The annual SKOCH State of Governance report has been one of the most awaited and discussed publications on the state of governance in the country. The report has been highlighting the good governance practices for the past several years. The year 2020 is not a normal year. It will go down in the annals of…
The annual SKOCH State of Governance report has been one of the most awaited and discussed publications on the state of governance in the country. The report has been highlighting the good governance practices for the past several years. The year 2020 is not a normal year. It will go down in the annals of modern human history as one among the most unique. 2020 was a year of unprecedented global health crisis. Yet several innovative governance approaches and practices were undertaken during the year.
In times of crisis good governance matters more than ever. Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis. This crisis engulfed the entire world. The scale and impact on human life make Covid-19 pandemic a unique crisis. Governance arrangements and practices played a critical role in shaping the response to the pandemic. This is important not just from the perspective of handling and controlling the spread of pandemic but also ensuring the public services.
“The pandemic has exposed the benefits of a stronger, flexible and more responsive civil service, which can incorporate risk management and has access to contingencies in an emergency. It has also stressed the need for sound procurement policies, systems and processes. Helping countries procure lifesaving goods and services on an emergency basis is critical to blunt the impact of COVID-19,” the World Bank said in a policy brief titled ‘Governance & Institutions COVID-19 Response Resources’.
The SKOCH State of Governance ranking and report is based on study and evaluation of programmes and projects at different levels of governance. It is derived from outcome-based analysis of projects and programmes from across the country. Lockdowns and restrictions on movement and interaction made this year’s report among the most challenging to bring out.
There is a popular saying, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Major innovation and inventions are done at the time of crisis. Our findings show that the pace of innovative governance practices increased during the year despite the constraints and Covid-19 challenges. The pandemic led to the acceleration in digital transformation. Even the stakeholders who were earlier reluctant to see innovative digital processes replace more familiar and conventional methods of governance came on board due to the constraints created by the pandemic.
New champion emerged this year. Andhra Pradesh acquired the top spot. There is a phenomenal improvement in the ranking of Andhra Pradesh. It was at number four in 2019 ranking. Besides acquiring the numero uno position in overall ranking, Andhra Pradesh also topped three sectoral rankings – Municipal Sanitation, Police & Safety and Rural Development. Gujarat has performed consistently well in SKOCH State of Governance ranking. After topping the chart in 2019, Gujarat secured the second position in 2020. West Bengal maintained its position at the third spot for the second consecutive year after topping the chart in 2018. Tamil Nadu climbed one notch to reach fourth spot from its previous year’s ranking of fifth position. Madhya Pradesh acquired the fifth spot followed by Uttar Pradesh at the sixth position, Maharashtra is at the seventh and Odisha at the eighth spot in 2020 SKOCH State of Governance ranking.
The SKOCH State of Governance report is one of the most awaited and discussed publications on the state of governance in the country. The report includes ranking of the states based on the cumulative improvements in governance initiatives. Projects and programmes from across the country are studied and evaluated. The state ranking is derived from outcome-based analysis and evaluation of projects and programmes implemented by different organs of government in a particular state.
Nearly 1,400 projects and programmes from across the country were studied this year for deeper study and evaluation. Each project was evaluated by a team of jury, comprising domain experts. A deeper study of projects and their impact at the grassroots level was done. Domain experts analysed the outcomes of such projects. Feedbacks from different stakeholders, especially the beneficiaries, added to the outcome weightage of such projects in overall ranking.
The ranking of a state is based on the performance of the projects belonging to that particular state. The performance of each project adds to the weight in the ranking of a particular state. The weightage is derived from the outcomes and impact that each project has had on the targeted beneficiaries.
All States and government agencies are free to nominate as many well performing projects and programmes as they have. There is no bar on entries of the number of projects. Project leaders, champions and architects responsible for the rollout and implementation of the projects are called for presentations and further evaluation. Domain experts study and evaluate each project. Extensive field research is also done to evaluate the impact of some of the projects at the grassroots level.
This year, the highest number of projects studied were from Andhra Pradesh. Total 123 projects were studied from Andhra Pradesh for deeper evaluation. Out of these 37 were judged highly impactful. Such projects went through further evaluation. Their outcome and replicability were analysed through grassroots level impact assessment done by the domain experts.
