by July 23, 2013 0 comments

Pudhu Vaazhvu Project is a Government of Tamil Nadu initiative sponsored by the World Bank. The project has been implemented by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj department of the state government and is aimed at alleviating poverty and empowering women Self Help Groups in the region. As the project progressed, Village Poverty Reduction Committees were formed, new Self Help Groups were created and SHGs were federated at the village level under the Panchayat Level Federation. During the course of implementation of PVP several problems were found to exist.

Lack of proper data to assess the Health of the Village organizations; poor visibility of fund utilization at the village level; due to the use of manual books, auto consolidation of data was very time consuming and error prone; Data relating to VPRCs, PLFs, SHGs that was collated and entered in the central MIS by field staff was found to be inaccurate; due to the level of literacy of the village level book keepers, the understanding of accounting concepts for book keeping was low and hence resulted in lots of mistakes

Generation of monthly MIS reports for top management required herculean effort with the task of preparing it starting in the last week of a month at the field level. The reports were first prepared at the cluster level and then the same was consolidated at the district level. These were then consolidated at the State. There were serious time lags in the reporting process.

Company Scenario

Before deployment:Lack of proper data to assess the Health of the Village organizations; poor visibility of fund utilization at the village level; due to the use of manual books, auto consolidation of data was very time consuming and error prone.

What was deployed: Tally ERP 9 solution was implemented to address the needs of all the three village level entities ie., Village Poverty reduction committee, Panchayat Level Federation and the Self Help Groups that come under them. Apart from the financial portion all the demographic data, social status & its change over time, complete information that is required for SHGs to present to Banks for getting bulk loans sanctioned is also facilitated.

After deployment: The Books of Accounts are now being maintained by 20,000 people without any formal accounting knowledge. Faster consolidation of information and reporting – Today Cluster level consolidation of reports is done in about 10 mins while the same activity was earlier consuming 3-5 days each month. Consolidation of data is now possible since all the villages have a common Chart of Accounts.

Implementation partner: Tally Solutions

[image_library_tag 840/81840, alt=”sdafsdf” ,default] 

The Solution

Tally ERP 9 solution was implemented to address the needs of all the three village level entities ie., Village Poverty reduction committee, Panchayat Level Federation and the Self Help Groups that come under them. While they shared the common demographic data so as to avoid duplication, the entity specific data was segregated and its access was restricted to the officers of the relevant entities. Apart from the financial portion all the demographic data, social status & its change over time, complete information that is required for SHGs to present to Banks for getting bulk loans sanctioned is also facilitated.

 

Visibility to cluster, district and state level was also built in by multi-level roll up of data and interfacing to the central MIS system to push data.

Challenges faced

While the data for all the three village level entities had to be discrete it had to be designed such that it is backed up as a single data and restored as such. The common demographic data was to be shared by the three entities to help avoid duplication of effort and ease of operations. The users knew only Tamil and the solution had to be multi-lingual. Also it had to be concurrently multi-lingual as all information transfer to higher levels and the MIS was expected to be in English

The solution had to have very low training requirements considering that 20,000 people had to be trained in usage of the solution while the users were with very low literacy level and the users were first time computer users. The training content had to be tailored. They had to use the actual users as trainers to help scale the trainings and to ensure that the solution gets adequate ongoing support in case of change of guard.

Interview: Mrs. Shajeevana, Additional Project Director

How did you convince the key stakeholders (management, seniors, etc) for rolling out this project?

When we started looking for plausible solutions for the accounts being managed at village level, there were many software promoted for SHGs. We came across Tally which was widely being used even by small businesses in India. We checked another 4 software and also piloted one before narrowing down to Tally based software. We approached Tally and asked them to run a POC to prove the worthiness of the software at a village with actual users entering data for a few months. We saw that they could actually tailor the software to the needs of the Village Poverty Reduction Committee and implement it swiftly. Then the project management and World Bank were convinced to run a pilot in select 120 actual locations for a period of six months. When this was done successfully, they were convinced and gave a go ahead.

How did you overcome user resistance for using this deployment?

Initially during the pilot, they were reluctant as they were all first time computer users. We had to incentivise them to attend the training. Once they got trained, they adopted the solution quite readily as it added value and eased their operations. Then we selected some of the good people from these users as trainers and used them for further training.

What is the next big IT project that you’re working on?

We are extending the solution by getting a tablet-based app with pictorial representation which will facilitate usage even by a layman and it is being piloted right now.

 

Implementation Partner: Saravanan Duraisamy, Project Manager, Tally Solutions

[image_library_tag 839/81839, alt=”saravanan-photos1″ border=”0″ border=”0″ style=”float: left;” width=”99″ height=”95″ ,default]According to you, what was the most critical success factor for this project?

Unwavering commitment and support from the PVP Top Management. Willingness and enthusiasm of the Village People to learn and use Tally.ERP 9. We conducted train the trainer programs to a select group of end users. These trainers not only knew the solution, but also the complete process of their organisation which helped greatly during the end user training. Hence the product, commitment levels of the PVP officials to the project and users as trainers were the critical factors for success.

 

 

Benefits accrued

Key benefits that were derived post the project implementation are:
– It helps accurate credit worthiness assessment there by reducing the NPA of the SHG and PLF increasing their capability to lend more to deserving members resulting in increase of livelihood.
– The assessment of the effectiveness & health of SHG, VPRC and PLF functioning has become easier.
– The Books of Accounts are now being maintained by 20,000 people without any formal accounting knowledge.
– Faster consolidation of information and reporting – Today Cluster level consolidation of reports is done in about 10 mins while the same activity was earlier consuming 3-5 days each month.
– Consolidation of data is now possible since all the villages have a common Chart of Accounts.
– This consolidated data is now available in a timely manner helping PVP management to make timely decisions.

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