SEMA and Ugandan Police interviewed on UBC

SEMA is a social enterprise that aims to increase transparency and accountability of public services by gathering real-time citizen feedback.

On Friday 30th November 2018, SEMA had an interview on UBC for the show – ‘ Good morning Uganda’ alongside A.S.P Ojok Moses O.C Ntinda Police Station to investigate the impact of SEMA’s activities. By giving citizens a voice, SEMA builds trust in Public Services and helps governments’ measure Public Satisfaction towards SDG 16.6 and evaluate and improve its own policies.

‘As explained by O.C Ntinda Police:  Before SEMA came into office, citizens would give their feedback to the police through their neighbourhood watch groups on what’s app, some would run to social media like Twitter, where they would fail to find proper channels through which to complain about the services. But with SEMA coming in, citizens are able to leave their feedback about their experience at the police shortly following their interaction with them.’

SEMA collects citizen feedback at police stations in 3 ways:

1) In person interviews with a SEMA volunteer who will ask a few questions to citizens that have interacted with a police service.

2) An interactive voice response line

[toll free line]

which is more convenient for citizens that may not be comfortable giving feedback at the station and lastly;

3) A data collection device that has a 5 satisfaction rating. This device is able to get in real time what a citizen is feeling at the moment of their interaction with the police.

Using this data, SEMA is able to generate a simple report for each office with recommendations for improvement.

SEMA’s Operation’s Manager, who also sat on the interview with UBC, explains how we started at three police stations and are now operating at eight, among which Ntinda, Jinja Rd, Kiira Rd, Central Police Station, Wandegeya Police.

In the past, alot of the reports about police were not positive, the objective from the start of the program was to listen to the clients at the stations and work with the station to solve the underlying problem. We have noticed that the police has embraced this program and the citizen feedback reports are discussed at the monthly meetings with areas of improvement. This has encouraged the officers at these stations to improve their customer care and act more professionally with their clients.

The UBC interview has shown that a dialogue between the police and the citizenry is key in improving trust in police services. SEMA is helping to improve the image of the police, but at the same time is keen to bring the real problems raised by citizens to the table of those who can make a difference. SEMA’s data is gathered and presented anonymously, so citizens do not have to worry about repercussions in case of negative feedback. So, next time you are at a police station, make sure you press that device and talk to our staff to have a vote in improving the services!

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