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Misra, D.C.(2008) IFCs&Egov_ IIPA_ 28.2.08


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A presentation on Information and Facilitation Counters (IFCs), also known as Reception/Enquiry Office and what E-government can do about them, made in Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi on February 28, 2008.

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Misra, D.C.(2008) IFCs&Egov_ IIPA_ 28.2.08

  1. 1. Revitalising Information and Facilitation Counters Linking IFCs with E-government 1
  2. 2. Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi Workshop on Effective Functioning of Information and Facilitation Counters Monday, February 18, 2008 (12 p.m.) IFCs and E-government 2 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  3. 3. Revitalising Information and Facilitation Counters (IFCs) A presentation by by Dr D.C.Misra E-government Consultant At Large New Delhi, India  Email:  Web:  Think Tank:  Tel: 91-11- 2245 2431  Fax: 91-11- 4244 5183 IFCs and E-government 3 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  4. 4. What is proposed to be covered? 1. Double Loop Learning 2. Citizen Expectation 3. Reasons for Low Capacity 4. State-Citizen Eco-system 5. Understanding Citizens 6. Five Roles of Citizen 7. Functions of IFCs IFCs and E-government 4 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  5. 5. What is proposed to be covered? 1. Problems of IFCs (IIPA) 2. Problems of Call Centres 3. Linking IFCs with E-government 4. IFC & E-government: Example 1 5. IFC & E-government: Example 2 6. IFC Problems and their Solution 7. IFCs in Era of E-government 8. Conclusion: Strategy for Revitalising IFCs IFCs and E-government 5 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  6. 6. I. Double Loop Learning  Single loop learning is linear, in the same direction and incremental  Double loop learning questions the fundamental assumptions  There has been a sea-change in state- citizen relationship during last decade  The old service models are no longer valid  There is thus urgent need to revitalise Information and Facilitation Counters (IFCs) IFCs and E-government 6 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  7. 7. II Citizen Expectation  New technologies like mobile phone and the Internet have fuelled this expectation  Ciizens’ faith in new technologies has been re-enforced by successes in banking, railway reservation, etc.  This has been further re-enforced by new legislation like Right to Information Act (RTI)  Citizen expectation from government has risen sky-high while government’s capacity to meet it has plummeted IFCs and E-government 7 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  8. 8. Citizen Expectation and Government Capacity Expectation-Capacity Graph Government Capacity Citizen Expectation IFCs and E-government 8 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  9. 9. III Reasons for Low Capacity  Introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs)  Rise in Citizen Expectation  Financial Constraints (Budget)  Physical Constraints (Infrastructure)  Manpower Constraints (Untrained Staff)  Back Office Support (Inadequate) IFCs and E-government 9 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  10. 10. IV State-Citizen Eco-System  A complex grievance redressal eco- system has developed  Despite this, citizens continue to be aggrieved both from public sector as well as private sector  A typical solution is to have yet another channel to redress grievance rather than have a close look at grievance redress eco-system IFCs and E-government 10 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  11. 11. Grievance Redressal Eco-System E-Complaints/Email/Discussion Groups/Blogs/E-petition E-GOVERNMENT Court of Cabinet Secretariat ISO Standard Law Central Vigilance Call Centres Right to Commission Consumer Information Act Forum Public Interest Administrative Litigation Reforms Citizen Commission Charters States Newspaper Public Grievance (Grievance Page) Commission Special Districts Adalats Citizen Advisory Anti-Corruption Bureaus Bureau Municipalitie Panchayats s Ministry/Department IFCs and E-government Department of Administrative 11 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008 Reforms and Public Grievances CITIZENS
  12. 12. E-Government Channels for Redressal of Citizen Grievances  Interactive Voice Response System  Complaints Online (Portal)  Email  Discussion Group  Blog  Wiki  E-petition IFCs and E-government 12 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  13. 13. V. Understanding Citizens  There is no proper term for the person being served by government  Citizen, a term of convenience, hides a wide variety like non-citizens (e.g. tourists, immigrants, children, etc.) and other stakeholders like businesses  One-size-fits-all approach will not work in serving the citizens  To serve him requires understanding him  A citizen interacts with state in following five ways as: IFCs and E-government 13 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  14. 14. VI Citizen-State Interaction (a) Information Seekers (of government programmes and projects) (b) Service Users (of public services like education, health, etc.) (c) Beneficiaries (of public programmes like NREGP, pensions, etc.) (d) Compliers (with laws, rules and regulations like payment of taxes) and (e) Stakeholders (in public policies and programmes which affect their life and living) IFCs and E-government 14 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  15. 15. Citizen-State Interaction  Citizen needs in We want service these capacities have to be identified and met by Information and Facilitation Centres (FCs) IFCs and E-government 15 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  16. 