Tracking Service Delivery to Reach the Unreached
Tracking Service Delivery to Reach the Unreached
Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion for Rural and Urban Fijians (REACH) Project

Challenges


The Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion Project for Rural and Urban Fijians (REACH) Project in being implemented in Fiji by the UNDP Pacific Office, with the aim to promote peacebuilding, social cohesion and inclusiveness. Through the REACH Project, whilst mobile service delivery is being provided on-the-spot in targeted rural, urban and maritime communities of Fiji in some aspects of service delivery the matter may not be able to be resolved immediately, for instance a process to apply for an economic benefit may commence during mobile service delivery but cannot be finalized until checks on documents are made and final approvals by the delegated authority. The follow-up process to ensure the matter is resolved can result in time-costs-visits being considerably high for receiving, and in turn, dispensing public services.  There exists a challenge in ensuring start-to-finish service provision – being able to both track, monitor and update citizens in remote locations regarding the progress of their individual service delivery requests and their ultimate resolution.

Towards a Solution


For effective start-to-finish (S2F) service provision, tracking and monitoring of service delivery was proposed through an S2F pilot initiative (to be undertaken during 2017 and 2018), linked to the REACH Project. The existing services provided through REACH mobile service delivery formed the base foundation. For piloting in specific divisions of Fiji, one socio-economic service provided by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, specifically tracking applications to the Poverty Benefit Scheme (PBS), was considered. The PBS is a scheme that targets those who are “poorest of the poor” and living in destitution. A small targeted Pilot was implemented in selected few locations in different divisions of Fiji.   Feedback from both users and the teams in the Ministry was collected to refine the design. In addition, during the Pilot related capacity development for users and Ministry system operators were undertaken and adjusted as necessary.

 

Earlier mode of service delivery for the Poverty Benefit Scheme involved the citizen coming to the Social Welfare Office in person, or inquiring on the REACH Bus. The Birth Certificate was mandatory, and the number of the birth certificate served as the case ID of sorts. Passport photos were also required, together with a letter of support from a person of authority; such as the district officer, village headman, and so on. A home visitation ensued to evaluate the case, and then the government officer at the Social Welfare Office enters the relevant information into a form on a system. Often there was need for contact back and forth to follow up on documents, and to also make arrangements for the home visit.  The system then determined whether the person is eligible for the allowance under the Poverty Benefit Scheme. (To note, this system was not an Internet-supported one, and each office at the Division level stored its own data independently without central access at the Ministerial level.) The government officer had to relay the outcome to the applicant by telephone or by postal service. The length of the resolution of the case varied depending upon the location of the applicant and other contributing factors, ranging from a few days to months for more complex cases or more remote locales. No helpline was in place for providing query resolution or feedback support; and applicants need to visit the concerned office in person or call the offices to know the status of their application. A feedback loop was valuable in that situation, to better link service providers and citizens. 

In support of enhanced delivery for the services provided by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, South-South knowledge transfer on innovative approaches for improving public service delivery was undertaken between the a2i programme, with support from UNDP Bangladesh and the REACH Project, UNDP Pacific Office. a2i had successfully piloted as well as operationalized ‘One-Stop Service Centres’ and the ‘National Portal’ in Bangladesh, amongst other successful innovative service delivery initiatives, which were of direct relevance and applicability in the Fijian context.

 

In discussions initiated from mid-2017 forwards, a2i experts had shared information on their innovations for Fiji-Bangladesh experiential learning, through providing mentorship and support required for rolling out the S2F Service Delivery Tracker in Fiji in pilot communities situated in remote locations. The a2i Innovation Specialist undertook a dedicated mission to Fiji to be able to lead a consultation during a REACH Lessons Learned Workshop (5-7 July 2017) with key REACH Project stakeholders in relation to S2F. Two additional consultations have been undertaken in Fiji in 2017 with NGOs, CSOs and youth as well as a small sample group in Suva to test the applicability of the S2F Pilot. The feedback gathered is being reflected in the overall design of S2F, and tested during the pilot phase has been conducted in 2018.

 

The benefit of cooperation with a2i lay in the clear demonstrated successes their innovations have had in responding to the service delivery challenges in Bangladesh, some of which Fiji also shared, foremost high time-costs-visits in dispensing service delivery requests. Furthermore, the public service delivery system of Bangladesh had undergone systematic revisions to best meet the needs of the citizens, bearing in mind the needs of most vulnerable groups. Therefore, adapting a successful model to the Fijian context was of much value when undertaking the Pilot. Furthermore, significant cost-saving of adapting the existing Bangladesh system to the Fijian context, rather than developing the system newly from ground up, made another compelling case for this partnership. Most importantly, the approach of the a2i team was exceptional in sharing of knowledge and responsiveness and cooperation. In particular, this has extended to the sharing of resources, inclusion for knowledge and capacity development initiatives, as well as providing a South-South platform for cooperation in the fields of innovation for public service delivery.

 

The key results of the project are as follows:

 

●       11010 people (5283 women, 4987 men and 740 children) benefitted from mobile awareness-raising and service delivery.

●       589 communities in 88 districts in 14 provinces across Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Divisions and Rotuma received the REACH mobile awareness-raising and service delivery.

13756 services (to 7557 women and 6199 men) immediately provided in the communities (by Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation; and the Legal Aid Commission; the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission; Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry; and other institutions).  

 

Contact Information

From SSN4PSI - Asad-Uz-Zaman, Secretariat, Focal person of SSN4PSI. Email - ssn4psi@unossc.org

Supported by

Government of Japan, UNDP, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Legal Aid Commission of Fiji, UNDP Pacific Office, REACH Project,

Countries involved

Bangladesh, Fiji

Implementing Entities

UNDP Pacific Office, Access to Information (a2i), REACH Project, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Government of Fiji.

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

2015 - 2018

URL of the practice

http://www.pacific.undp.org/content/pacific/en/home/operations/projects/democratic_governance/rights--empowerment-and-cohesion--reach--for-rural-and-urban-fij.html

Primary SDG

16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

Secondary SDGs

05 - Gender Equality
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