With the current pandemic that has caused a lot to change in our daily activities, the coronavirus has brought a change to the way we operate in our communities. As we join the rest of the world to fight the COVID19 outbreak, Uganda had to be on lockdown to limit the concentration of people in different parts of the country. This also affected citizens’ access to public services, and also made it challenging for SEMA to continue collecting citizen feedback physically at public institutions.
In the first two weeks of the lockdown, we conducted an online survey to find out what citizens’ needs are during the lockdown. The survey was spread through SEMA networks on WhatsApp, Facebook Twitter, and newsletters. The survey was answered mostly by residents of Kampala and Wakiso – a total of 201 people responded to the survey (52% male and 48% female). They highlighted that the services they most needed during the first two weeks of lockdown were health, utilities, and security with a percentage of 54%, 38%, and 4% respectively.
During the lockdown, most citizens were not able to access the services they most needed, so they suggested the government should work on making services more accessible among the following avenues: 59% wanted toll free lines, 38% wanted to receive services at the service points, 28% online services and 1.5% wanted the service providers to come to their homes. Some of the recommendations citizens had for the government to improve service delivery during the lockdown was having a faster response to the toll-free lines, urge public officers not to take bribes to provide services, lower costs for the most needed services during the lockdown and making sure that the information on the directives issued reaches every citizen in more languages. We also learned that many people have taken action themselves to support their community during this crisis, by donating, sensitizing, or volunteering. Read the full report on the findings of this survey here.
With the new changes that have been imposed by the COVID19 outbreak, we call upon the government and citizens to learn from the loopholes that have been highlighted during this period and also use feedback to make informed decisions and improve service delivery towards citizens.