With 2021 bringing in the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), the Government has committed to improve public administration with a particular focus on strengthening public service through ambitious targets in the new NESDP.
A workshop on the 2nd Public Service User Feedback Survey results was held virtually on Jun 30 to provide an opportunity to share the results of the Public Service Survey (SUFS) among the four target districts namely Samphan district of Phongsaly Province, La of Oudomxay, Samuoy of Saravan and Dakcheung of Xekong.
Moreover, it provided a platform for members of the Provincial People’s Councils (PPC) to share their experiences in applying the results of these public surveys to meet the demands of members in their constituencies.
As chair, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nisith Keopanya remarked, “The SUFS will be a mechanism by which people can participate in expressing their views on public administration and development in their districts. It is a strong will of the Party and the government, which is the state of the people for the people and the interests of the people. It also reflects as one of the indicators of the Lao PDR in implementing the SDGs, especially the 16th Goal- to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies”.
Representing the key development partners under the Governance for Inclusive Development Programme, or GIDP, was Ms. Aurélie Righetti, Head of Governance and Citizen Participation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, Mr. Seán O’Connell, Head of Governance Unit, UNDP and Mr. Thilaphong Oudomsine, Programme Specialist, UNCDF.
Development partners and local authorities participated in the virtual workshop given the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Ms. Righetti expressed that the “SUFS was introduced more recently as a multipurpose tool. On the one hand, SUFS aims at promoting and facilitating interactions between service users (citizens) and service providers, especially at local level. The feedback provides valuable information to the government of Laos to improve the delivery of services so that these respond to the needs and demands of all citizens, including vulnerable groups and people living in remote areas.”
Crucial to the role of PPC members is collecting the experiences and feedback of citizens on their engagement with local government. The PPC members in the four districts were actively involved in the implementation of the SUFS 2 and have shown their interest to use the SUFS results to monitor the service delivery at the district level.
Mr. O’Connell said, “PPC members must use this information directly from communities to highlight areas for improvement by provincial governments, so that the Lao PDR can quickly adapt policies and practice, to reach its ambitious development targets in the years ahead.”
The draft results of the survey, collecting feedback on citizen’s experiences on using public services, were shared with PPC members from across the Lao PDR so that they could in turn use this information to advance their oversight mandate in monitoring public service delivery at the Provincial Level.
SDC further encouraged the continuation of SUFS practice on a broader scale and ensures the integration of citizens’ feedback into local planning and administration of public services. Furthermore, to strengthen accountability mechanisms and facilitate PPC’s oversight work – to ensure each Provincial Government delivers on the national development agenda, including the 9th NSEDP and the SDGs.
Source: Lao News Agency