Public services

What are illustrative commitments

Illustrative Commitments

  • Introduction

    The provision of public services—such as health care, education, sanitation and criminal justice—is a key task for government. People care about public services and depend on them being delivered well. Public services provide the most common interface between people and the state, and their functioning  shapes people’s sense of trust in and expectations of government. At a national level, public services underpin human welfare and economic growth.

    Public services need to be delivered with integrity, centred around citizens, and responsive to their needs, particularly the needs of the most vulnerable. Promoting greater transparency and enabling ordinary citizens to assess the quality, adequacy and effectiveness of basic services, to voice their needs and preferences and to become involved in innovation offers an opportunity to enable better use of public funds, and improve service delivery  (Ringold et al, 2013)

    Public services account for a large proportion of government budgets, but increased spending has often not been matched by improvements in outcomes. In the worst case, public services can be bedeviled by corruption which leads to money intended for books, teachers, dispensaries, medical supplies and infrastructure being syphoned off by officials or private contractors (World Bank, 2004). Around the world, children still leave school are unable to read and do basic arithmetic, and the quality of healthcare remains uneven. Data show that just increasing resources, equipment, financial, or personnel, does not guarantee that the quality of education or health care will improve. The quality of service delivery is critical.

    Even where the integrity of public resource flows can be secured, approaches to public service delivery designed for a previous age struggle to respond to present day needs driven by complex challenges, such as those created by aging populations, chronic health conditions, mega cities and poverty and inequality.

    Public services are traditionally organized in a way that puts the public in a passive role, as the recipient of a standardised service. This contrasts with innovations in other areas of life such as retail, travel and media where people are used to giving feedback on the goods and services they receive, and playing an active role in making choices. Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems. Local people often know what the solutions to problems in their area, but are rarely empowered by bureaucratic processes, instead facing public services which may be impersonal, irrelevant, and inefficient.

    Governments are experimenting with redesigning parts of the system so that citizens can play a more active role as a user community for public services. This can mean participative processes and forums, community monitoring and citizens’ budgets, or new forms of commissioning.  Technology and open data enable a different kind of participation. Open government data APIs allow anyone to write a citizen-facing application using government data, creating new interfaces to government, and opening up new possibilities. (Lathrop et al, 2010)

    However  translating information into action is a difficult challenge. The relationships between citizens, policy-makers, program managers, and service providers are complicated and are not easily altered through a single intervention, such as an information campaign or scorecard exercise. (Ringold et al, 2012)

    Particular attention needs to be given to human motivation and incentives.Research by Twaweza in Uganda for example found that formal information sources were not seen as particularly influential and citizens are often either too afraid to act, do not consider it their responsibility or do not know what to do.(Twaweza, 2013)


    • Lathrop, Daniel and Laurel Ruma, 2010, Open Government, Collaboration, Transparency and Participation in Practice, O’Reilly Media
    • Ringold, Dena, Alaka Holla, Margaret Koziol and Santhosh Srinivasan, 2012, Citizens and Service Delivery: Assessing the Use of Social Accountability Approaches in Human Development, Washington DC: World Bank
    • World Bank, 2004, World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for Poor People, Washington D.C.: World Bank
    • Twaweza, 2013, Uganda baseline report
  • Expert Organisations


    This topic was developed by Twaweza and Involve with inputs from Rakesh Rajani (Twaweza), Tim Hughes (Involve) and Maya Forstater (Transparency and Accountability Initiative)

  • Standards &
  • Examples in Practice

    A Mexican initiative gives parents a chance to improve their children’s education through service feedback

    Mexico has created a digital platform, Mejora tu Escuela, which seeks to enhance the engagement of parents in transforming the country’s educational system.  The initiative encourages parents to demand better educational services for their children by releasing information about the schools and providing parents with feedback tools.

