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Olena Ursu

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Local governments provide better services when they engage citizens in co-designing and improving the service

Fullly agree with Beth Noveck: transparency of the Government itself does not change anything and does not solve the local problems without combining it with the next step - meaningful citizens' participation and collaboration for the chage.

In Ukraine where I'm from 54% of citizens are fully or mostly unsatisfied with the quality of administrative service provision. Reasons include complexity of the administrative procedures; lack of proper information from the authorities; lengthy terms of service provision; uncomfortable work schedules of the administrative bodies; and many others. But can citizens influence this situation?

Effective mechanisms of raising citizens’ concerns to provide their feedback to the local authorities and, most importantly, to make sure that this feedback is translated into the real actions to improve the quality of service provision, are still lacking.

One of the models which was experimented in L'viv municipality is a "Secret Client" model within which the organised groups of volunteers attend the administrative bodies to get some service and then report to the municipality through the active local CSO with their recommendations for improving the quality of this service.

There is also a number social innovation projects helping to engage citizens for constructive monitoring and oversight on administrative service provision in the couontry.

Our idea is to collect the most efficient models of engaging citizens by the local governments for the sake of improvement of the administrative services they provide.

We are sure that the TED community accumulated rich knowledge on the topic, which you could help us to reach. Please tell us about all experiences which you may recommend as a smart practice of public oversight on administrative service provision, be it Web 2.0 based initiatives or real-life exercises accomplished in your countries. We will be sincerely grateful for all thoughts and ideas you share with us.


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    Mar 26 2013: Absolutely

    But you came to wrong place for advise. Most TED participants are retarded on this subject and in favor of being told what to do by a central government.

    But the main thing is have a small government. Which is in opposition to Beth Noveck as in all reality government is mainly to supply a rule of law and a national defense. Everything else is superfluous or counterproductive to a better life for it's citizens. It has been proven endlessly that economic freedom is the key to a better standard of living.
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      Mar 26 2013: Thank you, Pat! I went to many different places at a time. And I also have hopes for TED community as people with the most innovative and unbiased thinking!
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        Mar 26 2013: Olena

        I like the idea that this foments people doing for themselves and a reciprocal reduction in the size of government.

        I recommend that you be your own adviser (NO ONE KNOWS BETTER THAN YOU) and keep doing what is working.

        But this crowd likes centralized government that makes them feel warm fuzzy. Which is the antithesis of what you are talking about.
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          Apr 1 2013: I agree with you, Pat, we should go for the working approaches. But it's always good to listen to some other people's thoughts and advice, even just for inspiration or maybe for some great news ideas. E.g. your recommendation helps me to feel more confident about my future plans :) Thank you for that!!
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          Apr 24 2013: I have to disagree Pat. Central government is the reflection of the desires of the majority of the people. 300 million people with 300 million different ideas about what a governemt should be does not create governmental bodies. They are constantly at odds with one another.

          It is only through consensus, particianship, and negotiation that they can form a body of communalisim.

          Only when a central functioning body of govenment is established that can care for the basic needs of the active body of partisipants, can the size of the govenment be established. Once established, the size can vary according to the creative inputs of the individuals.

          For instance. If we all obeyed the traffic laws, there would be no need for the expenditure of traffic police. If everyone were educated in the activity of Emergency services, and maintained basic equipment at home or in our vehicle, we could reduce the size of emergency services to transportating stabalized victems to the hospital.

          It's the cumulative desire of individuals to live together, in harmoney and self-sacrifise to the common good, that will reduce the need for a central governing body.

          In the meantime, we need to sucure our rights by instituting govenments that deprive us of individual self-justice, hopefully giving us a warm and fuzzy feeling of comfort and knowledge that we have a functional governing structure that will enable us to jointly solve all of societies problems.
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        Apr 24 2013: I'm shocked that you disagree with me.

        Centralized government squashes the individual and creates a collective of zombies.

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