Donor/ Partners: World Bank and Central Procurement Technical Unit, Overall Term: April 2019 – June 2022
Building citizen portal and integrating it with present CPTU website, and upgrading of CPTU Mobile App to promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the implementation of public procurement.
Bangladesh has developed a strong foundation for the public procurement system that includes the establishment of a well-functioning agency, the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), under IMED, Ministry of Planning. Since July 1, 2017, the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) has been implementing a project, titled "Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement," to improve overall public procurement management in the country. Under Component 3 of the DIMAPPP, a citizen portal is developed for greater transparency and disclosure of public procurement information (Cptu.gov.bd, 2020). Dnet is providing the consulting services for "Developing Citizen Portal and Integrating with the Present CPTU Website, Up-gradation of the CPTU Mobile App, and Social Media Engagement including Maintenance."
We have developed three distinct technology components as part of the technology stack: a website that serves as a citizen portal, an updated version of the existing CPTU Android app, and a new iOS app. The Citizen Portal has been developed for greater transparency and disclosure of public procurement information (Cptu.gov.bd, 2020). The URL of the CPTU citizen portal is citizen.cptu.gov.bd. We maintain the technical and operational aspects of the CPTU website. In addition, we continuously generate content for featuring on social media to enhance the engagement of the target audience on the CPTU website. The key impact of the project is to reach out to the common citizens of Bangladesh, focusing on an online Citizen Portal and CPTU Mobile App (Android & iOS) for the public to access various data/information originating from different steps/sources in the public procurement process to promote transparency and accountability. On the other hand, utilizing promotional activities on social media, the CPTU activities, Citizen Portal, and CPTU Mobile App have been reached millions of people all over the country
999-NATIONAL EMERGENCY SERVICE
Donor/partner/Client: Bangladesh Police, Overall term: 2017
National Emergency Helpline – 999, was initiated to provide immediate assistance to the citizen in the case of any emergency need – accident, crime, fire, or ambulance. This was a remarkable project in terms of government service automation in Bangladesh.
The idea of National Emergency Services 999 was conceived by Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Honorable ICT Adviser, and the subsequent design and implementation of which was led by Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Honorable State Minister, ICT Division, Ministry of Post, and Telecommunication & Information Technology. The project was conceived as “999-National Help Desk (NHD)” in the first phase and was being operated by the ICT division. During the implementation of the first phase, Dnet took part in developing Call center CMS solutions, CRM solutions, content for the citizen, agents, and supply-side authorities, call center desk, software and hardware setup and installations, agent deployment, agent training, instant Technical support, and data management. Dnet was also the partner for operations in the first phase. Later the project was handed over to the Ministry of Home Affairs and is currently being run by Bangladesh Police.
Keeping in mind the convenience of citizens in accessing the service, the project was designed, developed, and implemented with different channels combined– a call center, a mobile app, a website, a live chat, and a Facebook messenger chatbot. The solution was a successful attempt to transform providing emergency services to citizens from manual interventions to fully automatic processes.
Through the web end of 999 Emergency Services, one can find out any information about emergency services and locations that may be beneficial to them during an emergency. This online web portal provides all the essential services expected from 999.
By the end of May 2017, a total of 2,906,583 calls landed on the 999 hotline of which 24% were test calls, prank calls, ghost calls, or purely out of scope. Out of valid cases, 2,153,059 calls were for generic information while 17,222 were for seeking Fire service, and 29.935 and 22,663 calls were for seeking Police and Ambulance services respectively. A unique count of 36521 visitors accessed the National Emergency Service Website by May 2017. The call center has been operational with 70 agents, 4 team leaders, and 6 supervisors working across shifts 24 hours and 7 days a week.
- The project combines multiple software and solutions.
- CMS solutions, CRM solutions, Dashboards, and reporting systems were designed with user-centered approaches.
- The service ran by the ICT division and was dedicated for citizens to avail of any sort of emergency service by calling 999.
- The initiative has been designed to complement the government’s objectives in e-governance and m-governance as part of the overarching Digital Bangladesh agenda.
