New coalition aims to help 11 million workers access social security

05 December 2021 2 min. read

A coalition of four groups – Haqdarshak, Dvara Money, Dalberg and Acumen – have come together to launch a new model that aims to better match millions of Indians with social protection schemes and financial inclusion services.

India is home to a wide array of government-provided social protection and welfare schemes for citizens and micro businesses. One of the key challenges in the landscape is ensuring that the right people and micro businesses are reached, and that uptake is used for maximum effectiveness.

In their joint vision, the coalition founders have set the objective of in the coming three years linking up to 11 million workers in the informal and formal sectors to social security instruments.

This will be realised through a new pay per outcome financing model (led by Haqdarshak, and co-designed by Dvara, Acumen and Dalberg) that is backed by the launch of India’s first card-based product for social protection (called Yojana; powered by Dvara Money).

Aniket Doegar, CEO and co-founder of Haqdarshak, an organisation that already is active in the field, said: “With our model and card-based platform, we are sure to expedite the impact in the social protection ecosystem in the next five years.”

“The product (will hit the ground in January 2022 and will be distributed through Haqdarshak’s 10 Yojana Kendras–brick and mortar centres) will revolutionise how citizens access both public and private social protection.”

According to Doegar, Haqdarshak’s team has over the year built a rules-based eligibility engine for over 7,000 welfare schemes, which will now serve as the basis for the new model. Drawing from its database, Haqdarshak has found that an average Indian is eligible for 40 entitlements, however, few reap the full benefits they are entitled to enjoy.

Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of Indians face (major) inclusion infrastructure gaps, such as not being able to own a bank account. “Providing individuals with better access to entitlements has a multitude of benefits for individuals, and obviously, society,” said Doegar.

The roadmap

The coalition will launch early next year, with the implementation led by Haqdarshak. Dvara Money will provide the financial products and services to the platform, while Acumen has committed to provide the risk capital. There will also be a custodian for the funds raised, and independent evaluator.

Global management consulting firm Dalberg takes responsibility for the program management and lead design. “Our hope and ambition as actors in this effort is to support the government’s aspiration in providing a social security net for the millions of formal and informal workers who need it the most,” said Tushar Thakkar, Associate Partner with Dalberg.

In 2022, the collation aims to raise a further $6 million in funding from philanthropies, corporates and multilateral organisations in order to take the concept to the next level.