    Mejora tu Escuela covers all public and private schools from elementary to high school levels and has four main tools:

    • ‘Know your school’ which lets people search for a school by name or geographic location and reveals the quality of education as well as a state ranking based on test results;
    • ‘Compare your school’ which allows comparisons with other schools by educational quality, state and national ranking, performance over time and performance of students;
    • ‘Grade your school’ which invites the community to shed light on the strength and weaknesses of each school; and
    • ‘Improve your school’ which provides concrete tools and suggestions to parents on how to participate in addressing problems at their child’s school.

    Albania has set up an e-Government portal containing information about public services

    Albania has set up an e-Government portal, which aims to provide a one-stop online access point to all government services. The overall aim of the portal is integrated delivery of all government services for citizens, businesses, state employees, and visitors alike (information is provided both in Albanian and in English). Service users can get information on the documents needed to get a particular service, including any tariffs or costs, addresses and locations of the official office and the contact information.

    Thus far, one of the most popular services provided by the portal is helping students to access higher education through online registration for the state entrance exam. Other popular services include registration to driving licence theory and practical exams, tracking the status of business registration and licensing applications, tracking the status of public procurement procedures for businesses and tracking the complaints regarding public procurements.

    Azerbaijan has created a single-window access to public services

    Azerbaijan has created ASAN: a one-stop shop where the services of various government agencies are provided. Currently nine government agencies are rendering 25 services through ASAN, including registering civil status, issuance and renewal of various IDs, notary services and tax and customs declarations.  Private companies providing banking, medical, insurance and other subsidiary services are also represented, and these private entities charge a lower fee than they would have done outside of the ASAN service centre.

    Since its inauguration in January 2013, three ASAN service centres have opened in the country and ASAN Mobile Services buses fill the gap where centres are absent. ASAN’s official Facebook page also provides updates on new services, feedback from citizens, and photos documenting state-citizen interactions.

    The ASAN model ensures better governance in public services because the standardisation of services for citizens reduces information asymmetry, which is often the cause of petty corruption, and there are no hand-in-hand cash payments for services. Also, the ASAN model makes government more transparent as citizens are able to know exactly which services they will receive and at what cost.

    Azerbaijan set up a one stop shop for public services

    ASAN is Azerbaijani for ‘Easy’. It is a one-stop shop where people can access the services of various government agencies.  Service centres in major cities, mobile busses, an online service and telephone hotline.

    Brazil’s Bolsa Família program is backed by a widespread information campaign

    Brazil’s Bolsa Família program of family income support covers 12.7 million families. The program relies on diverse approaches to inform people about their rights and obligations.  The program, and its payment calendar is advertised on the internet, local radio ads, and pamphlets and posters that are distributed around poor neighborhoods and public offices. Once a family is admitted in the program, social assistance professionals provide guidance on how the program works using a document called the Agenda da Família, which is provided to all new beneficiary families.  Targeted efforts have been made to improve outreach to highly disadvantaged groups, such as indigenous populations, quilombolas (African descendant groups), and the homeless, using material in local dialects and using appropriate graphic design and  training local agents on how to reach each group.

    Brazil’s Health Councils involve people in governing the health system

    Brazil’s Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS), is a universal, publicly-funded, rights-based health system. The Brazilian “Citizens’ Constitution” established health as the right of all and guaranteed the right to participate in the governance of health. This is institutionalised through mechanisms  for citizen engagement at municipal, state and national levels.

    Across Brazil’s 5,000-plus municipalities Health Councils are empowered by law to inspect public accounts and demand accountability. Each month tens of thousands of Brazilian citizens representing a spectrum of civic associations  meet with those who run their health services and provide their health care. Every two or four years they come together in municipal health conferences, from which delegates are put forward for conferences at the state and national levels. At such events, proposed amendments collated from days of group work are debated, contested and voted for. Good ideas from citizens often become the basis for state and national policies. And when they do not, citizens who recognise the value of their ideas often continue to fight for them.

