Kindpakket & blockchain

The "Kindpakket" is social benefit policy for children from a low-income families.

These families are given a budget to support their children so they will be able to participate with their peers.

The municipality of Zuidhorn is experimenting with blockchain technology in order to learn about their shifting role in a decentralised future. At the same time they are building a robust application which will result in the efficient and righteous handling of public funds.

This results in an insight into the benefits of decentralisation, an investment in a better and safer user experience for their citizens and an application that can be implemented and used today.

Municipality of Zuidhorn
The municipality is located in the province of Groningen in the north of the Netherlands. It has around 20000 inhabitants. Despite its small size Zuidhorn has developed a reputation for being one of the most innovative municipalities in the Netherlands.
Previous situation
Previously, Zuidhorn used an analogue system to distribute the Kindpakket budgets. On a yearly basis, vouchers were bought by the municipality at a select number of local shopkeepers. Eligible families received a notice requesting them to come pick up the vouchers at the municipality. These vouchers could be spend at the participating shops.

The previous process was time consuming, costly and lacked transparency. Before the eligibility of the citizen could be verified, the municipality needed to go through a multitude of manual checks. The issuance of the vouchers required the physical presence of the citizen. Therefore the previous system issues vouchers only on a yearly basis and was not scalable.

Furthermore, the system required a large upfront investment of funds which could not be allocated after being converted to vouchers. The municipality could not check if the vouchers had actually been spend.
Our Method
The first implementation of Platform Forus is aimed at solving these problems. A large number of these can and should be solved using traditional IT. In case of the development of the Kindpakket, the foundation itself will provide this customer-specific implementation. In the future we will leave this to market parties.

Through mobile apps and websites the users will be able to interact with Platform Forus using traditional front-end interfaces. The back-end of the Kindpakket module has been designed with decentralization in mind. This means that the front-end of the system functions independently of the back-end by using an API.

Besides being able to independently update the backend from the front-end this will also prevent the possibility of vendor lock-in situations.

By researching the possibilities of Blockchain and IPFS we try to create the opportunity to bring data back to the end user. Our aim is to store the data in a decentralized way and giving the acces control, in the form of cryptographic keys back, to the end user.

Step-by-Step the back-end system will be converted utilizing the most recent advances in decentralized technologies.
Roles
As mentioned on the About platform Forus page, the system is build around four roles: sponsor, validator, requestor and provider. In case of Zuidhorn the municipality will fulfill two of these roles being sponsor and validator. In future implementations validator can be an external party. The requester is the citizen eligible for the Kindpakket policy and the providers are the shopkeepers in Zuidhorn.