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.
Current Situation
Currently Zuidhorn uses an analogue system to distribute the Kindpakket budgets. On a yearly basis, vouchers are bought by the municipality at a select number of local shopkeepers. Eligible families receive a notice requesting them to come pick up the vouchers at the municipality. These vouchers can be spend at the participating shops.

The current process is time consuming, costly and lacks transparency. Data management is centralized and not automated. Before the eligibility of the citizen can be verified, the municipality needs to go through a multitude of manual checks. The issuance of the vouchers requires the physical presence of the citizen. Therefore the current system issues vouchers only on a yearly basis and is not scalable.

Furthermore, the system requires a large upfront investment of funds which can not be allocated after being converted to vouchers. The municipality can not check if the vouchers have 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.

Blockchain assists us in creating the opportunity to bring data back to the end user and storing it in a decentralised way. Smart-contract guarantee trust without a trusted third party.

Step-by-Step the back-end system will be converted using the most recent decentralised 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.