    Research has found that the health councils are quite diverse and include representatives from  social movements, disabled people’s associations, religious groups, civil rights associations, trade unions and people with no associational ties. However breaking the grip of powerful actors on the councils often depends on a public manager who is willing to champion the cause of participation and work with civil society groups.The selection process of the councillors varies from council to council, with greater openness leading to more inclusivity. Inclusive measures include making information on the election process available, listing all the associations and movements in the region, using radio or newspapers to publicise elections and granting candidatures to individuals as well as organisations.

    Discussion techniques are used to help groups to communicate and express themselves better. This include limiting the length of time people can speak, to ensure people who want to participate get a chance to speak and to vote where decisions need to be made. Training of councillors and the council chairs in their roles and providing them with information on the functioning of the health system also helps to make some councils work better than others.

    [Source:  Open Democracy]

    Chile set up a one-stop shop for accessing public services

    ChileAtiende is the multi service network which was created in 2012 to bring the benefits and services of public institutions to individuals, throughin-person service points and mobile offices, a website and a call center that provides guidance on the services and benefits provided by the state by dialing ‘101’.

    The system started out by using the infrastructure of the Social Security Institute, but brings together services from many government departments including the national health fund (Fondo Nacional de Salud, Fonasa), the national consumer protection agency (Servicio Nacional del Consumidor, Sernac), the Civil Registry, the Social Investment Fund (Fondo Solidario de Inversión Social, FOSIS), the Housing and Urban Development Ministry (Ministerio de Vivienda y Urbanismo, Minvu) and the Health Ministry. Citizens can apply for services and subsidies,pay social security contributions, obtain medical vouchers and register for certificates at the same office.

    Chile’s healthcare system sets out guarantees on access, quality and cost of public healthcare

    Chile’s Regime of Explicit Health Guarantees (AUGE) guarantees a certain set of services for all users.  It prioritises health problems based medical criteria and defines a maximum waiting period for receiving services at each stage (“access”)  the set of activities, procedures, and technologies necessary for treating the medical condition (“quality”); and the maximum that a family can spend per  year on health (“financial protection”).


    Denmark’s Mindlab involves citizens and business in in problem solving with government ministries

    MindLab is a Danish cross-governmental innovation unit which involves citizens and businesses in developing new solutions for the public sector. MindLab is instrumental in helping key decision-makers and employees from its parent ministries view their efforts from the outside-in, to see them from a citizen’s perspective. MindLab uses this approach as a platform for co-creating better ideas.

    It works with service users, citizens and other stakeholders at early planning stages of service delivery. For example, Mindlab worked with users to test mobile devices for doing tax returns and collected their feedback, which resulted in changing government plans and avoiding costly service mistakes. It developed social networks with and for highly skilled migrant workers to motivate them to stay in Denmark.

    MindLab was created in 2002 for the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs as an internal incubator for invention and innovation. At that time, the vision of an in-house laboratory as a centre of creativity and innovation was unique for a ministry.

    In 2007, a new strategy and a new goal were set for MindLab: its focus would be the active involvement of both citizens and companies in developing new public-sector solutions. At the same time, MindLab acquired two additional parent ministries, namely the Ministries of Taxation and Employment. In this manner MindLab also became a fulcrum of intra-governmental cooperation. Finally, the strategy involved MindLab taking on a number of professional researchers, with the aim of establishing a more robust methodological foundation for its work.

    Today, MindLab has considerable experience with innovation processes that are based on the realities experienced by citizens and businesses, and which also promote collaboration across the public sector. MindLab has become a part of three ministries and one municipality: the Ministry of Business and Growth, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Employment and Odense Municipality and form a collaboration with the Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior.

