The government is turning to the private sector to ask them to rate "good governance initiatives" by the civil service and shortlist initiatives that could be scaled up and replicated by states across the country.
The department of administrative reforms & public grievances (DARPG) recently extended the invitation to reputed research organisations and consultancy firms. The move follows an assessment that indicated initiatives awarded by the central government as "good governance initiatives" weren't really being replicated.
The department had, many years ago, concluded that documenting and circulating the successes of the civil service would help to adapt and replicate the initiatives in other parts of the country.
"The exercise to document best practices was taken to ensure that there was no need to re-invent the wheel and others could benefit from the successful initiatives," a government official said.
The invitation to analyse the initiatives of bureaucrats including those who won national awards suggests that the problem might lay elsewhere. One of them could be the quality of initiatives that were being awarded by a group of senior civil servants sitting across a table in Delhi. The new exercise seeks to send the independent researchers go back to ground zero and report on the impact, utility, user satisfaction and sustainability of the initiatives.
A senior IAS official said, it was an interesting exercise and could reveal that there were "good governance initiatives" that had fallen into disuse in the districts where they originated once the officers responsible were transferred out.
The research institution would also be required to assess the scalability and replicability of these initiatives and where this was possible, suggest tweaks to be made in the original process incorporating the technological inputs and changed requirements of the people.
The official, however, added that DARPG's offer indicated a change in the civil services that just a decade or two earlier, believed that bureaucracy
was the repository of all wisdom. "Now, it is just the reverse," he said.
A DARPG official indicated this was probably the first time that someone would study these initiatives in such detail, something that was not possible within the bureaucracy.
It would have to identify the tangible and intangible benefits of the initiative, their overall socio-economic impact and list the features that made it successful, the department's expression of interest floated recently said.