The ranking is done in a scientific manner. Each project is given a weight. The gross-outcome weightage of 123 projects from Andhra Pradesh stood at 66.15. This is the highest among all
The second highest number of projects were from Gujarat. The total number of projects studied from Gujarat stood at 56. Their outcome weightage of projects from Gujarat stands at 44.8.
West Bengal acquired the third spot despite the lower number of projects. The total number of projects from West Bengal stood at 33, while from Madhya Pradesh it was 54 and Uttar Pradesh 48. Despite the lower number of projects, the ranking of West Bengal is higher because of the project-wise weightage. The gross outcome weightage of 33 studied projects from West Bengal stood at 39.65, while the outcome weightage of 54 projects from Madhya Pradesh stood at 27.7. The average weightage of the projects from West Bengal was among the highest. This helped the state acquire the third spot in the overall ranking despite a lower count of projects that were evaluated.
The total outcome weightage of 45 projects that were studied from Tamil Nadu stood at 38.25. This helped the southern state to acquire the fourth spot in the overall ranking. The total outcome weightage of 54 projects from Madhya Pradesh stood at 27.7, while the total outcome weightage of 48 projects from Uttar Pradesh stood at 26.4.
The overall ranking of a particular state is the function of the number of projects and outcome weightage of each project. So, the ranking of a state could be higher even with a lower number of projects. As discussed above this year West Bengal has acquired higher ranking mainly because of better outcome weightage of its projects.
SKOCH State of Governance ranking is unique because it is scientifically done based on primary data and studies. Each project is assessed and evaluated for its impact at the grassroots level. The weightage of each project is determined by the findings of the grassroots level analysis of each project. They are evaluated on the basis of their outcomes.
There are several studies and reports on the state of governance in the country. But most of them form their rankings on the basis of secondary data and government reports. Rankings and awards are generally decided by “celebrity juries”. Such celebrity juries hardly give any time for studying or understanding the projects; thus, the awards and rankings are decided based on other considerations.
SKOCH rankings are decided by highly expertise driven juries. SKOCH juries have decades of experience and domain expertise. They are not just for the name, as happens in most other awards and rankings. SKOCH juries give their decisions after thorough study and analysis of the projects. They sit through presentations and spend hours in studying and analysing the projects. Each project is analysed and studied by two to three juries.
Study and evaluation of a project is done based on detailed project submission from respective departments/organisations and desktop analysis. Concerned officials and ‘owner’ of the projects are asked to make a presentation in front of juries and representatives of competing projects.
Views from peers and external domain experts are another important stage of evaluation. Peers, who have implemented similar projects in different parts of the country, sit through the presentations, analyse the projects and give their opinion. Views of each peer is counted in the final ranking. Views of external domain experts that are cross-functional from across the country is also taken.
Outcome ranking from beneficiaries is another important stage of evaluation of projects. Views are taken from the beneficiaries who have first-hand felt the outcome and seen the change. At each stage of evaluation there is a rating. Each rating has different weightage.
SKOCH ranking is apolitical, done purely for academic and research purposes. It is the most thoroughly and scientifically done study of governance projects in the country. The process is so rigorous and strict that no individual or organisation can affect the ranking.
Such rigorous and scientific processes make SKOCH State of Governance report one of the most awaited and discussed publications on the state of governance in the country. Bureaucrats and political leadership from across the country keenly follow the SKOCH ranking. Based on the performance of their respective departments and states they strategise their governance initiatives.
SKOCH state of governance rankings are received in person at senior most level, including chief ministers, senior ministers, secretaries and other top bureaucrats. The importance to the SKOCH ranking can be gauged from the fact that most states appoint dedicated nodal officers to coordinate project submission and monitor their presentation and performance. SKOCH rankings and reports have led to healthy competition among departments and also among the states to bring more transparency and efficiency in governance through innovation and use of new technologies and processes.
SKOCH reports have become referrable knowledge repositories. The entire process is online. Projects are available in digital form on the Internet. It has become a very rich source of information for researchers and also for the organisations and departments that are willing to replicate such projects. SKOCH platform has played an instrumental role in replication and scaling up of several good governance projects.
