The LibTech Centre
From 2012 onwards CORD expanded its area of work to looking at issues related to governance. This initiative, known as LibTech, consists of a team of dedicated researchers, fieldworkers and engineers who use technology to understand the problems faced by beneficiaries of different welfare schemes and find resolutions. The first project under this initiative was “the use of mobile phones to arrest corruption in government schemes in Telengana and Jharkhand”. Since then, several projects of this nature have been undertaken. This strand of CORD’s work has been consolidated now as a separate Centre called “LibTech,” short for Liberation Technology. Using a rights-based framework, LibTech has worked on different policies, trying to make them transparent and disseminating data about them to those who can use the information to make the state accountable to them.
The work is based on the belief that it is critical that policy design is people-centric and arrived at through wide consultation with all the stakeholders; the workers/beneficiaries, bureaucracy, field functionaries, etc. As a team, LibTech leverages digital technologies to improve how citizens obtain information about public programmes. One of the key goals is to harness public records available online and disseminate relevant information to citizens and civil society organisations (CSOs) in ways that are easy to access and consume.
The key pillars of the work include Learning, Dissemination, Policy Intervention and Research. Vivek Srinivasan heads the LibTech Centre. For more details on LibTech, see http://libtech.in