2.3

The chapter highlights some barriers that may end up excluding vulnerable women from availing the benefits of digital governance: lack of infrastructure, device and connectivity unaffordability, digital illiteracy, fear of privacy loss. The divide between groups may also often be exacerbated if improving governance was focused on just digitizing services, without adequate investments in nontechnological interventions. Digital governance enables easier lives for women by making available critical services at women’s doorstep. Leveraging data that digital citizenship generates can enable better planning of gender services in the future. Encouraging women to share feedback on public service delivery through ICT enabled modes (e.g. citizen feedback forums) can create a platform for their voice to be heard, and their interests be addressed. Countries should be sensitized to the fact that special efforts need to be made to render these interventions more inclusive. 

The section includes the following sub sections: 

Sub section 2.3.1. outlines Interventions focused on internal government digital infrastructure and public-sector employees and interventions focused on citizens and businesses. It also lists barriers, opportunities and gender targeted actions in relation to 1). Government to Government and Employees and 2). Government to Citizens and Businesses.
Sub section 2.3.2. discusses Identity proofing, authentication and authorization as specific interventions for Identity Creation and Management that is a process of formally establishing identity. It lists a number of barriers and suggests a number of gender targeted actions.
Sub section 2.3.3. provides a description of Cash transfers (including direct transfer to beneficiary bank accounts or use of mobile money for G2P payments) and E-vouchers, as specific interventions that benefit women. It lists a number of barriers and suggests a number of gender targeted actions on G2P payments through bank accounts and G2P mobile based payments.
Sub section 2.3.4. identifies and describes Interventions related to Information, Education, Communication & Awareness, that include a broad range of activities and outputs: mass communication efforts to establish positive norms; targeted interpersonal communication and research to determine the content and delivery mode of messages, among others. It also mentions some barriers and presents a number of opportunities: an opportunity to overcome time constraints, social constraints (on physical mobility or economic/residential mobility and interaction between the sexes) and suggests a number of gender targeted actions
 

References

Asia Foundation. (2012). Why Are 10 Million Women Missing from Pakistan’s Electoral Rolls.
https://asiafoundation.org/2012/04/04/why-are-10-million-women-missing-from-pakistans-electoral-rolls/

Dahan. (2015). The Identification for Development (ID4D) Agenda: its Potential for Empowering Women and Girls – Background paper.
https://documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/859071468190776482/the-identification-for-development-id4d-agenda-its-potential-for-empowering-women-and-girls-background-paper

GSMA. (2015). Connected Women I 2015. Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low-and middle-income countries
https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/GSM0001_03232015_GSMAReport_NEWGRAYS-Web.pdf

GSMA. (2017). Understanding the Identity Gender Gap. https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/resources/understanding-identity-gender-gap/

GSMA. (2014). Reaching Half of the Market: Women and Mobile Money – The Example of UBL in Pakistan.
https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/programme/connected-women/reaching-half-of-the-market-women-and-mobile-money-the-example-of-ubl-in-pakistan/

UNICEF. (2013). Every child’s birth right. Inequities and trends in birth registration.
https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/Embargoed_11_Dec_Birth_Registration_report_low_res.pdf

World Bank. (2017). Closing the Gap: The State of Social Safety Nets 2017. Safety Nets where Needs are Greatest.
http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/811281494500586712/pdf/114866-WP-PUBLIC-10-5-2017-10-41-8-ClosingtheGapBrochure.pdf

World Bank. (2014). Social Safety Nets and Gender Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/21365/938960WP0Box3800see0also08980700BR0.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

  • 2.3.1 Digital government and Citizen services

    • 2.3.1.1 Specific ICT interventions

      Can be broken down into:
      1. Interventions focused on internal government digital infrastructure and public-sector employees

      • Leveraging private investments/services for public delivery (smart procurement)
      • e service provision to citizens and businesses: including development of government portal/ apps implementation to include employee training, amending internal regulations, technical assistance, back office integration and digitization
      • Setting up of cloud infrastructure for efficient government service delivery
      • Establishment of National Enterprise architecture
      • Establishment of National Data Centre
      • Grievance redressal mechanisms
      • Digitization of government offices including local governments
      • Integrated Financial Management System/ Computerization of treasuries
      • e-courts
      • e-police: digitization and connection of police stations to enable crime and criminal tracking

      2. Interventions focused on citizens and businesses

      • Digitized National Health Information Systems
      • e-agriculture: that allows online search for price data and other information critical to farmers, online agricultural markets
      • e-education including learning facilities like online lectures and open courseware
      • Online application for documents like passport, PAN card, birth/ death registration etc.
      • e business registration
      • Online filing of taxes
      • e-Customs
      • Online filing and tracking of Intellectual Property claims
      • Online utilities payments
      • Online tracking of posts
      • Online property registration
      • Employment exchanges
    • 2.3.1.2 Why should you care about gender?

