Towards Gender Just Public Information System Design

IT for Change has undertaken a project to frame gender-just design principles for the various components of information systems being used to implement public welfare schemes. This includes the design of citizen-facing applications, data sharing guidelines, and overall database design, among others.

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the project focuses on assessing a revamped information system being designed for SHGs (Self-help groups) based on its adherence to gender justice in its principles, concepts, specifications, and technical design.

The project also explores the implementation of gender-just design principles in the context of broader public digital systems, and highlights design considerations for the transition from 'Management Information Systems' to 'People (or 'Janta') Information Systems'.

Research Outputs

Gender by Design: Principles for Gender-responsive Public Digital Infrastructure

White Paper | May 2023

Over the last two decades, information and communication technologies have become an important part of the implementation of different types of programs and schemes by the Government of India in the form of ‘large-scale public digital information systems’, designed for the implementation of programs oriented towards welfare and social protection, as well as services in areas such as agriculture, health, education, nutrition, and broader governance delivery. However, in the face of a digital divide that remains acutely gendered, a fast-growing digital-by-default trend has implications for the extent to which women are able to effectively engage with the state and eventually reap the benefits of such digitalization. Within this context, this paper outlines the principles of thinking ‘gender by design’ in the development and implementation of digital public infrastructure, and offers a set of pathways towards maximizing gender justice outcomes in public service delivery.

Read the complete paper here.


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