Partnering with citizens for better public services

Posted February 22, 2022

Service providers at an empathy training held in 2021. The training was a part of the Public Service Delivery initiative of the RCSC, supported by UNDP. It was aimed at enabling participants to serve with empathy.

Bhutan's Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), on Monday, 21st February 2022,  launched the Service Evaluation Tool (SET), a web-based tool to collect feedback from the citizens on services provided by the government

Also called ServE in short, the tool was developed as part of the Public Service Delivery (PSD) initiative led by the RCSC in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Bhutan, and with task force members from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Gross National Happiness Commission. Green eSolutions, a local IT firm was engaged in the development of the ServE Tool. 

The PSD initaitive is aimed at  improving public service delivery through an enhanced citizen engagement. The tool will be useful in ensuring that service providers respond to the needs and expectations of the citizens.

The ServE Tool will prompt the service users, with adequate educational qualifications, to rate the service they have availed through a SMS alert. The remaining service users will be reached out through Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI). The survey respondents can provide feedback on the services across five parameters: 1) Accessibility; 2) Timeliness; 3) Attitude; 4) Integrity; and 5) Feedback. The SET will generate and display basic reports on its dashboard in real-time. The detailed report will be analyzed by the RCSC and will be used as input/feedback by the concerned agencies to enhance and improve public service delivery.

This is a shift in the service delivery approach where citizens, as clients, can now have a say on the services provided by the government. This is expected to enhance service quality across the civil service agencies in due course of time as services increasingly come onboard the SET.

Additionally, general citizens and service users alike can participate in ‘Open Polls’ and provide feedback or lodge complaints on any service of the government on the tool. The key to the success of this intervention, however, is the participation of the citizens in providing genuine feedback for services from the government.

As a pilot, the RCSC has brought onto the ServE tool two services provided by the Department of Civil Registration and Census under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. The two services are, i) Issuance of New CID Card, and ii) Move-in, Move-out (Inter-Dzongkhag Census Transfer). Going forward, other Commonly Availed Services (CAS), depending on its criticality to the citizens, will be gradually brought onto the SET.

“The goal of enhancing citizen engagement in public service monitoring and assessment is to establish a more inclusive, responsive, and just social contract between public service users and providers so that services provided by the government meet the quality desired by the citizens,” said the RCSC.

“How do we know if the services provided respond to the needs of the citizens and if the problems they face are addressed in a timely manner?” For the public sector to provide accountable and responsive services, service users must be engaged in co-creating the systems and co-identifying innovative solutions to the challenges, which they confront daily,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Azusa Kubota.

"The ServE tool is designed to enhance citizen engagement in improving public services. In today’s digitalized world, such e-platform provides real-time data which decision makers can use to make continuous improvements and adjustments.”

The PSD initiative of which the ServE Tool is a part was started in February 2021.

Visit the tool at this link: http://set.rcsc.gov.bt

Also read:

Towards a more inclusive, responsive, and just social contract between public service users and providers

Enhancing citizen engagement in public service monitoring and assessment

Changing the way we engage with citizens through public service delivery experimentations

For an innovative public sector

Serving with empathy

And watch Improving public service delivery through citizen engagement