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Bangladesh Priorities: Union Digital Services, Bakshi and Rahman

The research paper by Rejaul Karim Bakshi, associate economics professor at Rajshahi University, and Tariqur Rahman, a research consultant, examines offering more services at Union Digital Centers.

 

Strategy Takas of benefits per taka spent
More services at Union Digital Centers 8

Thousands of Union Digital Centers across the country already provide numerous services to citizens, which particularly help people in rural areas navigate government bureaucracy. The research proposes using the data on four services as a way to estimate the benefits of future additional services. These include offering citizenship certificates, machine-readable passport applications, online banking, and the ability to pay utility bills online. These services streamline government inefficiencies and decrease transactions costs related to bill-paying and personal finance. 

One of these services—mobile banking—turned out to not be competitive and actually do less good than it cost, but the other three services all provided substantial benefits. In total, therefore, it is likely that given the average time-savings and monetary savings, each taka spent toward offering future additional UDC services would do about 8 takas of social good.