Prashanth N S, Tanya Seshadri

Organisation and country:

Institute of Public Health Bangalore, India


This data visualisation shows the extent of coverage of people below poverty line in one of India's landmark social protection scheme called "Rashtriya Swsthya Bima Yojana" (in English, National Health Insurance Scheme). The visualisation shows how the various Indian states improved the coverage of their poorest population under the scheme.

The scheme targets national level policymakers and hopes to convince them on the need for better local adaptation and contextualisation of the scheme to suit particular needs of people in a very diverse country like India. Local differences in governance and several cultural factors at district level (there are 600-odd districts in India!) determine some of these differences.

This data visualisation is also special because there is very little "public data culture" in most government departments in India and hence the data used in this visualisation had to be based on data obtained under India's freedom of information legislation called Right to Information Act. Over time, along with several other inputs from later research publications the RSBY scheme is in the process of being improved for better state and district level adaptation/contextualisation.

Communication strategy:

This data visualisation was a part of a broad personal objective of information/data activism, wherein I have been using publicly obtained information (through the exercise of the freedom of information legislation) and disseminating them for driving "action".

In addition, this was also shared with several state-level and national-level policymakers. It was also disseminated through several research reports about this scheme. Along with similar other campaigns for better public dissemination of information and greater public discourse, this visualisation helped improve the discussion on improving public availability of data in India. See for example, this editorial I wrote in a national newspaper, titled Counting system losing Count.