Adi Vika Rokotuinaceva (right) and fellow community members familiarizing themselves with mobile digital technology on their phones (Photo: UNDP)

Adi Vika Rokotuinaceva is the new digital advocate in Levuka village on Ovalau Island, where she assists members of the community take advantage of the mobile digital technology and utilize government social service through a newly developed mobile application.

The village is adjacent to Levuka town, the old capital of Fiji and is one of the many villages in Fiji which has embraced mobile digital technology.

Ms Rokotuinaceva has been an entrepreneur, leading women’s group in Levuka. She passes on her knowledge on digital technology to the women, teaching them skills to help expand the marketing of their products and receive orders through social media platforms. Her handicraft business has been going well although it is limited mostly to selling at social and cultural events.

Ms Rokotuinaceva is not entirely new to mobile digital technology, she had tried a social media platform once but only realized its huge potential when a team of government officers and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) visited Levuka. They had encouraged community members to become familiar with mobile digital technology and tested the new mobile application, Start to Finish (S2F) Service Delivery Tracker.

“I have found mobile digital technology is the tool which will help our communities in many ways. It will be much more convenient and also reliable to track, monitor and receive social services through the mobile application.”

“Becoming digital-tech savvy, our women’s group will be able to further our handicrafts business, but also women will take lead and promote information sharing among community and family members living outside the community or oversea using social media platforms,” she added.

The S2F Tracker, comprising a mobile application and web-portal, is a digital system to track, monitor and update citizens on the progress of individual service delivery requests, and their ultimate resolution, including automated updates and notifications along the way. At its pilot stage, the S2F Tracker has been tested for the poverty benefit scheme provided by the government with communities also trained to become handy with popular mobile applications and social media platforms on their smart phones.

Linking to the mobile service delivery initiative, the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) for Rural and Urban Fijians Project, which provides on-the-spot service delivery in targeted rural, urban and maritime communities of Fiji, S2F Tracker effectively ensures start-to-finish service provision for those longer-term services.

Dr Josefa Koroivueta, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, said, “The S2F Tracker aims at government service provision more accountable and transparent by responding and addressing individual service delivery update requests. Information on service update requests and disaggregated data on applicants (geographic distribution, age, gender, etc.) generated through the S2F Tracker system will strengthen our evidence-based policy-making.”

 In support of enhanced delivery of public services, South-South knowledge transfer on innovative approaches for improving public service delivery has been undertaken between the Access to Information Initiative (a2i) under the Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh and the REACH Project in the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. Advisory support has been provided by UNDP Bangladesh for the successful development and implementation of the S2F Tracker in Fiji.

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative a.i., Vineet Bhatia said, “The pilot of S2F Tracker promotes a community of ‘digital advocates’ particularly targeting rural women, youth and people with disabilities to ensure public service provision is delivered in a way to advance gender equality and a more inclusive society in Fiji.”

The REACH Project celebrates innovative ways in which women and men advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, in the areas of social protection systems and access to public services – promoting the theme of 2019 International Women’s Day, ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’.

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