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Damak Municipal System
In 2018, Damak Municipality prepared a municipal profile that includes details of all socio-economic information of its inhabitants as well as all municipal institutional services as well as the gaps realized. The profile was based on a detailed data collection and analysis process. Data was collected at three levels – HH census survey, institutional services and infrastructure, GPS location of all HHs and service locations.
This database management system developed at Waling Municipality not only manages the HH level socio economic information and the municipal services and assets, but also allows mapping of delinquent tax payment collection and thereby generate tax bills, thus improve its own source revenue for enhanced services. This system will make it possible for the municipality to escalate its own source revenue by being able to track paying and non-tax paying households and thus generate tax bills utilizing the available GPS HH data and linking them with tax payers’ data. The system is considered a pressing need as recommended by the National Urban Development Strategy (NUDS), MoUD.
Damak is one of the oldest municipalities in Jhapa District in Province No. 1 of Nepal. It is situated between the Ratuwa River in the east and the Maawa River in the west. It has Sivalik Hills in its north and ends with the intersection of Ratuwa River and Mawa River in the south. Mahendra Highway (longest highway of Nepal) crosses this municipality nearly bisecting it. It is the largest city in Jhapa District as well as in Mechi zone
Beyond the cultural profile of Damak Municipality are features of all households within the municipal boundaries and the institutional features and municipal services provided by the local government, including education, health, local economic development, disaster preparedness etc. Data collected as a part of the profile preparation project in 2017 are organized and presented through this digital platform, including use of the Geographic Information System (GIS). The entire profile data and derived analysis is comprised of an effort to collect household level socio-economic data, institutional data of municipal assets, services, plans etc. supported by a massive GIS data collection effort.
Why Digital Municipality
In the current era of Information and Communication, it remains prudent for local governments to have information for public use to the extent possible as well as for its own immediate access, as when needed. The efficient functionality of any government agency is clearly defined by how transparent it is as well as their ability to share information to the extent possible. This characteristic is also closely monitored by public agencies and institutions, as a part of an evaluation system. Going digital is also important and have information readily available as it has become a part of modern civilization to ensure change in laws as well as implementation mechanisms of public institutions and organizations are conducted with the interest to the public as primary. A digital system will make it possible to include citizens in the process of establishing a citizen centric service and information system.