Sulekha’ Plan Monitoring System

Project Category:

Sub Category: Best Government to Government (G2G) Initiative of the Year
Reference No. eMaharashtra2013/awards/143

Details of the Applicant:

Name: M Samsuddin
Designation: Executive Chairman Director
Organization: Information Kerala Mission
Address: Pratheeksha Tower, Sreekaryam, Pangappara Post
City: Thiruvananthapuram
State: Kerala
Country: India
Zip Code: 695581
Organization Website:

Details of the Agency implementing the Project/Initiative:

Name of the Organization: Local Self Government Department
 Principal Secretary, LSGD, Secretariat Annexe
Country: India
Head of Organization: Shri. V.S.Senthil, IAS
Head Designation: Principal Secretary

Details of Programme /Project/Initiative:

Brief Description:
Sulekha is a Government-to-Government (G2G) project that provides end-to-end computerisation of the planning process across vertical & horizontal levels. It helped facilitate, streamline & track the entire planning process – plan formulation, appraisal, approval, revision, implementation, monitoring, and expenditure tracking of plan projects. The system is a centralised database of plan-related information, containing details of previous plans that can be accessed in a graphical and analytical form by front-end users. It also contains guidelines, government orders and other plan-related information relevant to users. It is a centrally deployed, web-based system that is hosted at the State Data Centre and accessible to all 1,209 local bodies through the Kerala State Wide Area Network. One of the major strengths of Sulekha is its synchronisation with various other applications devised by the Information Kerala Mission. It syncs with applications that perform functions of accounting (Saankhya),cost estimation (Sugama),revenue and licensing (Sanchaya),work flows (Soochika) and council minutes (Sakarma), thereby effectively combining various aspects of the planning process.It’s now an essential component of the planning process & is even used to prepare the state’s Five Year Plan.The workload it handles is increasing with an average of 2 lakh plan projects handled by local governments every year.It has brought about significant improvements in plan process efficiency & has stan.

The Sulekha Plan Monitoring System was designed as a comprehensive e-governance solution that would facilitate, streamline and track the entire planning process – plan formulation, appraisal, revision, approval, monitoring, and expenditure tracking of plan projects – at the local level and make the data available to both the government and the public for further use. The objective was to facilitate and track the entire planning process, to provide consolidated plan and project data of previous plans, to validate whether mandated government procedures have been followed in various stages of planning, to integrate vertical processes, to serve as a centrally deployed system covering all 1,209 Local Governments in Kerala.

Target Group: 1,209 Local Governments in Kerala.

Geographical Reach within India: It is a centrally deployed, web-based system that is hosted at the State Data Centre & accessible to all 1,209 local bodies in Kerala. It can be accessed from anywhere in India.

Geographical Reach outside India: As it is a web-based system, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world using the specific login credentials provided to all officials and authorities concerned.

Date From which the Project became Operational: 1-12-2012

Is the Project still operational?: Yes

List 5 achievements of the programme/project/initiative:
1. Sulekha handled 1,90,000 projects worth INR 9000 crores in 2012-2013 which were formulated by the 1209 Local Self Governments in Kerala. Its implementation has also reduced the resources required; the practice of taking project printouts have been dispensed with, thus saving more than INR 2 crore involved in paper & other printing charges, & enabling the ‘GO GREEN’ journey.It’s enabling a Business Process Re-engineering on the Local Self Government processes to make it a Paperless Organization.
2. Through significant process re-engineering and automation, it has reduced the time required for the planning process by 33 percent, thus greatly speeding up efficiencies in project management. Stakeholders can formulate projects in accordance with governmental guidelines, enter the details onto Sulekha, which records various parameters such as financial & physical targets, schedules, achievements & beneficiaries. Plan appraisal improved by 85%, plan approval by 90%, plan implementation by 50%.
3. Systematic and standardised compliance with government-prescribed guidelines. Sulekha’s inbuilt system of checks and validation ensures that local bodies across the state are following governmental guidelines as issued from time to time. The software is updated periodically as and when new guidelines are issued and as it is a centralised system it saves the officials the effort of informing all the local bodies individually about the changes.
4. It has a consolidated legacy master database covering nearly 20 lakh projects implemented during the past 10 years & stored as a central database with the facility to generate real time online crystal reports. The digitisation of this legacy data has made for easy formulation of budget allocations.Also,a central online database significantly enhances access of stakeholders to information,enables analytics on data & improves the planning process enhancing transparency & increasing accountability.
5. Integrates workflows across vertical levels (gram/block/district) thus consolidating the planning process over a single portal, saving the inconvenience of accessing multiple sources for plan-related information.Enables both supply side (implementing agencies) to identify operational deficiencies & demand side (beneficiaries) to know their entitlements via project details online. Its simplicity of use & ease has resulted in increased participation by elected representatives.

List 5 Key challenges faced while implementing the project/programme/initiative and how they were overcome:
1. Standardising objectives, achievements & targets in a way that would not infringe upon the creativity of local problem-solving was extremely challenging as the pre-existing system involved the manual creation of highly context-specific documents. State-level plan related data was collected from local bodies by the State Planning Commission. After analysing this data IKM designed an improved proforma used by Trivandrum district, on the basis of which Sulekha’s attribute definition was arrived a
2. Problem: Designing a reporting system for Sulekha in the initial stages when the decentralisation institutional mechanism was still being formalised. Planning processes kept changing and this led to continuous changes in government orders.
Solution: The software had to accordingly adapt to accommodate those changes and a concerted effort by the implementing agencies was made to revise the system accordingly.
3. Problem: Local level officials were initially resistant to the software and acceptance of Sulekha by the stakeholders was critical to its sustenance. Solution: The strategy followed was of incentivising change through demonstrating effectiveness . The initial pilot of the software was held in five panchayats, of which Vellanad in Thiruvanathapuram was the first. It proved useful to both state officials and local body level leaders.
4. Problem: At the commencement of implementation, the software experienced certain programming difficulties in the form of bugs.
Solution: These were tracked and fixed.

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