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Pakistani innovation wins global contest

Lahore: A Punjab government-driven innovation in Pakistan, digital currency in South Africa and SMS reporting system for maternal health in Indonesia took the top three prizes at the Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition. The competition, launched at the Open Government Partnership, scouted the world for fresh ideas to boost citizens engagement and government accountability.

The idea from Pakistan that emerged as winner of the contest was Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit (BSDU) and it was led by DCO Imran Baloch and Asim Fayaz from Pakistan. This innovation seeks to improve service delivery in under-resourced, conflict areas with lack of data-driven performance management systems. The winning idea won £65,000 grant.Global Innovation Gala

At the Global Innovation Gala where all the 10 selected finalists made their final pitch, Imran Baloch explained: “Our initiative, by enabling monitors to report through smart phones and by simply ringing parents, saw teacher and student attendance increase from 78percent to 92percent.” He continued, “We want to use this £65,000 grant to extend our initiative in health, livestock and agriculture”, Chair of the Jury Dr Sheila Ochugboju explained, “this performance management system has three components: it’s result-based, focuses on inclusion and uses tested technology. In addition, this is a model that can be replicated outside of Pakistan.”The two runner-ups, who each received a £35,000 grant plus expert mentorship over a six months period, were GEM – Going The Extra Mile from South Africa and Reducing Maternal Mortality with SMS from Indonesia. Reducing Maternal Mortality with SMS created by Ilham Srimarga is an innovation that seeks to reduce the high maternal mortality rate by connecting local hospitals and citizens’ requests for pregnancy services.

The other seven finalists each received a grant of £5,000 to assist in further development of their innovations. Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition was set up to recognise and reward creative and cutting-edge innovations that enhanced government transparency and accountability.

A total of 196 entries were submitted and following an online voting system, 31 semi-finalists were drawn from the top 27 voted ideas, along with four wild cards. The Global Innovation Competition Jury comprised prominent experts in information systems and governance, together with other peers. Short-listed 10 finalists drawn from eight countries were: Pakistan, Kenya, Indonesia, South Africa, Ghana, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Mozambique.

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