- The portal connects citizens with the Ambulance service and their call center.
- Also connects with the police control rooms of Bangladesh.
- Integration with the fire-service control & dispatch stations and provide direct support to the citizen.
- Dnet designed a special dashboard with an overview and information on the activities of NES.
Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations: Merchants Development Driving Rural Markets (SHIFT-MDDRM)
Commissioned By: European Union, Project Duration: 2017 - 2021
To enhance the growth and competitiveness of retail merchants in rural Bangladesh through vertical integration with FMCG value chains and horizontal integration with financial service value chains.
SHIFT-MDDRM was an initiative of UNCDF, Dnet, FBCCI, and BDMS supported by the European Union. Through introducing the usage of digital business technologies to the Micro-merchants, MDDRM aims to enhance their growth by encouraging innovation and linkages between retail and financial services industries. In the year 2021, SHIFT-MDDRM targeted 10,000 micro-merchants capacity development solutions and 100,000 consumers through awareness events in 4 districts, e.g. Sirajgonj, Tangail, Jamalpur, and Sherpur of Bangladesh.
Dnet, as a consortium member, implemented Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations: Merchants Development Driving Rural Markets (SHIFT-MDDRM) project in Jamalpur, Sherpur, Sirajganj and Tangail districts during the period of 2017 to 2021. Under the initiative, Dnet conducted research to understand the capacity needs and business practises of Micro-merchants. On the basis of the research findings, Dnet developed knowledge solutions to enhance the business competencies of Micro-merchants. Dnet applied multiple channels to deliver the knowledge solutions to the targeted Micro-merchants. It includes ‘Amar Dokan Book’, Amar Dokan mobile app, audio content, and training.
The training and knowledge solutions were designed in order to address the needs of Micro-merchants while being mindful about their context, education, age, aspiration, and business practises. They learnt about shop decoration, customer attraction, capital protection, savings for preparedness of risk, and usage of digital financial services through the training and knowledge toolkit. Relevant business practises were drawn from the Micro-merchants during the training to make them more engaged and connected with other Micro-merchants.
Dnet organized awareness events in the community for micro-merchants and consumers on consumer protection and the integration of digital financial services into daily transactions. Dnet also organized digital trade fairs, innovation fairs and community campaigns, and developed the capacity of the leader of the local micro-merchants’ association so that they could extend their support for the business competitiveness of their association members. Dnet built a bridge between the last mile beneficiaries and first mile actors (financial institutions, DFS providers, media, regulators, and FinTech) for the exchange of knowledge for the support and business growth of micro-merchants.
Through this initiative, Dnet reached around 3,000 Micro-merchants, leaders of the Micro-merchant’s association, business development service providers, and dealers and suppliers of FMCG products through direct training and workshops. Dnet influenced more than 100,000 micro-merchants through knowledge solutions (Amar Dokan booklet, Amar Dokan Mobile app, and messages both in text and audio). We reached around 200,000 consumers and micro-merchants in the targeted four project districts through awareness and innovation events. During the pandemic, Dnet was the only institute that provided business advice to micro-merchants to address COVID-19 in their business operations. As a result of Dnet’s effort, more than 90% of Micro-merchants received benefits in business through utilizing the knowledge solutions. Changes were observed in the effort of customer attraction (94%), securing business capital (85%), and continuity in savings practises (77%) for mitigating future risks. The average daily sales of micro-merchants increased almost 1.6 times, from US $28 to US $44 within one year after they learned about the knowledge solutions.
Empowerment of Women through the Use of ICT in Bangladesh
Donor/ Partners: World Forge Foundation (WFF), Spain.
The project was implemented to contribute to empowering women in Bangladesh through the appropriate use of ICT.
Background: According to the 2017 government portal data, women make up 81.3 million of Bangladesh's 162.7 million population. Despite the fact that women constitute over half of the country's population, they face prejudice and disadvantage. Due to the backdated mindset, lack of knowledge about human rights and lack of education, women in rural regions suffer the most.
