Speaker: Mr. Marc Perez Casas
The IMIS is a powerful web-based geographic information system (GIS) designed to support local governments’ management of municipal services. IMIS enables authorities to carry out three key functions: reporting for accountability, using a customisable dashboard showcasing indicators and information; managing FSM services, linked with a mobile app for service providers to record application, service delivery and customer’s feedback on-site; and planning and long-term investments, through spatial-based analysis for better informed decision-making. It also promotes contact-less and paper-less processes and mobile payments. Developed by SNV with BMGF support, IMIS is aligned with the National Government’s Smart City Initiatives.
In 2016, SNV initiated GIS data collection of all containments in Khulna and Jhenaidah, compiling almost 85,000 geo-localised elements. The GIS data were combined with existing city-level base maps that had information on types of roads, drains, building outlines, and many others. Together, these information types formed an Integrated Municipal Information System (IMIS) to support citywide urban sanitation services and planning.
However, local authorities’ buy-in of the earlier IMIS was not immediate as its focus was limited to FSM services. To increase interest, SNV integrated Holding Id information in the IMIS. Doing so converted the IMIS into a powerful tool for potential replication and scale-up nationwide. Today IMIS information is able to provide municipal authorities with much-needed data to manage all municipal services, which are related to the Holding Id: municipality tax payments (solid waste, water, drainage, sanitation), water supply tariff, building licenses, etc.
Parallel to the IMIS, a non-GIS customer database for FSM services has been developed. The customer database enables service providers to digitalise the forms used for service delivery; from application and assessment, operation, payment, to receiving customer feedback. The customer database has recently been integrated into the IMIS, enabling possibilities to shift from paper-based forms to digitalis ones, and to the convenience of using a mobile app for direct and on-site recording information.
In 2019, the IMIS was officially launched in Jhenaidah. The launch was accompanied by a complete training workshop for city officials; from conservancy and health departments, to revenue and water departments. Each was given separate access and permissions for editing and visualisation. The FSM service provider also has access. They use IMIS to manage the service, while the municipality uses IMIS to monitor service status, access snapshots of the city’s situation, and information to conduct different types of spatial-based analysis.
During 2020, IMIS adoption is likely to be completed in Khulna, and replicated in Jashore and Gazipur. In partnership with 2030WRG, field data collection for almost 150,000 buildings and containments is in progress in Gazipur. Upon completion, the Gazipur database will likely have the most comprehensive information in the country, including in FSM service and sewerage data.
Finally, the IMIS can easily be customised, integrating as many GIS layers as required, and developing additional modules to integrate/manage other services. The system is very dynamic and multiple utility agencies within the same city can use by sharing the main dataset whereas outcome will be generated based on their accessibility.
The IMIS does not require GIS expertise to operate it, besides remote IT support for maintenance. It runs in open source software (PostgreSQL database to store GIS layers, and GeoServer to render open maps) and the mobile app uses PHP’s framework Laravel. The systems are being stored at the Bangladesh Computer Council under the ICT Division of the Government of Bangladesh.
The IMIS provides three key functions to city authorities. Firstly, it is a reporting tool that displays information in services by ward, type or date, and monitors operational, financial or stakeholder mandate indicators. Secondly, it is a service management tool, currently for FSM, that, combined with the mobile app, enables real-time service reporting through the convenience of easy and immediate data recording on, emptying from customer premises, transport or emptying at FSTP. Thirdly, it is a data integration platform with the capability to hold and generate diverse spatial based analysis data; from status of tax payments per holding or wards, to potential waterlogging areas, or simply knowing in advance the width of a road to access for an emptying service to decide which vacutug type to send.
SNV aims for the National Government, mainly Local Government Division (LGD), to endorse and replicate the IMIS nationwide. The ambition is for the IMIS to serve as the municipal information system for use by all local government institutions, and water supply and sewerage utilities. As shown here, the possibilities of IMIS are endless. IMIS also has great potential to accelerate accountability and integrated planning.