16. VII. Functions of IFCs  Provide information regarding services, schemes and procedure through brochures, booklets, reports etc.  Provide information regarding position of waiting lists and applications through computer screens updated every day and through computerized query to Departmental database. IFCs and E-government 16 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  17. 17. IFCs  Provide information regarding matters such as bill payment, registrations, land/house allotment, payments etc. on phone or personally to the public.  Provide forms which are to be utilized for various procedures even if the processing is to be done elsewhere. (Source: DARPG) IFCs and E-government 17 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  18. 18. VIII Problems of IFCs (i) Excessive burden and harassment (ii) Difficulty in obtaining information, which is sought (iii) Lack of required facilities (iv) Lack of authority to act proactively to render desired level of assistance (v) Role ambiguity (Source: IIPA) IFCs and E-government 18 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  19. 19. IX. Problems of Call Centres  There is ring but no one picks up phone (receiver off hook?)  Phone is constantly engaged (despite 3 and more calls)  Phone gets snapped (without any rhyme or reason)  Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) is time-consuming IFCs and E-government 19 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  20. 20. Call Centres  IVRS offers solution to limited problems  On different occasions, you are given different solution to same problem  Responding executive says that the problem is beyond him and he will refer it to higher ups  Responding executive often lies to cover up organisational deficiencies IFCs and E-government 20 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  21. 21. X Linking IFCs with E-government  E-government offers a practical strategy for revitalisation of IFCs  The essence of IFCs is provision of information, status of case and forms  E-government (government online) is ideally suited to meet these requirements  However, IFCs should be linked with e- government in proper manner and not the way these two examples show IFCs and E-government 21 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  22. 22. XI IFC and E-government: Example 1: Delhi Call Centre  Government of NCT of Delhi has launched a Call Centre Aap ki Sunwai at Tel No. 155345  Simultaneously it also launched its website at  When I accessed the site, it displayed “Site is under construction.” (What was the hurry in launching the website without preparation?)  Also, why the site has been registered under .com domain and not under .gov domain? Can’t we have a standardisation here? IFCs and E-government 22 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  23. 23. XII IFC and E-government: Example 2: National Do Not Call Registry  At long last, a National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry has been set up at  You register your landline as well as your mobile phone in the registry  Despite registration and expiry of notice period, you continue to receive calls from tele-marketers  What can you, as an aggrieved party, do in the matter? IFCs and E-government 23 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  24. 24. XIII IFC Problems and Their Solution SN Problem Solution 1 Excessive Migrate Citizens to burden and Government On Line harassment 2 Difficulty in (a) Improve management obtaining information system (MIS) information, (b) Link IFCs with which is sought departmental websites IFCs and E-government 24 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  25. 25. IFC Problems and Their Solution 3 Lack of required Provide required facilities facilities 4 Lack of authority Empower the Officer-in- to act proactively Charge of Information to render desired and Facilitation Centres (IFCs) level of assistance 5 Role ambiguity Define the role clearly (Source: IIPA) and in writing IFCs and E-government 25 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  26. 26. XIV IFCs in the Era of E-government  E-government has been an outstanding success in first round, namely, in provision of information  Since IFCs have the same objectives, namely provision of information, IFCs can and should mesh with e- government IFCs and E-government 26 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  27. 27. XV. Conclusion: Strategy for Revitalisation of IFCs  First, understand the problem of the citizen (Time taken in understanding problem-70%, in delivering answers-30%)  Mesh IFCs with E-government  Lay emphasis on online self-service by citizens  Create structured knowledge (Heyman 2005) in Ministry/ Department and it to IFCs IFCs and E-government 27 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  28. 28. Strategy for Revitalisation of IFCs  Base structured knowledge on IFC’s past experience (queries asked)  Standardise answers by accuracy and same response to same question  Use IFC metrics to monitor functioning of IFCs  Reduce average handle time IFCs and E-government 28 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  29. 29. Strategy for Revitalisation of IFCs  Attempt to resolve problem in first call/visit (first call resolution-FCR)  Reduce escalation rate (so that a citizen does not have to make repeated visits to IFC) by providing complete service  Display prominently the existence of IFC on departmental website  Obtain citizen rating of performance of IFC IFCs and E-government 29 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008
  30. 30. End of Presentation Thank You. -- Dr D.C.Misra IFCs and E-government 30 © Dr D.C.Misra 2008