There have been impressive good governance initiatives from across the country. While in some states they are extensively being implemented across the government departments and organisations, in others it is limited to a few departments. SKOCH Group’s endeavour has been to highlight the best practices from across the country. For a better understanding, the states have been classified in three groups.
The states where projects have performed the best in terms of rankings across different parameters have been classified as “STARS”. States that have done commendable work are next in the rankings classified as “PERFORMERS” and the remaining states are classified as “CATCHING-UP”.
Andhra Pradesh has shown splendid performance. After being in the top five for the past several years, the state acquired the number one position in the State of Governance ranking 2020. The state also topped three sectoral rankings – Municipal Sanitation, Police & Safety and Rural Development.
Several innovative steps have been taken in the state to ensure safety and security of women. Prakasam District police has launched an initiative called ABHAY (fearless). It is a novel approach that relies upon efficient allocation of existing resources in combination with smart use of technology to extend the scope of standard emergency services provided by the police to citizens. The initiative is launched in response to brutal murder of a girl in Hyderabad.
In another project to ensure women safety, Disha App is developed by the technical services division of the Andhra Pradesh police that sends an alert to the Disha control room when a woman or girl in distress just shakes the mobile phone, which contains the Disha App. Nearly 6,000 mobile teams have been deployed across the state for the rescue of women in distress. Each of the 18 Disha Police Stations in the state has a dedicated team. The total strength at each police station is between 36 and 47 and half of the personnel are women. Schemes like Abhay and Disha and have made a marked difference in the law and order perception as well as confidence level of women to go out and participate without fear.
Andhra Pradesh performance in the rural development sector has been pretty impressive year after year. It has acquired the second spot in 2018 rural development sectoral ranking and the third position in 2019. The state has introduced several innovative measures to bring more transparency and efficiency in the implementation of projects related to rural development. Panchayat Raj and Rural Development department have adopted innovative approaches for capacity building and training under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The department has also implemented an innovative approach to ensure that the benefits of MGNREGA scheme reach to the intended beneficiaries in a transparent manner. The wages under MGNREGA scheme are routed through Direct Benefit Transfer. 99.35 per cent of the beneficiaries have been Aadhaar seeded. The state has registered the second highest number of DBT transactions.
In the e-Governance sectoral ranking Andhra Pradesh improved its position to the second spot this year from the eighth position in 2019. Andhra Pradesh acquired the third position in five sectoral rankings – Municipal Governance, Health, Covid Response, Ease of Doing Business and District Administration.
YSR Rythu Bharosa Kendra stands out as an interesting model for village level procurement at a pre-announced MSP and is reporting good outcomes for the farmers. YSR Cheyutha Scheme focuses on economic empowerment of middle-aged women through giving them livelihood linked loans for over 4-year period, is again a great example of financial inclusion with outcomes.
Andhra Pradesh government has introduced e-Learning solutions for providing training to police officials. Dedicated e-Learning centres have been set up at 10 different locations with state-of-the-art infrastructure. Audio-visual materials have been prepared on key topical issues concerning the police. The areas include Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act, Juvenile Justice Act, Sensitisation on tribal issues, Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act and Criminal Procedure Code.
Gujarat has consistently topped in several sectoral rankings and registered impressive overall performance year after year. The state is placed at the second position this year after topping the chart in 2019.
In the sectoral rankings, Gujarat secured the top position in water category and the second position in three sectoral rankings – District Administration, Police & Safety and Power & Energy.
Several innovative steps have been taken in Gujarat to make the healthcare system more robust. The state maintained impressive performance in the health sector for the second consecutive year. In 2019 Gujarat had topped the sectoral ranking in Health. This year the focus of the health sector across the country was on Covid Response. Gujarat took a lot of innovative steps to effectively manage Covid situation.
Under ‘Mission Indradhanush’ initiative District Panchayat Ahmedabad has introduced several innovative measures to improve health and nutrition of children. It has helped in increasing routine immunisation, especially among the children of migrant labourers. Besides vaccination, the mission has also played an instrumental role in prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases among children in underserved areas.
Narmada district administration has introduced an initiative called ‘livelihood enhancement of farming community through horticulture’. This is an integrated approach to boost employment and create new sources of income for farmers mostly in tribal dominated region. Output per unit has increased significantly leading to transformation in the living standard of farmers in the region.
