Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA)
Into the Digital Future, Smart Card in Hand
"Digital Bangladesh" embraces modern technology to establish democracy, human rights, transparency, accountability and justice, and ensure delivery of government services to the citizens. It is an all-inclusive vision that is contributing to human resource development, people’s involvement, civil services and the use of information technology in business. Keeping this agenda upfront, the Bangladesh Election Commission (BEC) is now working towards establishing a comprehensive National Identification (NID) system based on the foundation of the voter database. Among other benefits, this will enhance the State’s capacity to integrate the usage of ICT to secure the identities of citizens, compile data, counter leakage, promote inclusion and obtain greater reliability and efficiency in the management of data. With the support of the World Bank, BEC is administering NID through the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) project.
BCCP has become part of this groundbreaking endeavor which is expected to enroll millions of countrymen under one digital umbrella. Through a Strategic Communication Approach (SCA), BCCP aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the benefits of the NID card and its uses; and also increase engagement of citizens in the process of NID operations for effective implementation.
A comprehensive plan that includes capacity building, multi-channel campaign, advocacy and community mobilization will be implemented. At the initial step a communication based assessment at central, divisional, district and upazila levels will be conducted to understand stakeholders’ perception and attitude, identify communication gaps and the challenges involved; the design of the assessment exercise will be based on literature review and field visits. The analysis will contribute to the development of the communication strategy.
A number of BEC officials will be trained in social awareness raising and community mobilization as a capacity building initiative. Through a participatory approach the curriculum will be developed involving representatives from the NID Wing, Election Commission Secretariat, Electoral Training Institute, the IDEA Project and NGOs to identify the design needed for the training.
Campaign to promote Smart Card
A multi-channel 3-phase campaign will encompass the launch of the Smart NID card on a special day:
- Correction phase will act as a reminder to inform the general people to rectify inaccurate information existing in the previous national ID card and create a favorable attitude towards such a significant government initiative.
- A 15-day teaser phase prior to the launch will create a buzz among the general people and create enough hype for spontaneous response
- A multi-media campaign using various supporting BCC materials will promote the Smart card.
Advocacy and Community Mobilization
The comprehensive SCA also includes sensitization through advocacy to build commitment to strengthen service links between citizens and the NID system. Steps to mobilize community influentials, teachers, students, Imams, Union Parishad Chairmen and members to create an enabling environment for NID operations are also being planned.
A strong team having expertise in launching campaigns, advocacy and community mobilization activities is ready to take the people of the country further into a digital future.
For Bangladesh, the BEC-led introduction of a Smart card for all citizens is a groundbreaking event. BCCP’s involvement in the development of this digital information database is a great contribution to the modernization of the country.