ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar on Tuesday inaugurated the newly established Monitoring Center of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital housed at Ehsaas Offices in Islamabad.
To oversee the large operations education conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme, the central capability to monitor is critical, and hence the importance of the digitally equipped control room.
To assist with this, 25 Compliance Monitoring Coordinators have been hired who man the control room and 882 Compliance Monitors have been hired for monitoring in the field.
Today, I inaugurated the newly established center, where supervisors are housed to oversee compliance monitors who go from school to school to take attendance of children enrolled in #WaseelaeTaleemDigital, the education #CCT, running under the umbrella of #Ehsaas.@Ehsaas_Pk pic.twitter.com/IZhCDauKyp
— Sania Nishtar (@SaniaNishtar) February 23, 2021
Over the last two years, a comprehensive and deep-rooted reform was deployed as a result of which massive reforms have been substantiated in the Waseela-e-Taleem Digital.
There are four key pillars of reforms. First, end-to-end digitization of a number of processes, which were previously managed manually. Apps have been developed which are used by staff to register children and monitor compliance. Secondly, cost-effective changes in institutional infrastructure were developed to expand this program nationwide, and reliance on NGOs was eliminated. Because of this, the operational cost has been reduced from 8% to 3%. Third, the stipend given to children has been modified as per Ehsaas’ new Stipend policy. Children of the poorest families will now be provided conditional cash grants of Rs. 1,500 for boy child and Rs. 2,000 per quarter for girl child on the attainment of 70% attendance in school. Finally, and most importantly, the program is being expanded to all districts of the country.
“Since the system is made an end-to-end digital, monitoring is bedrocked in digital means as well. In this regard, a new cohort of qualified Compliance Monitors have been taken on board duly following hiring procedures of the government”, Dr. Sania Nishtar said.
“Compliance Monitoring Coordinators stationed in the Control Room have access to dashboards where they can track the performance of all those in the field who are tracking attendance of children. Attendance is important as on that basis, Ehsaas stipends are delivered.”
Linked to Policy #73 of “Ehsaas Education Conditional Cash Transfers”, the scale-up and reform of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital falls under Pillar III, “Human Capital Development” of the Ehsaas Strategy. Education CCTs are an important pillar of any social protection strategy.
Education CCTs serve the twofold purpose of socially assisting vulnerable households and at the same time reduce the number of out-of-school children.
When transfers are linked to incentives for investments in human capital, they help reduce inter-generational transmission of poverty as well.