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Operationalization Strategy
A multi-pronged approach, which includes both open platforms and other non-technology components, is critical for creating a larger systemic transformation of the FSM sector. It is important to note that four out of these five steps are non-technology - they include generating demand and adoption, designing programs for impact and sustainability, putting together a coalition of ecosystem actors, building the capacity of the ecosystem to solve at scale, and finally institutionalization of the mission in the federal government.
The five steps of this approach are:
  1. 1.
    Create a shared Narrative and ecosystem coalitions
  2. 2.
    Design and build the foundational national platform
  3. 3.
    Create a [email protected] exemplar of transformation
  4. 4.
    Enable a national-scale open ecosystem to create societal impact
  5. 5.
    Institutionalisation for @ scale-adoption and sustainability

A Shared Narrative and Ecosystem Coalitions

Catalyzing and driving the imagination of national digital infrastructure for the FSM ecosystem will require a focus on building a shared narrative with key stakeholders across industry, academia, civil society, and governments on how a shared digital infrastructure can enable transformation and collaborative problem-solving. This goes beyond advocating new forms of digital technology. eGov uses a co-creative approach to develop its offerings across the spectrum of digital infrastructure (platforms), solutions (applications), and state programs (vehicles for delivering real-world impact).
  • While based on our current discussions we have been able to arrive at a view of the pivotal problems we need to work with partners like CPR-SCIFI, IIHS, WASH Institute et al to reformulate current approaches to FSM using the digital infrastructure.
  • Our approach is to have the primary government-facing partners present evidence-based policy recommendations by themselves until our support is needed. When such support is needed we do join them in the relevant meetings to resolve issues and build consensus.
  • The platform approach is amenable to solving a variety of problems across the ecosystem, and hence some of the most wicked sanitation problems will become solvable when addressed through this approach
eGov has a two-pronged approach to communicating these messages:
  • Direct to Government Communications - Preferably in coordination with the state’s FSM partners
  • Public Forums, Op-Eds, and Conferences - we work closely with a variety of thought leaders to shape conferences on specific topics of governance, create forums for thought leaders to convene, discuss and converge, and ensure that these messages are embedded in public discourse on the topic. We will apply this approach to FSM as well.

Design and build the foundational national platform

This entails deep work with the ecosystem to understand the pivotal problems and how they manifest in various contexts (geography, stakeholders, communities) and abstract the components of the platform that can work across India. The key areas of work are :
  • The design of various layers of the platform: Core Data Infrastructure, Core Services, and Applications layer.
    • Core Data Infrastructure layer forms the base of the stack and comprises data registries, a shared source of truth, and data infrastructure
    • Core Services layer that houses context-neutral functional services which can be leveraged to build sanitation solutions
    • Applications layer provides context-sensitive solutions required to implement large-scale sanitation programs
  • Development of key building blocks of the platform (principles, standards, and digital artefacts). These are the more fundamental context-invariant components of the shared digital infrastructure.
  • Build reference solutions (applications) on the platform for the most pressing problem

Create a [email protected] exemplar of transformation

In addition to conceptual thinking, it is crucial to demonstrate the approach in action. This will involve working with one lead state to build a reference implementation working with the local ecosystem and market players. This will be designed, tracked, and implemented, so that the interplay of FSM policies, institutions, and technology can be captured effectively and used to illustrate the approach in practice. The idea here is to drive re-imagination and accelerate adoption by demonstrating value creation and impact. This will also strengthen the evidence-based recommendations (from concept to actual results) and accelerate the national policy level push. In addition, it creates a pull in the market for commercial players to participate.

Enable a national-scale open ecosystem to create societal impact

Participation of the market players in the national rollout and building innovations is critical for sustainability and scale. This creates the requisite system capacity and provides impetus to the market forces to build local solutions. We will work with commercial enterprises as well as local players and entrepreneurs in helping them build local solutions on the FSM platform. We believe the key principles of engaging with the ecosystem are to ensure open and inclusive systems that make it easier for all stakeholders to participate, coordinate, and communicate; to build trust between stakeholders to improve the quality of both the interactions and the outcomes achieved; and to champion a culture of data-driven decision-making among all stakeholders, supported by data from the platform itself.

Institutionalisation for @ scale-adoption and sustainability

For the long-term sustainability of the initiative, it is important to institutionalize the shared digital infrastructure in a suitable public institution which has the locus standi and the capabilities to make it available at a national scale. Given the glacial process by which governments create the needed institutional architecture and capabilities, we will undertake effort for this early on.