Photo: For representational purpose
To help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives and empower them to use evidence to plan, implement and monitor their performance, two Assessment Frameworks, viz, Ease of Living Index (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. Both these indices are designed to assess quality of life of citizens in 100 smart cities and 14 other million plus cities. With the Municipal Performance Index 2019, the Ministry has sought to assess the performance of municipalities based on five enablers, namely, Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance – which have been further divided into 20 sectors that will be evaluated across 100 indicators. This will help municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens.
Ease of Living Index is aimed at providing a holistic view of Indian cities – beginning from the services provided by local bodies, the effectiveness of the administration, the outcomes generated through these services in terms of the liveability within cities and, finally, the citizen perception of these outcomes. The key objectives of the Ease of Living Index are four-folds, viz, a) generate information to guide evidence-based policy making; b) catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the SDG; c) assess and compare the outcomes achieved from various urban policies and schemes; and d) obtain the perception of citizens about their view of the services provided by the city administration. EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability and Sustainability which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.
All participating cities have appointed nodal officers whose responsibility is to collect and collate the relevant data points from various departments both within and outside of the ULB and upload the same along with supporting documents in the exclusive web portal designed for this purpose. This portal was formally launched by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, on the December 19, 2019.
As per a release on PIB, the Ministry has made several provisions for providing assistance to cities in this process of collection, collation and uploading of data. There is a central helpdesk which is used by nodal officers to seek process – specific and indicator specific clarifications and assistance as and when required. There are also 50 + assessors who have been posted on the ground to work with the nodal officers to collect and collate information from various departments, as well as to assist in uploading data and documents to the specifications of the assessment protocol.
For the first time, as part of the Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry (which carries 30 per cent of the marks of the Ease of Living Index). This is an important component of the assessment exercise as it will help in directly capturing perception of citizens with respect to quality of life in their cities. This survey, which is being administered both online and offline, has commenced from February 1, 2020, and will continue till February 29, 2020. The offline version involving face-to-face interviews will commence on February 1 and will run parallel to the on-line versions.