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Building Blocks for Population Scale Deployment in the Social Sector

India is a country of great diversity, expanse with multiplicity of social and developmental challenges. Over the last 75 years we have seen many exceptional NGOs make a difference to the lives of people across sectors across the length and breadth of the country. While there are thousands of NGOs who continue to deliver impact on a daily basis, we have very few NGOs operating at population scale. Our endeavor here is to build a population scale social sector impact through a block-chain based Digital Public Infrastructure – IPiXi (India Public Information Exchange Infrastructure) socialized and scaled by VREV Foundation as incubator of an ecosystem.

The challenges to scaling business in this sector largely relate to automation, replication, and ecosystem incubation at scale and specificity for delivery of social goods and benefits.

Automation: There are two key parts to automation of social goods and benefits

  1. Bringing the critical identity/ registry data (viz Aadhaar, BPL card, BOCW card etc.) on to the I-PiXi DPI.
  2. Make the entire workflow of identification, verification, delivery, and monitoring of the benefit rule based and completely automated by building specific use-case applications on top of the I-PiXi DPI.

The important elements to keep in perspective here are that I-PiXi (CORD blockchain) keeps the data in an encrypted form, complete records of all transactions are maintained, and that the data is immutable. The CORD network (blockchain behind I-IPiXi) is a layer 1 India blockchain and confirms to all data privacy regulations. Additionally, most of the governmental schemes are based on some program flowing from a policy and have an objective criterion for disbursement (viz. all people living in XX area with a BPL card etc.) and the core identity / registry data are the only validators of this criteria. This entire workflow can be automated for most of the schemes / benefit flow from government to the beneficiary.

While many NGOs / organizations have successfully automated specific workflows/ parts of workflows, automation of this at population scale has not been attempted and that brings us to our next building block – Replication.

Replication: Once we have onboarded the core identity / registry data (Aadhaar, BPL, BOCW) then we can deploy the same template of automation of workflow to every scheme/ benefit that the identity holder is entitled to. There are 2 vectors of replication here

  1. Automation of all schemes relevant to the identity holder in a specific state/ geography.
  2. Replication of the workflow after relevant customization of the workflow for all such schemes across states/ geographies.

At its core the principle being deployed is that once we unblock the core constraint variable of – availability of identity data and verification, thereafter most of the scheme workflows are some sort of replication of the core benefit delivery workflow.

This whole process of onboarding identity data, understanding benefit workflows, aligning government departments for integrating the benefit delivery with the I-PiXi DPI and scale are large independent problems to be solved. This is where the role of VREV Foundation as an incubator of eco- system becomes important.

Ecosystem Incubation at scale and specificity: Onboarding of the core identity / registry is a hard problem to be solved and VREV Foundation as a section 8 company deploying a DPI based on India blockchain are significant tailwinds in our endeavor to solve for the same. While we work on it, the role of VREV as an incubator will be critical in scaling-up and leveraging I-IPiXi DPI. We will be incubating an ecosystem of,

  1. NGOs with sector specific/ geography specific knowledge and last mile execution capability to address disparate social and accessibility related issues.
  2. Social sector applications and workflow automation providers who can build low touch applications specializing in specific benefit workflow.

By incubating an ecosystem for two hard constraints to scale – knowledge and last mile delivery expertise of benefit and building applications/ tech leverage at scale, we will be able to socialize the deployment of I-PiXi at scale.

As we embark on this journey to fulfill the ambitious vision for VREV Foundation to deliver benefits at population scale, we believe the experience of the founding team in the domain of large-scale technology deployment, policy, population scale execution of projects and managing complex national level assignments will be a huge enabler in realizing this vision for society at large.