Sania opens control room to oversee Ehsaas stipends for primary school children

Islamabad, February 23, 2021 (PPI-OT): Today, SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar inaugurated the newly established monitoring center of Waseela-e-Taleem Digital housed in Ehsaas offices Islamabad. To oversee the large operations education conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme, 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 field.

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 institutional infrastructure was developed to expand this program nationwide and reliance on NGOs was eliminated. Because of this, 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 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 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 end to end digital, monitoring is bed-rocked 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”, said SAPM Dr. Sania Nishtar.

Adding further, she said, “Compliance Monitoring Coordinators stationed in the Control Room have access to dashboards where they can track 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.

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