Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
The project gathers information on the status of municipal service delivery from citizens using mechanisms of citizen report card (CRC), citizen assessment for public service index, interface meetings, feedback from members of Citizen Action Group etc. These feedback are communicated to public officials and elected representatives through various indirect and direct communication channels. Converting individual shout in to consolidated count, a group of CSOs, CAG members, media are strategically utilized to disseminate information and put pressure on providers to improve services and resolve day to day grievances of citizens. These activities brought several changes with regard to developing understanding on the pitch of the problems of citizens through a regular interaction with providers, authorities responsible for service delivery and thus improved services. The specific changes happen in different wards and certain recommendations were incorporated in to the future plan of the city development. Some of the progress markers under the project are
Enhanced Engagement and Awareness Among Citizens
Community meetings and interface meetings during the project influenced the citizens to engage and make them aware. Several members of the community became members of CAGs and took initiatives in order to improve situations even without being dependent on service providers. They remain connected with the project without any payment of honorarium and extended their support throughout.
Service providers were sensitised about problems of community through community and interface meetings. This helped the community in getting their grievances resolved. In case of complex problems, they coordinated with the citizens in order to find out solutions with their support.
Improved Relationship Among Service Providers and Recipients
The continuous community meetings led to create better understanding about the limitations of each other and to improve relationship between service providers and recipients. The service providers were sensitised and started attending meetings without hesitation and solved problems. The members of the CAG have now access to service providers and elected representatives and they take up issues of citizens to them.
Media also started playing important role by being vigilant on the delivery of services and performance of JMC. Media published several reports on project findings and also interviewed the Chief Executive Officer of JMC on issues were raised in advocacy meetings.
Issuance of Several Orders by JMC
Dissemination of findings and other specific advocacy meetings led to the issuance of several orders and frequent monitoring visits to check the status of services. JMC is now involved in necessary arrangements for door-to-door garbage collection in all 77 wards of Jaipur city. The corrective measures to solve problems of stray animals and other are also being taken up quickly by JMC.
Capacity Building of a Cadre of People
The activities under the project helped building the capacity of a cadre of people who started raising the relevant questions before service providers and also bringing issues of citizens for rectification.
Increased Civic Sense Among Citizens
The project also helped creating better civic sense among citizens through discussions held during various meetings. There are also evidences of more responsible behaviour on the part of citizens in various wards.
Councillors Got Platform
Elected representatives got platform to interact with citizens as well as government officials, present their problems and perspectives.
Project Got Buy-in from the Government
The Government of Rajasthan appreciated CUTS’ initiative towards urban governance and requested the organisation to continue such similar endeavours in other wards. The Jaipur Development Authority indicated possibilities of collaboration with CUTS in such community-intensive endeavors.