New Technologies for Better Services to the Community
Khagrachari Hill District Council (KHDC), provides administrative services to the community people. Since the re-establishment of the office in 2001, it has been an urgent need to develop an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system to strengthen documentation access in order to better serve the communities.
In order to improve its IT and overall capacity, KHDC prepared and implemented a ’Capacity Development Plan (2012-2015)’ with support from UNDP-CHTDF.
Under this Capacity Development Plan, an IT Officer and IT Associate were recruited in 2012 and a Computer Lab was established and equipped with fibre optic internet broadband connection, printer server, LAN connection and projector, resulting in enhancing internal communication system of KHDC and improving implementation of programmed activities.
Since then, the Computer Lab is being used for computer courses and trainings for KHDC and line department staff, unemployed educated youth, NGO staff and others. Also, it is used for practical exams for IT related post recruitments and other official activities of KHDC. About 350 students, 24 HDC staff members and 60 various line department officials and staff received basic training on using computers.
In KHDC, all computers are sharing information and printers through a LAN connection. All official activities of KHDC with Ministries, NGOs, line departments and other institutions are now being accomplished by sending emails which contributes to a prompt coordination and implementation. Under this project, the KHDC got a total coverage of the premise with Wi-Fi so that all laptops, smart phones and other mobile devices could easily connect to the Internet, which is also convenient for visitors. Furthermore, KHDC purchased a digital scanner, and a teleconference system which enables participants to attend long distance meetings or conferences from the KHDC premises.
From the same budget, KHDC has developed its website (www.khdcbd.org) that contains important information such as contact addresses, citizen charter, tenders, policies, vacancies, annual reports, agreement report, Grievance Redress System (GRS), disclosure and publication of information (according to RTI Act) and other information important to the public and stakeholders.
Furthermore, the ICT Division appears on the Prime Minister’s Office’s (PMO) list of 500 government websites that are the most regularly updated. KHDC has also been selected by the PMO for funding of the development of the mobile application. This once again demonstrates KHDC’s high contribution in digitalization of Bangladesh align with the Vision -2021.
Although UNDP support for strengthening capacity of KHDC has ended in September 2015, KHDC is currently financing the salaries of ICT Officer and Associate from its own funds and keeps the computer lab functional by regularly organising activities.
Mr. Itimoy Chakma, inhabitant of Kholoder para, Panchari, also participated in a computer training course and said “I was totally layman in computer operation. After completion of the computer course in KHDC, I am now able to use properly MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and internet browsing. My life is changed now. Due to my computer knowledge, I got a job in the NGO Bright Green Energy Foundation as a Field Supervisor in Matiranga Upazila, Khagrachari. Like me, if all the unemployed educated youth were trained in computer operation, it would be easier to find jobs.”
It is very much significant that KHDC is bringing positive changes for the line department officials and local youth by developing their IT skills. People are benefiting highly from the KHDC services, which is also improving their lifestyle.