To assure our country's growth and development, we must offer more possibilities for women to engage equally in a fair atmosphere.
Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT), we can provide numerous opportunities to underprivileged women and empower them. By having access to information women would be able to make informed decisions about their lives. This will not only enrich their minds, but also help them to build their capacity to utilize their own potential. As a result, women will be able to alleviate poverty, and discrimination against themselves through the help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Dnet, in this project, worked in collaboration with the World Forge Foundation (WFF), Spain. This project consisted of three core dimensions:
- Improving the academic performance of female students through interactive education;
- Creating income generation opportunities for women through promoting professional skills development through multimedia materials; and
- Improving the competence level of women for better performance in the employment market.
Donor/ Partners: European Union, Friedrich Naumann Stifung Fur die Feriheit (FNF), Overall Term: 2020 – 2023
To address the best practice of freedom of expression in Bangladesh by promoting knowledge of digital citizenship among the youth.
Digital platforms have become an integral part of everyone’s lives in this era. The youth generation spend most of their time browsing through different social media platforms for various reasons. Many of them unknowingly become involved in unlawful digital activities and deviate from the responsible use of it. This causes intolerance, hate-speech, and cyberbullying and can incite disharmony in the realm of the digital world. Which is why it is crucial to ensure that they are navigating the digital world safely.
The action "Foster responsible digital citizenship to promote freedom of expression in Bangladesh" is being implemented jointly by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Dnet, funded by the European Union. This is an initiative to teach the youth generation of Bangladesh about the responsible usage of the digital space.
In alignment with the objective of Digital Citizenship, Fostering responsible digital citizenship (FRDC) is a program where the youth generation of Bangladesh are encouraged and supported to learn about online safety practices. This project aims to capacitate 5,000 youth to freely and safely express themselves in the digital space. It assists them in learning about national and international norms, etiquettes, and laws governing the use of digital spaces, as well as making them aware of the importance of responsible interaction in digital media. The action also addresses the challenges to freedom of expression in the country posed by the Digital Security Act 2018. Enhancing knowledge and supporting the youth (particularly university students in Dhaka and Rajshahi) to have a positive experience in the digital world is the focus of this action. It also emphasizes on education, awareness and sensitization of relevant stakeholders to support and guide the youth in a responsive digital existence while practicing and promoting the right to freedom of expression.
Fostering responsible digital citizenship (FRDC) launched its educational website in 2020. The website consists of eight free courses designed to teach students the ways in which they can interact in the virtual environment in a safe, positive, and competent manner. Through these courses, students can educate themselves on good governance, developing democratic views, resolving online disputes, using freedom of expression and many other aspects of the digital world. Once enrolled, students will have lifetime access to the course materials. Through building awareness about digital citizenship, this program aspires to build capacity and promote the practice of positive freedom of expression amongst the youth of Bangladesh. As of now, FRDC has been able to reach more than 1,000 university students from five universities in Dhaka and Rajshahi and help them become responsible for their digital footprints.
Project Link: https://www.digitalcitizenbd.com/
APONJON (POWER OF HEALTH IN EVERY MOTHER’S HAND)
Commissioned By: USAID, Project Durations: 2011 – 2018
The overall objective of the project was to promote equitable access to quality health care for all people. The goal of Aponjon, as a mHealth service, was to contribute toward substantial reduction in maternal and newborn deaths by improving health seeking behaviors and preventative care in pregnant women, new mothers and their families.
This was done through the offering of health advice via mobile apps, texts, voice messages. A 24/7 phone counselling support service was also implemented.
Dnet's Aponjon was the largest mHealth service in South Asia. Dnet became the first agency in the world to implement a mHealth initiative on a national level, where a private-sector led sustainable business model was pro-actively promoted. Aponjon’s target audience were new and expectant mothers along with children up to 5 years old.
The aim was to improve the health and nutrition-seeking behavior of pregnant women, new mothers, and their families, to contribute to a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality. Aponjon offered health information through websites, mobile apps, mobile texts, and voice message channels. It also offered a 24/7 counselling-line service, where subscribers could consult with a medical doctor when needed.
