To ensure improved citizen access to public services, Bangladesh is implementing various innovations. They include simplifying the service delivery process, converting manual services to online and bringing services to the citizen’s doorstep. In the preliminary stage of e-governance, Bangladesh was often unable to justify and measure the effectiveness of these simplified, digitalized and ‘doorstep’ pilot innovations. At the early stage, when discussing innovation in the public service, civil servants and development practitioners were unclear about conceptualizing the ‘public service innovation’. They could not even identify the indicators to be recorded and tracked in order to measure innovation in the public service. Thus, Bangladesh faced difficulties in deploying a suitable tool that would demystify innovation and put citizens at the centre of efforts to improve public service delivery.
Towards a Solution
A time, cost and number of visits (TCV) measurement is a unique evaluation system of the Access to Information (a2i) programme to assess the current service system by measuring impact from the citizen’s point of view. TCV helps to enhance efficiency across all government services and explores how to develop more user-friendly online services based on empirical evidence.
The term ‘TCV’ is an acronym for three words that denote the three indicators of providing services: time, cost and (number of ) visits required for an average citizen to access services. TCV research considers time in terms of travel time, waiting time and service processing time. Similarly, it considers costs such as travel, the government representative’s time, service fees for assistance with applications, and communications costs such as mobile phone and Internet cost. The visit analysis considers the costs of visits for applications, follow-up or status update, and final delivery of service.
TCV research also explores the estimated and projected TCV savings for certain time periods. Estimated and projected TCV analysis is calculated based on average savings and the number of beneficiaries served or who will be served by the intervention within the defined time period, In addition to TCV analysis, beneficiaries’ satisfaction, the underlying reasons, key change factors, utilization of surplus time and cost, challenges, lessons learned and sustainability of the intervention are explored.
TCV research is conducted primarily to understand the changes caused by shifting to online services. It focuses on TCV innovations in agriculture, health, education and other public service sectors, which help reduce frustration in obtaining particular services. This is a simple tool for generating evidence that is easy to understand, clear and transparent.
To date, the a2i programme has conducted 102 TCV studies on simplified, digitalized and doorstep innovation services. Findings revealed that these 102 innovations reduced approximately 65 per cent of the time required, 66 per cent of the entire cost involved and 38 per cent of the visits needed. The TCV research justifies the effectiveness of these innovations.
TCV shows enormous potential for providing consumer- friendly services by assessing public services as well as recipients’ satisfaction. It has become an indicator for measuring government services from the national perspective. The Government has become more proactive and eager to provide innovative services to citizens that will reduce consumers’ TCV.
TCV has become a results management tool for measuring research, knowledge and innovation. Reducing TCV has now become the byword for innovation within the Bangladesh Government. Reducing citizens’ TCV to access public information and services places citizens at the centre and offers simple parameters to measure and communicate efforts to improve public services and their delivery
systems. TCV research allows the Government to promote its activities, which in turn encourages the Government to provide more citizen-focused services. TCV measurement helps the Government decide whether to scale up this innovation and stimulates it to implement more online or automation projects.
Other developing countries can use TCV research to carry out innovation in their public services. In December 2017, Bangladesh shared the experiences of these innovations in the South-South international workshop organized in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The TCV model was appreciated by the participating countries.
Sustainable Development Goal target(s): 16.6
Supported by: Government of Bangladesh, UNDP and USAID
Implementing entities: Access to Information (a2i) Programme, ICT Division, Bangladesh
Project status: Ongoing
URL of the practice: goo.gl/bKtbcF
Name: Ms.RumanaSharmin,ResultsandKnowledge Management Expert, Access to Information (a2i) Programme, Bangladesh
Name: Mr. Md. Shaheenur Rahman, Senior Assistant Chief, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh
Email: email@example.com ; sas-un5@ erd.gov.bd