Survey conducted in four provinces at agency level to determine service levels.
The World Bank has gained public service users feedback to help specific agencies judge their performance and take remedial action where needed.
Conducted in Binh Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc provinces in 2014 and 2015, the survey assessed four aspects in service delivery: accessibility, responsiveness, cost of services, and feedback mechanisms.
The surveys collected detailed user feedback from public service users at the agency level to help identify actionable reforms and capacity development needs. Previous government surveys involving service delivery lacked available data at the agency level.
“We need to know how users of public services want them to be, and surveys like this can shine a light on what works and what needs attention,” said Mr. Soren Davidsen, Senior Governance Specialist for the World Bank in Vietnam. “This approach has been applied across many different and diverse countries such as the Philippines, India, the US, and Scandinavian countries.”
Areas surveyed included the issuance of land use right certificates and land use right transfers, the issuance of business and construction permits, and health services. The surveys were not intended to provide aggregate findings for overall satisfaction in each province but only at the surveyed agency level.
“This is the first time we undertook a user feedback survey at the service delivery point level and we found the findings to be very helpful,” said Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, Chairman of the Phu Tho Provincial People’s Committee. “Based on those findings we can take specific actions to improve our public services.”
The four participating provinces were actively involved in the decision-making and administration of the surveys. Provincial and agency staff were also trained in undertaking user surveys so that they can conduct similar research in the future. The surveys were, however, undertaken by independent interviewers. All four provinces have incorporated funding for future surveys into their annual budgets, ensuring that the research process will continue.
Opinion surveys supported by the World Bank in the four provinces provided a trove of new information to help government agencies devise policies to improve service delivery and also created a foundation for similar research in the future.