally, the Ehsaas One-Window Beneficiary Selection and Targeting Policy.

Prime Minister inaugurated the first One Window Ehsaas on June 9, 2021. In the centre, all Ehsaas services can be accessed in one place. To facilitate Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, whose families receive stipends, both Point of Sales machines as well as cash machines or ATMs have been placed in the One Window Centre. Partner banks have opened their branches in the centre, and NADRA office has been set up as well.

Similarly, Ehsaas stipends for children can be accessed at the centre. The digital system, which has recently been put in place does real time verifications from three data sources before the child is enrolled in the program and if the child doesn’t have a birth registration form, the mother can just walk the courtyard to get it made in the NADRA centre.

Ehsaas Nashonuma services are also available in the centre. Children at risk of stunting and pregnant mothers can get specialised nutritional food from the office and cash stipends from the ATM. Antenatal services and immunization services are also available at the centre.

Besides that, students can walk into the centre and get information about Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship, and they don’t have to pay in an internet café to fill their application. In the One Window centre, there is free use of internet, computer and printer. Someone, looking for a livelihood opportunity can visit Ehsaas Amdan and Ehsaas Interest Free Loan Desks.

Additionally, a person in need of financial assistance for health can find out about Sehat Sahulat and, if not entitled in Sehat Sahulat or not in an empaneled hospital can be channeled to Ehsaas Tahafuz or PBM’s health related financial assistance systems.

Other services available in the centre include, booking a bed in Panah Gah, admitting a child in an orphanage, getting admission at a vocational centre etc. A differently abled individual can get a disability card made with ease. In the same disability room, NGOs are given space to provide free prosthesis and orthoses. Also, a customized wheelchair can be ordered. The second part is the digital e-portal with people centreed information.

The third part of One Window Ehsaas is an app which mirrors information on the digital portal but in addition, it also marks locations of Ehsaas service sites. The fourth part is the integrated digital interface facing the back office, which facilitates access of all those working in the Ehsaas ecosystem to appropriate links and resources.

The fifth component of One Window Ehsaas is the integrated database. Previously the 2010 BISP data was siloed; even provincial social protection agencies had to do paperwork to access the database and there were costs involved. Now, under the Ehsaas data reform, all federal Ehsaas implementing agencies will be able to access data from the 2021 Ehsaas National Socio-economic Registry through APIs with no cost at all.

The sixth pillar is the Standardized Beneficiary Targeting Policy. Previously, all agencies used their own eligibility ascertainment system—this Policy will compel standardized beneficiary targeting using the Proxy Means Test, which uses information on household and individual characteristics to compute an algorithm generated score (0-100) for each household, which then serves as a proxy for welfare status. The information needed to generate the score comes from the National Socioeconomic Survey.