New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched on Wednesday the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge, under which cities will be provided technical assistance and capacity-building to re-imagine parks and create accessible, safe, walkable streets for children and families.
At an online event, Puri also launched data maturity assessment framework (DMAF) to evaluate data ecosystems of cities and training programme for city data officers (CDOs) of 100 Smart Cities.
According to a statement, Puri said by enhancing the primary public domain of young children and their families to be safer and more stimulating for early childhood, the Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge could help lay the foundation for more robust social and economic development outcomes in Indian cities for decades to come.
Puri said families were challenged by inadequate public transport as well as food, healthcare and childcare 'deserts', the statement stated. Thoughtful urban planning and design can play a major role in addressing such challenges and in giving children a good start in life, he added.
On data maturity assessment framework (DMAF) - cycle-2, the ministry said it would support cities in the creation of 'culture of data' under the 'DataSmart Cities' initiative of the Smart Cities Mission.
The core objective of this framework is to enable cities to assess their own data maturity with respect to a standardised framework covering aspects of enabling policies, governance structures, data management, capacity building, and stakeholder engagement at the city level.
'By harnessing the combinatorial powers of data and technology, the initiative aims to foster evidence-based planning and institutionalize a robust mechanism for performance management,' Puri was quoted as saying at the event.
Ministry Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said cities around the world were becoming increasingly data-driven across its value chain, from policy formulation, choice of projects, project design and implementation and service delivery.
'If leveraged effectively, data can make considerable difference to quality of life of its citizens and enable city administration to deliver more with fewer resources. Data-driven functioning will ensure a move towards out-come based planning and governance,' Mishra said.
He said data was increasingly being viewed as a key ingredient in improving city services, as well as an opportunity for innovation and co-creation.
Statement also stated that under the CDO Training Programme, the ministry has partnered with Tata Trusts to launch a six-week guided e-learning course called 'Enabling Data Driven Decision Making in Urban Local Bodies'.
Specially designed for the CDOs appointed in the 100 Smart Cities, this practice-based digital course will expose the officers to basic and advanced tools for data collection, analysis and visualisation, it added.
The CDOs will also be enabled to understand principles of effective data-driven governance and show how to create actionable data policy frameworks using a use-case approach to enable practical learning and application, it also added. PTI BUN HMB