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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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  • Apr 1 2013: Olena, depending on your position, you might want to keep a watchful eye on the future. This project is doomed to failure---at least from what I know. I would say to you, if you have any position and power, push it as hard as you can, until the top people call a halt to it. Once they call a halt you will have 2 choices. The first choice is to acquiesce and the second is to fight, showing all the good things. If you acquiesce, its likely you get nothing. If you fight, they may offer you a better position, just to shut you up. That's how power works, from all I see.
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      Apr 1 2013: Jim, I'm a project manager, so trust me, I will do my best to keep a watchful eye on the project implementation. In order to minimize the risk of failure we will select for partnership those municipalities with which we have long history of prior partnership and good track of record of the successfully implemented initiatives together with the local communities. And I'm a fighter by nature :)
      • Apr 1 2013: Understood, stay smart!
      • Apr 1 2013: Thank you and your welcome.

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