Surakshita Application developed by Rajkot City Police has played an important role in improving safety and security of women. The app connects the user with the help centre and has features of tracking rides. This helps women avoid uncertain threats and troubles.
In 2019, Gujarat had topped in eight sectoral rankings – Health, Power, Education, e-Governance, Transport, Tourism & Culture and Governance (General Administration).
Tamil Nadu has acquired the leading position in three sectoral rankings. It has acquired the top spot in the sectoral ranking of Governance (General Administration), District Administration and Agriculture. In the District Administration category the state has improved its position from the sixth spot in 2019 to the first spot in 2020. The state’s performance in the agriculture sector is also impressive. It jumped to the first spot in the agriculture sector ranking this year from the fifth position in 2019. In the Women & Child Development category Tamil Nadu has maintained its position steady at the second spot. In three sectoral rankings Tamil Nadu acquired the third position. The sectors in which Tamil Nadu acquired the third position include Water, Police & Safety, and Ease of Doing Business.
District Administration took the lead in introducing innovative governance steps in Tamil Nadu. District Administration Theni has introduced impressive steps for water conservation and management. Several innovative steps have been taken to encourage people to establish roof top rain water harvesting units in individual houses. Such units have also been established at religious places such as temples, mosques and churches so that people get motivated for water conservation.
The Post Tsunami Sustainable Livelihoods Programme, which was introduced to help the people affected by tsunami in the coastal districts of the state, was innovatively used to tackle Covid-19 crisis. Under this programme people are provided timely support in the form of creation of awareness, immediate and improved access to loans to the communities to fulfil the household needs, partnering with banks for setting up of enterprises and income generation activities and support services to the value chain of rural production. It also mitigated the vulnerability of poor fishers and other marginal groups by introducing a hybrid model of modified insurance products.
West Bengal has acquired top position in six sectoral rankings on the back of higher outcome weightage of its projects. The sectors in which West Bengal topped this year include Women & Child Development, Transport, Power & Energy, Health, Finance & Revenue and Ease of Doing Business. In most of these categories West Bengal had acquired the top position in 2019 as well. In the Skill Development category, the position of West Bengal is at the second spot this year from the first position in 2019.
In the overall ranking West Bengal has maintained its position at the third spot. However, among the sectoral rankings West Bengal has significantly improved its standing. In 2019, West Bengal had topped in three sectoral rankings – Skill Development, Food & Civil Supplies and Water Resources, while this year the state topped in six sectoral rankings.
Chief Minister’s Office has introduced an initiative called ‘e-Samadhan’, which is designed to provide a holistic, integrated, transparent and accountable governance model with minimal human intervention. Through this initiative all activities related to citizen grievance redressal in the state has been brought under one umbrella.
The Department of Self Help Group & Self Employment has introduced an initiative called Jaago for empowerment of women. Under the scheme the government provides yearly incentive of Rs 5000 through DBT in the bank accounts of SHGs. This grant has been used by the women for their economic empowerment, for spreading awareness against Covid-19 and for fighting against social evils.
Neighbourhood networking initiative introduced by New Town Kolkata Green Smart City Corporation Limited helped effectively manage the Covid-19 crisis in the city. It helped in mobilising the citizens of the city to address the challenges faced in accessing the basic facilities like food, grocery, medicine, emergency hospitalisation, cash withdrawals etc. in the backdrop of nation-wide lockdown.
Though Uttar Pradesh could not find a place in top five, it has acquired numero uno position in three sectors – Urban Development, Skill Development and Governance (General Administration).
In the overall ranking Uttar Pradesh consistently improved its position. It was ranked at number 12 in 2018. The state improved its position to 11 in 2019 and further to the sixth spot in overall ranking in 2020. However, Uttar Pradesh performance in sectoral ranking is pretty impressive. It has managed to acquire top position in three sectoral rankings.
Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority has introduced an industrial entrepreneurship skill development programme. Gram Vikas Vibhag, Government of Uttar Pradesh, has introduced an innovative approach for improving the quality of education. ‘Innovative Five Star School’ project has helped enhance the learning outcome and improve the school infrastructure as both of them were not up to the mark.
