Union Information and Service Centre (UISC):A Novel Digital Service of Bangladesh

Union Information and Service Centre (UISC) is a novel initiative of the Government of Bangladesh
for providing services to the peoples of grassroots level mainly  through digital devices.

UISCs began operations in 2009 in 30 Union Parishads (UP) through partnership between Local Government Division and a2i programme of the hon’ble Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh.The following content taken from the website of Prime Minister’s Office presents the various aspects of the
novel digital service of Bangladesh.The content has been presented below for dissemination to the readers of this website in home and abroad.
The content may also be viewed directly  at the following link:
http://a2i.pmo.gov.bd/content/union-information-and-service-centres-uisc

Union Information and Service Centres (UISC)

  • uiscUnion Information and Service Centres (UISC)
  • uisc serviceuisc service

What It Is

Union Information and Services Centres (UISC) are newly established one-stop service outlets operating at all 4,547 Union Parishads (UP, lowest tier of local government) of the country. Through use of ICT, UISC is able to bring various types of information related to government, livelihood and private services to the doorstep of citizens in rural areas. It ensures services providers and users to save time, cost and has made operations hassle free. Operating under the Public-Private-Peoples’ Partnership (PPPP) modality, these centres are run by local entrepreneurs, hosted by UPs and supported by central administration.

Why It Was Necessary

UISCs have enabled citizens to easily and cost effectively access livelihood information and services that affect their daily lives. Today, a farmer in a remote location can learn about appropriate fertilizer and pesticide use for his crops; a victim of domestic abuse can access information on legal resources; a villager can apply for land records, a migrant labourer can learn English using digital resources; and unbanked people can access banking services from UISC. All these are now possible from a UISC located typically within walking distance or a few kilometers from the citizen’s home.

Further implications of such services also include:

• long-standing demand for the right information at the right time at the right place is finally being ensured • the coverage of useful government and private services has been expanded beyond urban areas • financial transactions have become easier and cheaper through branchless banking. A large number of rural unbanked people are getting banking facilities.

How It Came About

UISCs began operations in 2009 in 30 Union Parishads (UP) through partnership between Local Government Division and a2i programme. The Quick Win initiative expanded rapidly culminating in a launch in all 4,501 UPs of the country on November 11, 2010 by the hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh and UNDP Administrator. Each UISC is operated by two young local entrepreneurs – a male and a female – under supervision of a local advisory headed by UP Chairman. The UP provides space and utility for the centre. Local Government Division coordinates with Cabinet Division and Bangladesh Computer Council to establish the basic ICT setup including computers, laptops, printers, multimedia projector, digital camera, webcam and solar panel. The entrepreneurs are free to install additional facilities to support business growth, at the same time, ensuring that the social sustainability of the centre is achieved by delivering government information and services.

KEY SERVICES

• Public exam results • Government forms download • Birth and death registration • Online university admission • Population census data

Entry

• VGD/VGF card database • Livelihood information • Employment information

Indian Visa Application

• Visa processing /visa form printing • E-mail and Internet browsing • Computer Training • Video conferencing • Mobile Banking • British Council’s English Learning • Photocopying/Scanning/

Photo/Mobile phone services

Among service partners are public and private banks (e.g. Dutch Bangla, Mercantile, Trust, bKash), life insurance companies (e.g. state-owned Jibon Bima), telecommunication companies (e.g. Robi, Banglalink) and non-govt. organizations (British Council, Ankur, Practical Action). Some of the partners also provide software & hardware troubleshooting support (e.g. Bangladesh Computer Council-BCC, Bangladesh Computer Samity-BCS, and Technology Today). Partnering with newer agencies help UISCs sustain economically enabling them to offer a wide variety of useful services. Government agencies also benefit from the UISC infrastructure and resources using them for data collection, identification of social safety net beneficiaries, and disbursement of allowances.

What Will be the Impact

• m-Banking (started in 1075 UISCs) will speed up financial transactions at all corners of the country, ensuring financial inclusion of the vast majority of the unbanked • Through UISCs, a large pool of skilled human resource will be developed specializing in Information Technology, English, Middle Eastern languages and other high-demand skills. • Women’s lives will be greatly improved owing to the availability of government services and livelihood information closer to their homes. • Greater participation of citizens will be ensured in local and national development as local government institutions and field admin become more service oriented • Public service delivery will gradually become more decentralized and accessible at Union, Upazilla and district levels with more and more government e-services being delivered through UISCs, • Free flow of information will eventually build a knowledge based society.

What Will Happen Next

• a2i will continue its efforts along with LGD to make UISCs a vital point of service delivery where a vast number of useful, localized and meaningful services will be available. • Various directorates/ministries will involve to ensure their e-Services through UISCs • Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) will provide certificates to the learners of UISC training centres. Each UISC will strive to be financially and socially sustainable.

– See more at: http://a2i.pmo.gov.bd/content/union-information-and-service-centres-uisc#sthash.jFbhD29z.dpuf