Effective public service delivery through innovative governance knowledge exchange
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Sulekha - Decentralised Planning
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Vellanad Panchayat
Vellanad Panchayat
Sulekha is a tool designed to enhance financial accountability by digitising the local plan formulation, appraisal and approval, and monitoring processes in the highly decentralised state of Kerala.

In 2002, the Information Kerala Mission (IKM) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala - a government body established to strengthen local governance through ICT - launched Sulekha, a digital system designed to streamline local plan formulation, appraisal and approval, and monitoring.

Today, 100 percent of local bodies are utilizing the Sulekha software for annual plan formulation. All plans are project based and provide valuable insight into the areas that necessitate funds and how funds are used.

Sulekha facilitates an end-to-end decentralised plan process. Projects are classified by unique id through which the software becomes a comprehensive tracking system of local plans across the state. The digital records of plan details are copied onto CDs and sent for appraisal and approval to the technical advisory group (TAG) and District Planning Committee (DPC) respectively. Once submitted through Sulekha, all data (plan and expenditure) is uploaded to the central server and published on the website of the LSGD for public scrutiny.

Annually, Sulekha digitizes the records of the entire state’s 1.5 lakh project plans of 1223 local governments.

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Comments    ( 1)

Sulekha in Kankol Alapadamba Panchayat
Mathil is the headquarters of the Kankol Alappadamba Panchayat. Curious to see whether Sulekha was as effective in these distant villages as in the outskirts of the capital Trivandrum, I visited the panchayat office. This is a small panchayat serving a population of about 17,575 (9131 women and 8444 men).SCs numbered 1097 and tribal families numbered 13. 116 projects have been approved in the financial year 2010-11, of which 83 were new projects and 33 were old projects carried forward. 30% of these projects related to agriculture. According to Mr.Pratheeshan, who manages the computer operations at this office, Sulekha has greatly benefited the people and employees of the panchayat. For the employees, it is now much easier to determine the funds available to the panchayat, after taking into account project spillover from the previous year, and the allocations of the current year. Preparing proposals is simpler now, as the inbuilt calculations, checks and balances ensure that budgets are accurately computed, and within the prescribed sectoral limits. This year, the entire approval process was completed in just over a month, by the end of May 2010, after which implementation began. Agriculture projects in particular benefited from timely disbursement. The people are happy to see plans-to-project conversion within the year. Recommendations include a more user friendly system for uploading content; online recommendations, corrections and approvals by the concerned TAGs; and less dependencies on the IT officers (who are appointed to facilitate the process, but in fact end up delaying the process as they cater to several blocks in the district.)
Posted By : Geetha Bharadwaj on 25 November 2010