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Govt plans an a2i foundation to improve citizen services

  • Published at 12:54 am October 9th, 2017
Govt plans an a2i foundation to improve citizen services
In keeping with the Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, the government is set to give the proposal for an access to information foundation (a2i) at the cabinet meeting, which is set to take place on Thursday. Funded by UNDP and USAID, the foundation will ensure an easy, affordable and reliable access to quality public services, said officials. Official at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the proposal of an a2i foundation will be placed at the cabinet meeting, to be presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The a2i foundation is to be formed under the Company Act, 1994, Provision 28, which will provide 136 services through 5,286 digital centres nationwide. The foundation will help empower civil servants with tools, expertise, knowledge and resources they need for innovating citizen centric solutions to public service challenges, said an PMO official, seeking anonymity. Farmers, teachers, small business owners and people in rural and remote areas will be able to receive information from 5,286 digital centres on weather, products and similar kind of information related to their livelihoods. PMO’s Principal Secretary Kamal Chowdhury is set to be the chairman of the proposed foundation that will also have a 25-member board. The capital for the foundation will come from the government exchequers, grants, foreign assistances, and earning from investment by the a2i foundation, the proposal read. According to the proposal, the objectives of the foundation includes, the improvement of ministries and division websites, improve the efficiency of the teachers, under the foundation multi media class room will be set up of 32,831 schools, a total of 19,000 government agencies have started e-filing system under the a2i programme. The foundation will also help develop user friendly experience of 200 important services and 166 innovating financing programme. On January 18, 2016, Microsoft Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the a2i programme. Under the MoU, women entrepreneurs from 5,273 digital centres nationwide are now receiving training on computer hardware and software use and are going to be linked with service centres after the completion of their training. Bangladesh’s leadership in public service innovation is being recognized internationally under a2i program.  The governments of Maldives, Bhutan have also established an a2i learning partnership to facilitate the development of their own Innovation Lab+, a great example of South-South Cooperation.