    In Ethiopia the Protection of Basic Services Project is working to empower citizens to assess public services

    In Ethiopia starting in 2006 the Federal Government, with international support, has carried out a project to address this deficit. Working with 45 CSOs across 86 districts the project piloted Community Score Cards, Citizens Report Cards, and Participatory Budgeting as a basis for face-to-face discussions between citizen groups and service providers.  The World Bank reports that these regular discussions provided the opportunity for stakeholders to review the service delivery scores and discuss deficiencies, produce common performance indicators, agree on service delivery scores, develop joint action plans, and form joint committees to follow up on the implementation of the action plans. Government officials and service providers have been required to take account of citizens’ demands and to respond, as feasible, with appropriate policies and solutions.  The program is now being scaled up 172 districts implemented by 60-90 CSOs.

    In India the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is monitored through social audits

    The NREGA program guarantees 100 days of employment per year to rural households whose adult members are willing to do unskilled manual work.  Such programs are often bedevilled by large  scale  misappropriations  by  contractors,  local  political  bosses  and  officials.  Proactive disclosure of information, and citizen participation in monitoring was therefore designed into the program, and institutionalised through the legislation that created it in order to expose and prevent corruption.

    The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act mandates that regular social audits be conducted be conducted at local level every six months. The NREGA guidelines identify 11 stages of the program where an individual or group can intervene to ensure public  vigilance.    The accountability and transparency measures enshrined in the NREGA have proved to be a catalyst for  some state  governments and  civil  society  organizations to  take  innovative steps  towards  developing  and  institutionalizing  accountability  tools  into the governance  system

    The government of Andhra Pradesh set up a separate unit to design and implement social audits of the NREGA program. The core of the social audit approach is to involve the entire affected group or community in the process.  In most cases, the members carrying out the social audits are volunteers who are directly affected by the program, and these volunteers are generally trained in the social audit process by a civil society organization. This extensive involvement of civil   society organizations ensures that  there  is  a  high  degree  of  autonomy  and  objectivity  to  the   exercise. It is one of the most important checks and balances that have been built in to the   process.

    The  village  social auditors go  from  house  to  house  cross  verifying   official records, scrutinizing job cards, examining the worksites, and  gathering  information  through  interviews  with  wage  seekers.  They then organize a village level meeting where findings from the audit are shared with the   villagers. local  political  bosses,  and officials. The presence  of  senior  government  officials  enables  immediate  and  effective  grievance redressal albeit only where cases of petty corruption are unearthed. Over 500  field assistants and 10  technical assistants have been dismissed,  and inquiries initiated against higher level officials. Corrupt officials facing public scrutiny have  actually  begun  to  return   embezzled  funds.

    Aside from  unearthing  corruption,  the  social audits also  offer a  formal  setting  for  senior   officials  to  interact  with  front  line  staff and service users.  This allows  for  real   time  feedback  on  the  status  of  the  scheme  implementation.  Through interactions  with  senior   officials,  front  line  workers  can  clarify  doubts,  and  resolve  problems.  Moreover, because   information  on  the  NREGA  is  disseminated  during  the  forum,  both  officials  and  wage   seekers  come  away  with  a  better  understanding  of  the  NREGA.


    In Karachi, the local government adopted a co-management approach to sanitation

    Orangi is a large informal settlement in Karachi, Pakistan. In 1982, residents suffered from high child mortality rates due to poor sanitation. Some of the communities were represented by residents’ associations that followed clientelist strategies to try to improve services. They lobbied local politicians and promised votes in return for water pipes and public standpoints.

    A local NGO called the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP argued that such a strategy was never going to work at the spatial scale that was required or with an adequate quality of investment). They developed  a model of community-installed and managed sanitation where the residents of a lane or street paid for the lane investment in sanitation (and monitored the quality of the work) while the municipality took on responsibility for the wider sewer network and the waste treatment plants.

    At first, the municipality refused to participate in this work and the people discharged the wastewater from the lane sewers into local streams. Over time, the authorities recognized the co-production model could work, if they played their role.