Ayodhya Police ran an initiative called ‘Operation Home Delivery’ to effectively manage the Covid crisis and reduce the hardships faced by the common people during the lockdowns. The Public Works Department, Uttar Pradesh, also introduced innovative methods to manage Covid crisis.
During the lockdowns a large number of people lost the source of livelihood. Poor were the worst hit. District Administration Basti introduced a programme called The Lady Tailors of Basti to provide livelihood support to the poor people. During the lockdowns more than 1,500 women were given training in tailoring. They were also given work to supply over 2.5 lakh school uniforms.
Maharashtra has consistently maintained its leading position in the Municipal Governance category. Maharashtra topped the Municipal Governance category for the second consecutive year. The state acquired third spot in three sectoral rankings – Women & Child Development, Transport, and Skill Development.
Several innovative steps have been taken by the municipal corporations. Malegaon Municipal Corporation took innovative steps to effectively manage Covid-19 crisis. Dhule Municipal Corporation has introduced robotics technology for eradication of manual scavenging. In the place of manual scavengers Dhule Municipal Corporation has started using Robotic Scavenger Machine (Bandicoot). Thane Municipal Corporation has taken innovative measures for property tax assessment. Pune Municipal Corporation has also started the process of land reclamation through Biomining under solid waste management.
Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre has brought innovation in e-Governance sector through introduction of Maharashtra Monitoring & Assessment of Agriculture Drought using Advance Technology (MahaMADAT). District Administration Nanded has introduced an innovative approach for awareness and early detection of cancer.
The SKOCH State of Governance ranking is divided in two parts. One set of rankings presents a comparative picture of states based on the performance of the projects studied from those states. The other set of ranking analyses the sectoral performance.
The sectoral classification includes Municipal Governance, Municipal Sanitation, District Administration, Agriculture, Water, Finance, Education, Health, e-Governance, Transport, Tourism and Culture, Police & Safety, Women & Child Development, Urban Development, Rural Development, Governance (General Administration), Skill Development, Infrastructure and Ease of Doing Business.
The highest number of innovative projects from across the country come from the district administrations. 328 projects from across the country were studied and evaluated in the District Administration category. The largest number of projects in this category came from Uttar Pradesh, which also has the largest number of districts in the country. Total 37 projects in District Administration category were from Uttar Pradesh. However, with 25 projects Tamil Nadu acquired the number one position in the District Administration category due to the better weighted average.
Gujarat acquired the second position in the District Administration category with 20 projects. Andhra Pradesh acquired the third position with 30 projects. However, Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of projects studied in this category, was at the fourth spot. It was largely due to the comparatively lower weighted average to the projects belonging to the state. 22 projects in the District Administration category were from Odisha. This helped the state secure a position in the top five of the District Administration sectoral ranking. Madhya Pradesh acquired the sixth position with 18 projects while Bihar is placed at the seventh position with 15 projects studied from different districts of the state.
One of the most important steps taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 was the lockdown imposed across the country. While most of the economic activities were closed for months and people were asked to remain confined in their home, police remained on the field to enforce the directives be it related to the lockdowns or ensuring safety and security of the life and property in the times of crisis.
A lot of innovative measures were adopted in the Police & Safety category during the year. The largest number of innovations came from Andhra Pradesh. The measures taken in the Police & Safety category ensured the number one position for Andhra Pradesh not only in this sectoral ranking but in the overall State of Governance ranking. 58 projects were from Andhra Pradesh in the category of Police & Safety. Out of these 16 projects were in a highly impactful category.
Four innovative projects were from Gujarat that helped the state acquire the second position in this sectoral ranking. Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were jointly placed at the third spot in the Police & Safety category ranking with five projects from each state. The sectoral weightage average of both the states also stood as the same. Ten projects were studied in this category from Kerala. However, the state managed to acquire only fourth position due to comparatively higher weightage average of projects from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. One highly impactful project helped Telangana acquire the fifth spot in the Police & Safety sectoral ranking.
Maharashtra has consistently been among the top performing states in the Municipal Governance category. The state topped the Municipal Governance sectoral ranking for the second consecutive year. Eighteen projects were from Maharashtra in the Municipal Governance category. Out of these five were in a highly impactful category.
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