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Ericsson India Global Service Private Limited – Flagship Food Security Programme

By auther pic. Smita Singh

January 19, 2021

Ericsson India Global Service Private Limited – Flagship Food Security Programme

CSRBOX

The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is an ideal program that helps eliminate the consequences of hunger in India. It caters to 67% of India’s population. The TPDS system has end-to-end computerization to help reduce leakages. To make the system a resounding success, Ericsson extended its support to the WFP Trust for India. This was aimed at developing information and communications technology solutions for the Odisha Government. This will, in turn, build efficiencies in the system, strengthen governance, increase support to the stakeholders, and enable efficient logistics. WFP undertook data analytics of Odisha’s digitized TPDS to support the government in undertaking data-based decisions and improve performance.

 

Ericsson’s flagship project was developed to counter the challenges and setbacks of increased leakages and inefficient targeting present in the current TPDS program. The project’s objective is to optimize each food safety based net programs via integration with the TPDS. The project also aims to improve performance by improving transparency and data-driven decision making practically achieved by defining the key performance indicators.

 

The members of the Gram Panchayats, Officials of a State Warehouse, National Officials of Department of Food and Public Distribution to mention a few, were some of the project’s primary stakeholders. WFP Trust for India and Social Audit and Vigilance Committees form part of the secondary stakeholders of this project. The group of beneficiaries set to benefit from this elusive Ericsson’s flagship project is the 30 million people in Odisha who are food insecure. Millions of people in Odisha rely on the TPDS scheme which was implemented by the government.

 

The project was implemented in three different phases. In phase one, the TPDS was keenly studied to bring out the parameters for monitoring. The analysis of data essential for the creation of dashboards was also carried out in this phase. Requirement analysis for the MIS and Supply Chain Systems took place in the second phase. The government of Odisha approved of the project’s integration of all food-based safety nets for implementation. Phase three was all about winding up. The project undertook supply chain optimization to identify opportunities. A detailed supply chain optimization report was prepared and presented to the government of Odisha and the Government of India.

 

To involve each stakeholder in the project, the project has been engaging with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and the various state governments. Through a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) analysis, the project team did an extensive analysis to identify all potential parameters.

 

Ericsson’s project was implemented in close coordination with the Government of Odisha since it aimed to support the government in streamlining the Targeted Public Distribution System. There were some notable obstacles in the project too. The Secretary of the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare was changed just a few months after the initiation of the project. Elaborate presentations and consultations were needed by the project team to get the new secretary’s concurrence and acceptance of the project. Although the project encountered a few unforeseen delays, they had a meagre impact on the project.

 

This significant project by Ericsson aimed at undertaking several activities that were over and above the Government’s mandate. These activities were ideal in making the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) efficient for it to contribute towards the issue of food security of the most vulnerable class of people in Odisha.

 

The two prime indicators of this project were the identification of technological intervention for improved efficiency in Odisha’s Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), and, the adoption of outcomes at the policy level by the Government of India. To monitor and evaluate the project, an internal process for capturing and reporting the progress was developed. Important feedback was received from the day-to-day monitoring, the periodic visits, and stakeholder consultations. This helped to make sure that any noticed error was corrected immediately or worked on. To provide technical assistance, Ericsson’s team conducted monthly meetings.

 

To achieve SDGs, all stakeholders ought to collaborate and make use of their relevant expertise, skills, and knowledge towards ensuring food and nutrition security. In this sense, Ericsson’s flagship project helps to achieve the SDGs. The company’s ICT expertise and WFP’s sectorial expertise were efficiently utilized to develop and implement a plan for end-to-end computerization of TPDS.

 

The further aim is to build efficiencies among TPDS, tap leakages and ensure an increase in reach to actual TPDS beneficiaries. These thought reforms can, in addition, make a contribution to the elevated range of beneath poverty line (BPL) people accessing basic food entitlements under the TPDS, thus accelerating the development for achieving SDG #2 by 2030. The program outcomes directly contribute towards access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food especially by the poor and socially marginalized groups.

 

 

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Author

Smita currently finished her masters from Economics Major. Being an introvert personality, writing suits best to her. She has vivid experience in the content area from writing research papers to writing content for various websites, blogs & stories. Smita has worked for a Patna based digital marketing company named DigiwaleBabu.

 

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