Opinion
Use SMS technology to improve service delivery
Publish Date: Jul 17, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Phoebe Atukunda

According to Uganda Communications Commission website, in 2013 there were 16 million mobile phone subscribers in Uganda. Most Ugandans communicate easily using mobile technology in almost every household.
 
This technology can be effectively utilised to improve the delivery of public goods and services especially at local government levels. 
 
In 2013, the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) in partnership with Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA) launched the Local Government SMS Platform in selected districts across the country.
 
The SMS Platform is providing a method for citizens to send feedback in their local languages to their district leaders about public service deficiencies in their communities. The platform has opened another channel for citizens to communicate with their respective district leaders to improve the performance of local leaders and public service delivery ultimately. 
 
Short message service (SMS) is a mechanism of delivery of short messages over mobile networks.
 
The use of SMS technology helps in bridging the gap between communities and their leaders. It facilitates the flow of information, especially about public service delivery, corruption and human rights issues, among others.
 
It also presents an opportunity for political leaders, especially at local government level to improve contact with the electorate by providing feedback to communities in regard to public goods and services in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
 
This in turn reduces the cost of physical monitoring of service delivery units given its convenience. SMS is being used by other organisations in Uganda like UNICEF to monitor health and education related issue.
 
This has been through MTrack and EDUtrack 
Some research reports indicate that many citizens do not actually know the roles of their councillors.
 
However, many of the councillors themselves do not appropriately know their duties.  As per the Local Government Act, local leaders are responsible for, among other things, monitoring  government programmes and services within their sub counties, make by-laws for community development, participate  in sub county council meetings, representing  and speaking out on community issues in the district council. 
 
The participation of citizens in monitoring the delivery of public goods and services will help the Government improve its performance and create civic competence of citizens in demanding for good governance. 
 
The writer is a research officer with the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment

Related Stories

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Makerere University students strike can be averted
On Monday, 20th October 2014, Makerere witnessed yet another student’s strike. It was even reported by some sections of the media that One student had been injured....
Is Uganda
Being in the 91.3 Capital FM studios on Saturday 18th October for the Capital Gang hosted by Mr. Oscar Semweya Musoke reminded me of the saying- a good anvil does not fear the hammer....
Why Vision 2040 is and will still be illusive
Most policies in Uganda are very clear on paper but very ineffectively implemented due to the process always followed while formulating them; a policy should be drafted after a research, needs assessment, or a problem that needs to be solved....
Municipal bonds good, but let
I recently read in one of Uganda’s dailies that the Kampala Capital City Authority (“KCCA”) seeks to issue municipal bonds to raise much needed revenues for development purposes....
Educate a girl and reduce poverty
Despite the enormous progress of Universal Primary Education which has raised primary school enrolment from 2.7 to over 8.2 million in recent years, girls continue to suffer exclusion in education systems....
Scientists should take advantage of the president’s love for science
On several occasions President Museveni has come out to express his love for science and science based initiatives especially in value additions and energy as engines to drive economic growth...
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter