Government services for the newly connected

Posted on September 22, 2011  /  0 Comments

Most people are electronically connected to each other and to their governments. This happened in our countries in the past decade. How does this translate into being treated with more respect as a citizen?

Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of going to the wrong office; of going to the right office but being told the right official is absent; of finding the right official and being told the documentation is not complete; of having the required documents but not having the payment in the right form, and so on.

For those whose language is not Sinhala, there is the added frustration of not being able to communicate, not being able to read the forms.

Almost everyone has a phone. And phone calls are cheap. The simplest remedy is a telephone-based municipal information service operating in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Ideally it will be available at times convenient to citizens, say from seven in the morning to 10 at night. It sounds simple, but is actually a little complicated. The best way to run a municipal information service is through the use of a specialized call center (could be part of the 1919 Government Information Centre). That means specialized equipment for handling multiple incoming calls, for tracking and evaluating the interactions and so on.

Daily Mirror piece, published to leverage the “engagable moment” of a municipal election.

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