    After initial reluctance, the municipality eventually agreed to this co-management arrangement and the idea of rapidly through the settlement. The process strengthened local organisations and made them more likely to engage with formal political structures than clientist networks. Overall residents of, 96,994 houses  built their neighbourhood sanitation systems, by investing over half a million dollars collectively. 20 years after the work began in Orangi, the city of Karachi decided that the strategy should be supported throughout the city.

    In Korea city residents get up to date information on water quality

    In Seoul, Korea  citizens were previously suspicious of the quality of the tap water and avoided drinking it. There was no monitoring system to assess the quality of tap water. This resulted in a low rate of consumption of tap water, high sales volume of bottled water, reckless underground water development, and indiscriminate use of purifiers which led to pollution. There was waste of a precious resource and potential public health problems.

    The new water monitoring system allows citizens to access real-time  data on water quality via the Internet at the city’s public engagement website   They can also obtain data from water quality inspectors who visit houses for free. They can participate in the online assessment of the water quality; this has helped build trust and confidence in the water system. This programme uses citizen monitoring as part of a drinking water campaign, to help conserve resources. As a result, citizens confidence levels have risen, with  a 20% increase in tap  water consumption and greater conservation of ground water.

    [Source: United Nations Public Service Awards (2009) ]

    In Peru the government introduced standardised tests in schools to improve school standards

    In Peru in spite of high  primary enrolments in education,  many students were not able to read. Parents surveyed said they were satisfied with the quality  of education their children received. This gap between true learning levels  and perceptions of quality suggested a lack of awareness of quality standards and potentially weak accountability in school management. In 2006, the government of Peru established a universal standard system to test all children completing second grade and to inform each  school, child, and parent about the results by issuing report cards through local education offices. Media campaigns encouraged parents to request  their child’s test scores from schools and discuss the results with the  school authorities to plan improvement strategies. One of the products was a radio miniseries about education standards  and parental empowerment, produced in Spanish and translated into the  indigenous languages of Quechua, Aymara, and Asháninka. The government also linked teachers’ pay to evaluation as part of the education sector reform process. In spite of opposition from teacher unions, the government was able to pass this law with support from the electorate.

    In Sweden the government publishes performance reports on social services, health and medical care

    Public performance reports have been a core part of the Swedish government’s strategy for public service improvement. The vision is to provide up-to-date knowledge when you want it, the way you want it in order to support: the ability of citizens and patients to choose care providers; policy decisions and independent examinations; and in-depth analyses and comparisons that encourage care providers and the social services to improve quality and efficiency. Areas covered include substance abuse and dependency care, dental care, cardiac care, elderly care, public health and primary care.  In each area a set of indicators has been agreed and are regularly reported and that describe facilities with regard to quality and efficiency. Transparency has led to improvements in care. For example when mortality data for myocardial infarction patients prompted the lowest-per- forming hospitals to institute major improvement programs; within two years, they had cut their mortality rates in half.

    In Tanzania the government established a website to submit and track complaints and feedback is a website was developed by the government to enable Tanzanian citizens to send feedback,opinions,complaints to the government and to track and follow up on queries.

    The system aims:

    1. To help improve citizen awareness and satisfaction about the services they receive or believe they should be receive by enabling fast and efficient resolutions of relevant citizen submissions
    2.  To collect data that will assist the Government of Tanzania to identify opportunities for improvement and change, to optimise service and minimise complaint in the future

    As part of its OGP commitment the government has committed to improve the website to make it more robust and responsive as a platform for citizens to participate in the running of Government, and produce monthly reports on effectiveness of the citizen‟s website.

    In the Philippines the Department for Education cooperates with the Checkmyschool monitoring initiative


    Started in 2011, Checkmyschool (CMS), is a participatory monitoring initiative that aims to improve service delivery in public education. It was established as a joint initiative of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA—EAP) Foundation Inc. and the Department of Education (DepEd), the branch of government that is responsible for regulating and managing the Philippine system of basic education..

