Home » Innovations »   04th January 2012   Print

Citizen Service Centers

As part of Global Communities’ continued efforts to improve local governance, we have partners with local municipalities to establish Citizen Service Centers. Under the Local Democratic Reform Program (LDR) funded by USAID, Global Communities constructed 13 Citizen Service Centers in 13 partner municipalities with the overall goal of reducing the time needed to process citizens’ applications and enhancing the efficiency and transparency of municipal service delivery. This initiative has continued under Global Communities’ Local Government and Infrastructure (LGI), also funded by USAID, with the planned completion of 11 more CSCs by the end of 2015.

The CSC provides a visible and functional means by which municipal management can demonstrate a new way of doing business to its citizens and, in the process, streamline a number of bureaucratic impediments.

The CSC houses all the municipal functions under one roof to make it easier for citizens to access services. LDR not only designed the concept and constructed the physical space to house these CSCs, but also provided the much-needed training to municipal staff on numerous related topics. In parallel, and in order to ease the management and storage of documentation, LDR also designed, developed, and implemented an Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) for the centers. The EDRMS is complementary to the CSC project and is an integrated content management system that increases efficiency by enabling municipalities to manage documents and records throughout the lifecycle, from creation to destruction.

Each CSC is strategically located in a highly visible area of the municipal hall or an adjacent building, and is staffed during office hours by an appropriate number of staff, who are well trained by the LGI team in answering citizens’ general questions, processing various types of citizen’s application, as well as in the IT system which backs up the CSC. The construction of each CSC is based upon a template providing it with a recognizable “look” to increase visibility as well as to be a symbolic means to communicate that Palestinian municipalities are progressing. Moreover,
the CSCs introduce automation of some of the services provided to citizens, setting a solid platform for future work on e-government and e-municipalities.

This initiative has proved to be a great success in its first few years of operation with citizens reporting that access to municipal services is 
now easier and less time-consuming. It is due to this success that Global Communities has continued expanding this initiative under the Local Government and Infrastructure program.