The Aponjon service was launched in September 2011. The national scale operation of Aponjon started in August 2012. Aponjon has more than 2.2 million customers across the country at this stage. Expectant and new mothers are the primary subscribers. Family members such as husband, mother, mother-in-law, and any other relative can also be part of the service as secondary subscribers. Once registered, the primary subscribers receive two messages a week, and secondary subscribers receive one message per week to care for the pregnant mother and children.
Aponjon delivers week-by-week messages that are specific to the pregnancy cycle or age of the baby. It also delivers customized messages targeting urban and rural subscribers. It has the option of choosing a convenient time of the day to receive voice messages.
Two mobile apps, "Shogorbha" (for pregnant mothers) and "Koishor" (for adolescents), were also launched during this period. Aponjon Shogorbha has already reached more than 50,000 mothers and Aponjon Koishor has reached more than 10,000 adolescents.
One of the most notable features of Aponjon was that it was always designed to be a sustainable model. The messages were a paid, value added feature that Aponjon clients purchased. In 2018, after the donor funding concluded, the project continued on its own. Aponjon was rebranded as LifeChord. To make the venture more sustainable, Dnet built proprietary software to eliminate third party dependency and created new sales channels for additional sources of revenue.
Aponjon/LifeChord’s key features and strengths is in the high value content that is sent to clients for the improvement of their health and well-being. While that remains the core activity, the service has expanded to include more segments, more services and improved service delivery through strong partnerships, expert content team and integration with telecom operators.
Learn more: http://www.aponjon.com.bd/
Computer Literacy Program (CLP)
Donor/ Partners: Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB), New Jersey, USA, Overall Term: 2005 – Till date
To empower underprivileged youths through computer literacy training and technology-aided education.
To pursue higher studies and avail jobs in modern digital era, one needs to have a good grasp of computer literacy and technology. Along with many countries, Bangladesh has also taken initiatives to integrate technology and computer literacy skills into its education system. However, technology isn’t easily accessible to the underprivileged community of the country. Due to the technological gap and discrimination, the underprivileged youth lack access to technology, ICT materials, and trained teachers. As a result, underprivileged youth struggle for years to gain empowerment and better-paying jobs in their careers. In order to address and eradicate this issue, Dnet initiated the Computer Literacy Program with the mission of empowering underprivileged youth through computer literacy training and technology-aided education.
CLP has progressively produced innovative programs to eradicate the digital divide between the underprivileged and affluent students and advance their educational excellence. In accordance with its mission, CLP introduced the Computer Literacy Center (CLC) program in 2004 to enable underprivileged youth to achieve digital literacy. A CLC is a computer lab run by trained teacher(s) who provide free training to the students. Our team certifies and trains instructors, creates educational materials to be consumed digitally, and enables remote learning opportunities. The innovative program, Smart Classroom (SCR), assists secondary school students with digital resources such as personal computers, the internet, instructional CDs, and ICT-based interactive learning lessons. In addition to that, several other programs under CLP-Connecting Students around the World (C-SAW), Education through Entertainment (EE), Remote Voluntary Teaching, etc., also help the underprivileged youth develop their computer and communication skills while improving their academic performance. The Computer Literacy Program is one of the strongest programs of Dnet. The ongoing project is impacting the lives of many people through its efforts. As of January 2022, CLP has established 287 CLCs and 184 SCRs in 55 districts of Bangladesh. As of September 2021, CLCs have trained around 130,000 students, with 50% of those being females.
Project link: https://clpweb.org/
National Adolescent Health Website and Mobile Application
Commissioned By: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Project Duration: December, 2020 - July, 2021
The goal of the "National Adolescent Health Website and Mobile Application" was to provide adolescents in Bangladesh with greater access to health education materials, guidelines, and services by digital means.
