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A Bureaucrat’s View On Emerging Dimensions In Public Policy – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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A Bureaucrat’s View on Emerging Dimensions in Public Policy

Aishiki Chowdhury

On Day 2 of the Careers in Public Policy Workshop, an online monsoon workshop program organized by Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi on 22nd, 23rd and 24th August, 2023 as part of the #WebPolicyLearning series, several distinguished guests including Prof. Mukul Asher, Ms Urvashi Prasad, Mr Sandeep Chachra, Mr Amit Dubey, Mr Yash Agarwal, Dr Devender Singh, Prof Vibhuti Patel, Dr Simi Mehta and Dr Arjun Kumar joined us to offer their valuable insights.

The second day of the Three-Day Immersive Online Introductory Career Counseling & Awareness Certificate Training Workshop involved detailed and illuminating sessions on the emerging dimensions of Public Policy and the role of emerging technologies and innovations

 in public service. 

In this illuminating session, Dr. Nivedita P. Haran, a distinguished bureaucrat, offered valuable insights into the evolving landscape of public policy. With a focus on emerging tools, the session delved into the diverse facets of policy-making and the crucial role of empathy in public service.

New Tools in Public Policy

Dr. Nivedita P. Haran commenced the session by introducing the concept of new tools available to policy makers in the realm of public policy and public service. Emphasizing that policy makers encompass not only high-ranking officials but also a wide range of public servants and implementers, the speaker underscored the importance of effectively executing government policies. Dr. Haran stressed that these policies aim to enhance the quality of life, boost the economy, increase GDP, and reduce inequality while ensuring that economic growth and job creation benefit the most vulnerable segments of society.

Innovation in Public Policy Infrastructure

Dr. Haran delved into various tools that have reshaped the landscape of public policy. First among these was the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), a mechanism involving the direct transfer of funds to individuals affected by disasters, such as floods. This approach eliminates intermediaries and ensures that financial aid reaches those in need without any leakages. The success of digital payment platforms, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, was also highlighted, showcasing their ability to streamline financial transactions.

The speaker went on to discuss the transformative potential of drone technology, which has found applications in traffic management and disaster assessment. These tools collectively revolutionise public policy processes, rendering them more efficient and responsive to the needs of the populace.

Leveraging Technology for Governance

Dr. Haran underscored the advantages of harnessing technology for governance, particularly through the implementation of GPS surveys. Such surveys guarantee tamper-proof land records and open access to the public, enhancing transparency. Additionally, the session highlighted the role of social media platforms in reaching out to citizens, disseminating information, and capacity building.

Reliable data collection and monitoring emerged as pivotal components of effective policy-making, now made more scientific and transparent through the utilization of dashboards. Furthermore, the speaker delved into the potential of advanced technology tools like big data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) in enhancing governance and project implementation. While acknowledging the existence of pitfalls and disadvantages, Dr. Haran emphasized that these new tools are creating novel career opportunities in public policy, attracting individuals with diverse backgrounds and domain expertise.

The Human Element: Sensitivity and Empathy

A critical segment of the session emphasized the need for sensitivity and empathy in public service. Dr. Haran elucidated that while technology can adeptly handle technical aspects, face-to-face interactions require a personal understanding and empathetic approach. The importance of public servants comprehending the circumstances and motivations behind complaints or requests was emphasized.

The speaker also dispelled the misconception that all government officers have corrupt intentions, highlighting that their unavailability might often be attributed to other official engagements. Nonetheless, it was strongly asserted that public servants have a duty to address complaints and grievances promptly. Dr. Haran urged government officials to prioritize the needs of the people they serve over the ostentatious display of technological tools.

 Dr. Nivedita P. Haran’s session provided a comprehensive overview of emerging dimensions in public policy. With a focus on innovative tools, technology-driven governance, and the enduring significance of empathy in public service, the session equipped participants with a deeper understanding of the evolving landscape of policy-making. Dr. Haran’s insights reaffirmed the importance of blending technological advancements with the human touch to create policies that truly benefit society.

Acknowledgement: Aishiki Chowdhury is a research intern at IMPRI.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

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Posted by Samprikta Banerjee, research intern at IMPRI.

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    IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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