    CMS is an interactive and hybrid online platform used to validate the government’s educational services on the ground, report on issues, and provide solutions. With access to the Department of Education’s database, citizens can monitor funds and report on any discrepancies that are fed back into the platform through various channels, including Facebook and SMS. For those who don’t have internet access, CMS has mobilized infomediaries to interact with stakeholders, and facilitate community involvement.  CMS has also attracted a thousand plus volunteers, including students, to disseminate and validate information offline.

    The platform uses Google Maps to map schools and allows users to report issues about textbooks, seats, toilets, teachers and computers. These issues are brought to the attention of the Department of Education’s attention for action. Requests so far have been responded to fairly quickly.

    In the UK the National Health Service asks all patients leaving hospital if they would recommend it to their friends and family

    Since 2012 patients leaving NHS hospitals are asked whether they would recommend their ward to friends and family. This is what is known as a ‘Net Promoter’ question which is often used by companies in customer service programmes.  The overall score for each ward can be positive or negative depending on the number of ‘promoters’ (people who would recommend the service) and ‘detractors’ (people who would not).

    The anonymous survey covers around 4,500 NHS wards and 144 A&E services. It allows hospital trusts to gain real time feedback on their services down to individual ward level Results are reported weekly to hospital managers and boards, and overall scores are published each quarter.

    Indonesia set up a social media channel for complaints

    LAPOR! (“to report”, in Indonesian) is a social media channel where Indonesian citizens can submit complaints and enquiries about development programmes and public services. Comments are transferred directly to relevant ministries or government agencies, which can respond via the website. Users can access the system through the web, through SMS, through facebook and twitter and mobile applications, and each report is given an ID number so that users can track it to resolution.

    Examples of issues reported include potholes, and difficulties in accessing government services, comments on projects and infrastructure developments.  LAPOR! now has more than 225,350 registered users and receives an average of 1,435 inputs per day. It is connected with 64 ministries and the Ministry of Non-Government Institutions. It has also been connected with the Local Government and the Provincial Government of Jakarta.

    Mexico set up a digital platform to ‘improve your school’

    Mexico spends more per student than most industrialized nations but has the lowest levels of academic achievement in the OECD. As part of its OGP Action Plan the government-civil society working group set out to improve the information that parents have about schools, and enable them to ‘improve your school’.

    The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO)  cross referenced test results with basic data on all schools and made them accessible on a new website ‘Mejora tu Escuela’. Users can search and compare schools, and provide their own comments. Where problems are identified, like deteriorating infrastructure or principals that mismanage the school budget, they are linked to possible solutions that can be implemented by parents and local CSOs.“The more information you have on schools, the more likely you are to demand higher quality education”, says Gabriela Segovia of the Federal Institute on Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI).


    Montenegro developed a mobile app to allow citizens to report local problems

    The Be Responsible app  is a mobile app that allows citizens to report local problems – from illegal waste dumps, misuse of official vehicles and irregular parking, to
    failure to comply with tax regulations,failure to issue fiscal receipts.  The most popular categories to date have been ecology and improper parking.

    Several countries in Africa are working with the World Bank to collect Service Delivery Indicators on health and education

    Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) is an Africa wide initiative being undertaken by governments together with the World Bank. It collects actionable data on service delivery in schools and health facilities. The SDI data are used to assess the quality and performance of education and health services for decision makers to track progress over time, and for citizens to hold governments accountable for public spending.

    The Service Delivery Indicators are a set of 20 indicators that examine the effort and ability of staff and the availability of key inputs and resources that contribute to a functioning School or health facility. They seek to assess service delivery performance and quality at frontline schools and health facilities from the citizens’ perspective.

    A standardized survey is used allowing for data comparison across countries as well as in country regions, Data will be collected and analyzed every two years from a sample of 200-300 schools and clinics in each country.

    SDI results will be published. In Kenya, Hivos is working to support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media organisations and journalists  to present the information revealed by the data to the general public, in user friendly ways.


