Citizen empowerment in public services

This course focuses on customer-oriented policies in the public sector, as one of the manifestations of citizen empowerment in service delivery. These policies raise at least two controversies. First, many practitioners adopt these policies as technical fixes without grasping their political underpinnings: in particular, the implications of turning citizens into users, the use of universal service standards, or the personalisation of services to meet individual needs. Second, some practitioners treat user-oriented instruments as ends in themselves, often forgetting the real purpose of implementing those systems: the improvement of the quality of life of users and citizens.

This course is about the design and the implementation of an approach to enhance the satisfaction of users with public service delivery. It will offer students an analytical and practical ‘tool-kit’ that allows them to apply customer-focused policies at governmental and agency level. The knowledge also applies to non-governmental organizations. By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • segment users
  • assess the quality of a public service
  • propose results-oriented objectives that address the satisfaction of service users
  • consult and identify the satisfaction of users with service delivery
  • reflect on contested issues in this area
  • raft an organizational improvement plan

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.