      • Lack of infrastructure, device and connectivity unaffordability, digital illiteracy, fear of privacy loss are some of the barriers that can end up excluding vulnerable women from availing the benefits of digital governance. For example, a smart urban governance initiative focussed on app based optimisation of transport routes may end up excluding poor women (who cannot afford smartphones). 
      • The divide between groups may also often be exacerbated if improving governance was focussed on just digitising services, without adequate investments in non-technological interventions. For example: apps to crowdsource information on ‘unsafe’ city locations or CCTV surveillance might not contribute to making public spaces safer for women, unless backed up by active policing on the ground. Hence partner countries should be sensitised to the fact that digital government is not an all-encompassing panacea.
      • This is not to ignore positives of digital governance, including enabling easier lives for women by making available critical services at their doorstep, but men are often better placed to benefit from such initiatives unless special efforts are made to render these interventions more inclusive. Additionally, leveraging data that digital citizenship generates can enable better planning of gender services in the future. 
      • Lastly, encouraging women to share feedback on public service delivery through ICT enabled modes (e.g. citizen feedback forums) can create a platform for their voice to be heard, and their interests be addressed. This is a crucial step towards empowerment.
         
    • 2.3.1.3 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions: Government to Government and Employees

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Opportunity for effective gender-budgeting

      • Ensure provision of functional specifications (in built gender budgeting formats) to vendors

      Opportunity for gathering gender data for policy planning/research

      • Open Data Standards while safeguarding privacy

      Lack of digital skills among government employees

      • Digital training that includes women (considering gender concerns especially at the local government level, where social norms are likely to be important barriers (in rural areas)
    • 2.3.1.4 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions: Government to Citizens and Businesses

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Lack of last mile network infrastructure

                 

      • Public access centers: even remote locations should have public access centers
      • Policies to promote affordable infrastructure
      • Use of alternate/complementary media to increase reach

      Lack of electricity and charging infrastructure

      • Actions to provide affordable electricity infrastructure

      Limited device ownership due to unaffordability

      • Public access centers
      • Pursue innovative pricing models through private sector partnerships
      • Use of alternate/complementary media to increase reach

      Unaffordability of Voice/Data services

      • Public access centers: ensure pricing of services is affordable
      • Policies to promote affordable infrastructure
      • Data lite options for apps
      • Use of alternate/complementary media to increase reach
      • Encouraging private MNOs and retail sellers to pursue innovative pricing models in SIM

      Lack of digital literacy

      • Digital training that includes women
      • Intermediated access through Public access centers

      Lack of substantive content suitable for women’s needs

      • Program design to ensure content suitable for women’s needs through:
        • Citizen feedback forums
        • Innovation Support Program to encourage female entrepreneurs to build apps
      • Institutionalize gender inclusion in prioritizing government service delivery.

      Lack of comprehensible content

      • Program design to ensure comprehensible content (using local languages and audio/visual content)

      Fear of data privacy violation preventing uptake of services

      • Pursue data privacy legislation
      • Technological solutions to guard privacy
      • Open Data Standards while safeguarding privacy
      • Open standards of technical architecture
  • 2.3.2 Identity Creation and Management

    • 2.3.2.1 Specific ICT interventions

      • Identity proofing: i.e., process of formally establishing identity. Could involve examining other identification (known as breeder documents), validating this, collecting biometric information etc.
      • Authentication: validating the claimed identity.
      • Authorization: process of determining what action may be performed or services accessed based on the identity.
    • 2.3.2.2 Why should you care about gender?

      • Sex disaggregated data on availability of identity is not readily available. However, UNICEF (2013) found that gender differences in birth registration were largely insignificant.
      • At the same time, available data on voter registration (for instance) seems to indicate gender gaps (Armytage & Fiaz, 2017). GSMA (2017) also notes several field studies that indicated gender gaps in identification –
        • 44% of women in Egypt (compared to 26% men) report identification as a barrier to accessing mobile services (GSMA, 2015).
        • Only 68% of women in rural and urban Uganda had any form of ID compared to 83% of all men (Financial Inclusion Insights, 2014).
        • Women living on less than $2.5 a day, and in the 15-24 age group are most likely to lack any form of identification in Tanzania (Financial Inclusion Insights, 2014).
      • Moreover, identification can be a tool for women’s emancipation by enabling access to financial services, social protection and empowering them to participate in the democratic process through voting (Dahan and Hanmer, n.d). Hence identity provision and management may be an important opportunity to further the Bank’s gender equality goals.
    • 2.3.2.3 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Lack of breeder documents

      • Balance social objectives with need for due diligence to counter lack of breeder documentation

      Social constraints on economic/residential mobility

      • Program design to reach remote locations

      Social constraints on interaction between the sexes

      • Design solutions in enrolment for ensuring women’s access

      Gender gap in perceived need for identification

      • Program design to link the acquisition of the identity with tangible benefits

      Discriminatory laws and procedures

      • Policy assessment and advocacy

      Fear of data privacy violation preventing uptake of services

      • Policy assessment and advocacy in privacy policies
      • Ensure design aligned to protect privacy
  • 2.3.3 Cash transfers and E-vouchers

    • 2.3.3.1 Specific ICT interventions

      • Direct transfer to beneficiary bank accounts
      • Use of mobile money for G2P payments
      • e-voucher programs
    • 2.3.3.2 Why should you care about gender?

