Public attitudes towards Public Administration Reform. 2019

Public attitudes towards Public Administration Reform. 2019

November 28, 2019

The study examines the attitudes of Georgia's public and civil servants towards the ongoing Public Administration Reform, comparing the results with the previous baseline research in 2016. The research consists of representative surveys of 2,400 citizens each in 2016 and 2019, and self-administered surveys with the participation of 831 civil servants in 2016 and 571 civil servants in 2019. Each time the survey work was supplemented by interviews and focus group discussions.

The research is commissioned by UNDP and the UK Government and is carried out by the research agency ACT.

Key findings:

  • Public trust in the civil service remains high, at 67 percent, though it has dropped by four percentage points from the 71 percent recorded in 2016.
  • A robust 80 percent of civil servants are proud of their work. Institutional reforms introduced as part of the support to public administration reform provided by UNDP and the UK – performance appraisals, for example – are seen as welcome improvements.
  • Confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the civil service seems to be wavering. The share of respondents to the public survey who agreed that the “civil service employs professionals” fell from 74 percent in 2016 to 58 percent in 2019.
  • Respondents believing that “decisions in state agencies are based on political orders” rose from 34 percent in 2016 to 56 percent in 2019.
  • Among the civil servants surveyed, the share believing that “decisions in public agencies are based on public interests” fell from 67 percent to 59 percent in 2019.
  • The share of civil servants agreeing that the “civil service employs professionals” fell from 50 percent to 41 percent.
  • Citizens are hardly aware of the reforms related to public administration and open governance, 38 and 22 percent respectively.
  • 49 percent of surveyed citizens agree that they can submit their feedback on public services to a respective agency, but only 7% have ever used such an opportunity.
  • 75 percent of surveyed citizens have electronic ID cards, but majority of the respondents, 84 percent, have never used them for receiving e-services.