Improvement of Public Services

Project description

Project title: Improvement of Public Services Project (IPSP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Egypt
Lead executing agencies: Ministry of Local Development (MoLD), Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED)
Overall term: 2015 to 2021

Egypt. Using a citizen service centre. © GIZ

Context

Public administration in Egypt is inefficient and characterised by poor service delivery. The public service sector currently employs around seven million Egyptians, but in many areas access to public services is very limited. Even basic services for citizens are frequently organised in a complex way and assigned to different administrative levels and authorities. For citizens it is often unclear who is responsible and which documents they need to present for which service, and how long they will have to wait.

Egypt is currently stepping up decentralisation and modernisation of its public administration. The first efforts in this direction were undertaken before the upheaval of the Arab Spring in 2011 and the consequent dissolution of several governments. Since then, the pressure to reform services has become even greater. Indeed, better public services were one of the key demands of the revolution. The Egyptian Government is therefore keen to make immediately visible improvements in services for citizens. Overall, however, in both rural and urban areas it lacks the appropriate structures and competent staff to achieve this goal.

Objective

Citizens have improved access to public services at local level.

Approach

The Egyptian people are to gain better access to services, and be guaranteed new, customer-oriented and innovative services. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is working on various approaches to this end. Local citizen service centres (CSCs) are being modernised, while service provision is being expanded in areas that were previously underserved. Here, use is being made of internet-based applications and minibuses operating as mobile service units. Citizens therefore have access to standard one-stop contact points for everyday administrative services.

Working procedures and processes in administrations are also to be standardised, simplified and made transparent. Citizens will have more options for communicating and interacting with the state. For example, they will be able to establish contact via the internet, email and regular exchange forums in communities. The project is supporting training and professional development for staff in the CSCs so as to enhance their organisational and technical skills. This not only improves their service orientation but also leads to better service for citizens overall. Events, information campaigns and other channels are also used to make citizens more aware of their civic rights and duties.

Results

Egyptian citizens now have access to the Public Services Map, which provides a wide range of information on the 500 most demanded governmental services. Three different types of innovative service channels (municipality buses, tablets, e-kiosks) were introduced in the target areas to facilitate citizens’ access to municipal services, especially for the elderly, people with disability and citizens living in remote areas. The new service channels are connected to the operating system in the partnering municipalities. 16 Citizens Service Centers (CSCs) are fully upgraded by IPSP. This includes the automation and connection of the back offices to the front offices and the provision of IT systems, furniture and archiving systems. To enhance the efficiency and transparency of public services and the accountability of civil servants, more than 700 public employees have already benefited from IPSP’s integrated capacity building programme.

Egypt. Testing the public services map in Shubra, Cairo Governorate. © GIZ

Further information