SEMA’s impact tracking.
SEMA not only builds a bridge between the public officers and citizens providing feedback on the services that they have received from public institutions but also seeks to ensure that there is a positive change in the institutions where we set up our systems.
As Lord Chesterfield said, “Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well”.
Our goal is not to just provide citizen feedback to public officers but to also be taken into account when forming policy. We do this through impact measurement.
What does impact look like to us?
Impact measurement consists of regular follow-ups to ensure that public officers:
Take more seriously a citizen-centred approach when providing public services.
Use monthly SEMA citizen feedback reports to review citizen feedback when reports are public
Track changes made at public offices based on recommendations from the monthly SEMA citizen feedback reports.
These factors are recorded in the SEMA system to determine how to best approach the different public offices in making lasting positive change at these offices.
Since 2018, we have worked with 26 public offices with over 81,000 citizens providing their feedback on the services that they have received. Using this feedback, we have put together and delivered over 203 monthly reports,5 trend reports, and 2 articles talking about citizen feedback and its role in public service delivery. Through our time of collecting citizen feedback at the different institutions, we have received numerous comments from citizens and the public service providers.
What citizens say.
Citizens who have visited these locations more than once have said that they have noticed a change in services since SEMA began collecting data, noting that service providers are more friendly and welcoming. As a result, citizens feel more comfortable when visiting public service providers and also like that their voices are heard, because they can rate the services they have just received at the institution rather than taking the time to talk to a public officer who may be involved with a case or not have influence over the institution.
“I think this service will help people to get what they want from the offices they visit.”
“In the long run I think what you are doing will change something positively.”
What public service providers say.
Many public service providers reported that this is the first time they have ever been rated on their performance and that this new system allows them to learn about areas where they need to track and improve their individual as well as department performance. Public officer comments:
“For the first time ever, my personnel knew there was somebody watching, there was somebody to compliment what they were doing or report if something is not right. Since the feedback is not only for Kira Road Police Station, we developed that competitiveness. Every morning when I am giving personnel tasks, I tell them that we are waiting for that scorecard (monthly feedback report) and that we want our marks to go higher.”
“It’s a really good idea. I wish we could have it everywhere.”
“We have seen positive changes at all the stations where SEMA has been working. We would like to see SEMA at many more police stations in Uganda.”
What changes have been registered at the public institutions based on the SEMA citizen feedback reports?
Over the past 3 months, we have seen positive changes in the use of a citizen-centred approach as well as in the waiting times of 62% of the offices we are currently collecting data at.
100% of the offices where we collected citizen feedback have used our reports in their meetings, we have noted these changes made at some of the institutions.
Ntinda Police: Shuffled staff that was said to be corrupt in February 2019
Kira Rd Police: Using SEMA feedback to investigate recurring problems within the Child and Family Protection Unit, which shows they trust SEMA feedback and use them to support internal reviews. In July 2020, they committed to start deploying a reception for the Criminal Investigation Department to reduce backlog in cases.
Wandegeya Police: CID always tries to improve on their performance. Really wants to become office of the year and is asking SEMA for guidance.
Katwe Police: Have successfully reduced waiting times
In addition to this, 100% of the institutions have placed the reports on notice boards around their institutions so that citizens who visit the institution can see how other citizens have rated the services that they have received from the given public institution. This allows for public institutions to monitor the quality of services that they provide and to be more accountable to the citizens they serve.
What are we doing for the youths in our traineeship program?
We have so far engaged 46 university students.
Through the traineeship program, we have helped prepare university students to learn about public institutions, step into the workforce, and improve their lives overall.