      • World Bank (2017) estimates that 149 countries around the world have social safety nets. Of these, 77% countries have unconditional and 42% of countries have conditional cash transfer programs, respectively.
      • Women are increasingly the beneficiaries of social safety net programs. Research (World Bank, 2014) shows that welfare outcomes of the household differs according to who the beneficiary is - for instance, consumption decisions are often pro-children (hence likely to be in line with program objectives) when women receive the transfer.
      • Cash transfers (through digital modes) are also critical in post-disaster situations, provided markets and telecommunications infrastructure are still functional. This is critical for women as they hold traditional responsibilities of managing household finances, including remitted funds. This is corroborated by research among displaced populations in DRC and Uganda that found a higher proportion of women than men used mobile money. In the latter, the proportion of displaced women was much higher than the proportion of displaced women who owned phones, and also higher than the proportion of Ugandan women who used mobile money in general (irrespective of whether they had been displaced). Hence women overcame barriers of device ownership (through shared ownership models) to access remitted funds (GSMA, 2014).
      • The mode of delivery for cash transfers/e-vouchers may impact the coverage of the program. For example, India’s PAHAL Scheme uses beneficiary bank accounts and its unique identity number (Aadhaar) to transfer subsidies for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) connections and cylinders. Yet last mile connectivity to beneficiaries may be a problem if financial inclusion is patchy (Ministry of Finance of India, 2016).
      • The gender gap in financial inclusion persists. Across the developing world, a lower proportion of women than men, report to having access to mobile money (Financial Inclusion Insights, 2015).
      • However, mobile intermediated Government to Person (G2P) payments also offer the opportunity to encourage uptake of mobile services by women. For example, Pakistan’s United Bank Limited’s mobile money service, Omni, has a clientele comprising of 86% women. This is primarily on the  back of its linkage with the G2P scheme, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) (Scharwatt, 2014). There is also some evidence that M-pesa in Kenya led to increase in mobile phone uptake (GSMA, 2015).
    • 2.3.3.3 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions: G2P payments through bank accounts

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Lack of financial inclusion

      • Use banking correspondents/ mobile money for last mile access

      Lack of digital literacy

      • Digital training that includes women

      Lack of trust on modern technology

      • Offline support/intermediated access

      Lack of prior identification documents

      • Risk based due diligence regulatory framework
    • 2.3.3.4 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions: G2P mobile based payments

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Lack of last mile network infrastructure

       

      • Offline backup for e-voucher system
      • Policies to promote affordable infrastructure

      Lack of electricity and charging infrastructure

      • Actions to provide affordable electricity infrastructure

      Limited device ownership due to unaffordability

      • Innovative pricing models
      • Design solutions for e-vouchers without need for mobile phones with beneficiaries

      Unaffordability of Voice/Data services

      • Public access centers
      • Policies to promote affordable infrastructure
      • Design solutions for e-vouchers without need for mobile phones with beneficiaries
      • Data lite options for apps

      Lack of prior identification documents

      • Risk based due diligence regulatory framework

      Lack of digital literacy

      • Digital training that includes women

      Lack of trust in modern technology

      • Intermediated access/offline support

      Fear of data privacy violation preventing uptake of services

      • Intermediated access/offline support (use of female agents)
  • 2.3.4 Information, Education, Communication & Awareness

    • 2.3.4.1 Specific ICT interventions

      IEC includes a broad range of activities and outputs including but not limited to:

      • mass communication efforts to establish positive norms
      • targeted interpersonal communication
      • research to determine the content and delivery mode of messages
    • 2.3.4.2 Why should you care about gender?

      Due to women’s lower ownership of devices, specific needs, education levels, time constraints, and social norms in the community, successful interventions need to consider both the tailoring of the content and the different ways of delivery to ensure that the messages are effectively communicated to women.

    • 2.3.4.3 Barriers/opportunities and gender targeted actions

       Barrier/Opportunity

       Gender targeted action

      Opportunity to overcome time constraints

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs

      Lack of substantive content suitable for women’s needs

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs: conduct needs assessment

      Lack of comprehensible content

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs: especially use of learning by doing, audio/ visual aid and local language

      Opportunity to overcome social constraints on physical mobility or  economic/residential mobility

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs: for example, repeat telecast (if radio/ TV is the medium), or availability of downloadable content.

      Opportunity to overcome social constraints on interaction between the sexes

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs: capitalizing on women led community initiatives for training

      Lack of digital literacy

       

      • IEC Campaigns that consider women's different situations and needs-
      • Capitalizing on women led community initiatives for training for intermediation (See Mahiti Manthana Initiative)
      • Alternative modes of dissemination  including radio/ television may be used