Bangladesh has experienced remarkable signs of progress in the area of health. However, a large population, specifically adolescents in Bangladesh, has a poor understanding of general health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues and concerns. Adolescence, the age period from 10 to 19, is characterized by one of the most critical stages of a human’s life. Bangladesh has an approximately 32 million adolescent and youth population, which constitutes more than one-fifth of the total population of Bangladesh (BBS, 2015). Despite the possibilities of countless opportunities, various mental health disorders such as substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal tendencies emerge in this age group. Even though the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) and many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have initiated numerous adolescent sexual and reproductive health projects, a large number of adolescents in Bangladesh, both in rural and urban areas, remain without access to mental, sexual, and reproductive knowledge and health care facilities. The lack of access to health education materials or the unavailability or gap in knowing the availability and accessibility of health-friendly services creates a huge barrier of challenges for adolescents' growth.
To develop the "National Adolescent Website including mobile applications", Dnet has provided technical support to UNICEF under the guidance of DGFP and DGHS. Through the platform, adolescents can receive educational materials about their health, required adolescent-friendly health services (AFHS), health-related training courses, telemedicine services, psychological support, and online safety and security guidelines with ease, inter-connectedness, and interactive features. In alignment with the objective, Dnet has also developed an intuitive mobile application for adolescents. The application also acts as a resource booth for health service providers, parents, relatives, and teachers. Moreover, a reporting panel has been developed for the stakeholders (government organizations, non-government organizations, researchers, policymakers, and decision-makers) with a detailed analysis of the use of the application by adolescents.
As the target audience for the website and mobile application are teenagers, Dnet has developed a user-friendly website with a simple interface, animated info-graphics, and easy-navigation tools. Interactive quiz games have been designed based on basic health assessment questions. The quiz content can help them attain knowledge about the best practices for health through entertainment and simplicity. We also added a section of case stories with the purpose of attracting the adolescents toward the core insights of the learning materials that are provided in the knowledge toolkit module. The stories will provide them with practical insights and lessons that they can incorporate into their daily lives. Using the platform, adolescents can receive notification and safety guideline messages on social stigma, cyber bullying, sexual health, mental health, road safety, and other topics.
Mamoni-Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project (MaMoni-MNCSP)
Commissioned By: USAID, Project Durations: October, 2018 - April, 2023.
To improve the utilization of quality maternal and newborn care (MNC) services in Bangladesh.
USAID’s MaMoni Maternal and Newborn Care Strengthening Project (MNCSP) has been implementing the objective of increasing the equitable utilization of quality maternal and newborn care related services at the public healthcare facilities. Dnet, as the technological partner of MNCSP, aimed to design prospective technology-based healthcare models to eradicate the delays causing maternal and neonatal deaths by disseminating MNC care-related information to the pregnant and neonatal mothers, providing an effective referral transport system to lower the travel time from home to facility, developing an effective registration, queue management and reporting system to lower the waiting and reporting time as well as the crowd at different service points of a facility, and lastly, designing and implementing an effective client feedback mechanism focusing on MNC related services using KIOSK to improve the quality of care at the public health care facilities.
Dnet has been implementing MNC pilot models in different districts of Bangladesh to attain its objective via 4 technological components: mHealth, a facilitated referral transport model, an OpenMRS+ based queue management and reporting system, and a KIOSK-based client feedback mechanism.
mHealth based SMS and OBD reminder service
Dnet has implemented mHealth based SMS and OBD reminder system initially in Madhabpur upazila of Habiganj district, and later on, scaled up the operation in 32 districts. Dnet has been sending service reminder SMS to the beneficiaries. As of now, Dnet has sent more than 60,000 SMS reminders to more than 20,000 beneficiaries in 32 districts. Dnet launched OBD based content service in Habiganj and Brahmanbaria districts. Since the initiation of this service, Dnet has provided more than 6,000 OBD content to more than 3,000 beneficiaries.
It was found that 81% of the beneficiaries think that the SMS reminder reminded them about the antenatal and postnatal checkup effectively through a survey conducted by Dnet research team.
Facilitated Referral Transport Model (FRTM)
Dnet has designed and developed a transport referral model similar to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) model to provide an emergency transportation system to take expecting mothers and delivery patients from home to the nearest facility, provided that the facility has the required service for the patients, for maternal checkup and emergencies.