    South Africa has carried out a national public education campaign on Know Your Service Rights and Responsibilities

    Know your rights

    The campaign aims to inform citizens about their service rights, responsibilities, and legal mechanisms available to hold government accountable.  The “Know Your Service Rights and Responsibilities” booklet was developed in  2010 and more than 35,000 brochures were distributed with the aim to distribute more through 2013 and 2014.

    As part of the national OGP Action Plan the Department of Public Service and Administration intensified engagements with communities on the campaign for example informing people about how to apply for housing subsidies and each government department has an outreach programme.  However a key weakness of the booklet is that it has only been produced in English.

    Tanzania carried out water point mapping

    Working with local stakeholders, the government has created an information system which can link every level of the water supply chain to rural communities, highlighting issues of equity and functionality at all levels. Water point mapping provides a baseline of information for improving performance of the water system.

    Tanzania uses open data and citizen feedback to improve water services

    Tanzania has included in its Open Government Partnership Action Plan a commitment to implement a Water Point Mapping System to make rural water supply services more efficient and accountable. Apart from showing people where water points are and if they are working, the mapping system also has a participatory element encouraging citizens in rural areas to help improve water service delivery by providing feedback.

    The UK Government’s Choice Charter sets out what users should receive from their services

    The Choice Charter, published in 2013 sets out four basic principles for public service users:

    • You can have a say in how a public service is provided to you.
    • You will be given the opportunity to take up and exercise the choices
    • available.
    • You will be given clear, accessible and high-quality information and advice to inform your choices
    • You have clear avenues to complain if you do not receive the choices you are entitled to.

    Individual Choice Frameworks have been developed for a  number of public services in heathcare, education and social housing,  which, set out what choices should be available to people, who is be responsible for providing this choice, relevant quality standards, inspections and licensing requirements,  sources of information to help people make informed decisions and details of complaints procedures.

    The ‘Voice of the Consumer’ project in Georgia gives consumers a participatory tool for improving services

    The “Voice of the Consumer” is one of Georgia’s commitments in its latest OGP Action Plan. It is a two-way feedback system which allows citizens to express their opinion about services received from the Public Service Hall (PSH), which is a ‘one-stop shop’ for delivering public and private services in Georgia. It also allows the PSH to communicate on how issues raised by consumers have been resolved and provide citizens with information about existing products. Software is being developed specifically for this project.

    Uganda publishes comprehensive national data on the performance of the rural water sector

    With 35% of rural people still lacking access to an improved drinking water supply, deciding  where to invest, how to develop services and which policies and  strategies actually work is critical for Uganda. It requires data, analysis and the joint reflection of different stakeholders.

    Water sector performance measurement in Uganda has been established in Uganda over the past ten years. In 2003  through meetings with stakeholders, and consultative workshops eight ‘golden indicators’ were selected such as % of people within 1.5 km (rural) and 0.2km (urban) of an improved water source , and % of improved water sources that are functional at time of spot-check Sanitation Sector .

    Based on reports from local government, surveys and spot checks each year, an annual Sector Performance Report is prepared, consolidating the status, investment, progress and challenges on rural water supplies for the entire country.

    Summary information from the Sector Performance Report feeds into the Government Annual Performance Report and the full report is uploaded on the Ministry website ( A simple, summarized version of the report is also put in the national newspapers for information to the public.


    US Citizen Corps trains volunteers to play a role in community safety and disaster preparedness

    Following the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, state and local government officials in the US increased opportunities for citizens to become involved in disaster preparedness and supporting local first responders.

    Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.

    Citizen Corps programs build on local efforts to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Programs that started through local innovation are the foundation for the national approach.

    The Citizen Corps mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils build on community strengths to implement the Citizen Corps preparedness programs and carry out a local strategy to involve government, community leaders, and citizens in all-hazards preparedness and resilience.