In this system, patients call an emergency CRM number to request an emergency transportation, where a mediator receives and processes the request using a GIS based dashboard to fetch and connect the nearest available driver with the patient or their family members. Mediators use the system to contact the nearest public health facilities which have the required service sought by the patient. Since the initiation, Dnet’s facilitated referral transport model handled more than 500 transportation requests from 4 unions of Daulatpur upazila of Manikganj district. Dnet and MNCSP plan to expand the operation to other upazilas of Manikganj district after the completion of the pilot run in Daulatpur upazila.
OpenMRS+ based registration, queue and reporting management system
Dnet’s OpenMRS+ based service has been implemented at Manikganj District Hospital and Daulatpur Upazila Health Complex. Using this system, public healthcare facilities can provide registration tickets to the clients at a faster speed which saves up to 51 minutes at Manikganj District Hospital. OpenMRS+ based system also has provision of documenting patient history of the MNH, IMCI, ITD, laboratory, emergency and pharmacy corners of the facilities. This way, service providers can prepare the monthly and yearly reporting to incorporate with the DHIS2 system within a day compared to the 6-7 days of manual system. This registration and patient history data can be accumulated with the government's SHR system to develop health data of the population of the farthest corners of the country. Through the queue management system, patients can understand the approximate waiting time for the physicians’ consultation at the waiting areas. This way, crowds can be managed in an easier manner.
KIOSK based client feedback mechanism
Dnet’s program & technology team has designed & developed a KIOSK based feedback management system to capture the feedback of the clients served at the MNCH corners of public health care facilities. Using the feedback of the clients, public healthcare facilities can identify the areas where improvement is needed so that they can increase the Quality of Care (QoC). Dnet’s system has received more than 700 feedback at the MNCH corner through the KIOSK installed at Manikganj District Hospital. A dashboard has also been prepared to acknowledge the authority of the facility on the condition of the service and improvement areas.
Enhancing Tolerance and Inclusion through Mental Wellbeing (ETIMW) Project
Donor/ Partners: Democracy International (DI), Overall Term: Phase 1: May 2017 - February 2018 Phase 2: May 2018- December 2018
To develop the knowledge and skills of secondary grade teachers and prepare them as an first aider of mental wellbeing through training and regular assistance on understanding young and adolescent minds, learning about detecting behavioral signs of vulnerability and age appropriate intervention. Also to explore a school based integrated mental wellbeing approach with remote monitoring for sustained promotion of tolerance and peaceful practice among the adolescent and youth.
Dnet worked on mental wellbeing of adolescents for enhancing tolerance and inclusiveness in thinking and whole school behavioral management approach. The project was designed to promote tolerance and inclusion over the ideological differences and conflict that can be minimized by ensuring mental wellbeing at young age. Teacher can play an important role to manage behavior of students through proper intervention based on capacity development for mental wellbeing of adolescents.
Due to the growing tendency of intolerance over different ideological belief, it showed a demand of early detection of behavioral signs and appropriate interventions through addressing the psychological reasons of vulnerability. The project was designed to promote tolerance and inclusion over the ideological differences and conflict that can be minimized by ensuring mental wellbeing at young age. Teacher can play an important role to manage behavior of students through proper intervention based on capacity development for mental wellbeing of adolescents.
Teachers and parents with knowledge and skills on behavioral signs of mental wellbeing can be the appropriate change agent to guide them in a right direction to prevent the idealized danger like violent extremism.
The targeted youth 13-16 years of age, both male and female were reached via secondary schools and madrasas through direct orientation by the trained teachers. In partnership with Democracy International (DI), Dnet implemented the project in total 15 schools of Dhaka and Lalmonirhat. In phase 1, total 75 teachers were trained, 386 parents were aware through awareness sessions and 362 students were well informed through knowledge campaign about mental wellbeing. In phase 2, total 101 teachers were trained and 284 teachers were mentored for behavioral management and peaceful practice in school environment of the students through school visit in the project locations.