Best Citizen Friendly Government Departments in Kerala in Online
From our experience in running Tesz, a platform to answer citizen’s government-related queries, we have had the good fortune of working with helpdesks of all the major government departments in Kerala. This article explores the quality and swiftness in answering the queries of citizens by various government departments in Kerala via Tesz & other digital medium.
Before proceeding further, let us make a few things clear:
Citizen Friendliness is dependent on how well Government Departments answer the citizen's queries. These queries are general in nature and don’t fall under the RTI category.
This is an analysis of the friendliness of various Government Departments in Online medium. This has no correlation with their offline behavior.
All of these are based on our experience and can be subjective. We like to understand your experience, so do let us know if your experience has been different.
Six departments (KSEB, KSFE, Motor Vehicle Department, KILA, Kerala Startup Mission, Kerala Social Security Mission) on the list are on Tesz. However, we took great effort in making sure that our results are not biased.
We have analyzed government departments on the basis of two factors: Usefulness and Response time of answer.
How do we define Usefulness?
To define usefulness, we will first define a non-useful answer. A Low-Useful answer is generally short and tries to redirect questions without clear steps to help citizens.
Example: Check NVSP portal, Visit RTO, Check with KSEB section office.
While Useful Answers mention the process to follow and documents that are required for the application along with the timelines and other important details.
What is a good response time?
We consider anything below 2 hrs to be a good response time. Based on these factors, we have prepared this chart.
Using the two dimensions, we tried to map all the government departments in 2*2 matrix here.
A brief about the ease of engaging with each of the Government Departments online are provided below.
Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA): KILA manages the helpdesk for queries related to Panchayat, Municipality, and Corporation. The answers provided by them are very useful as it mentions the relevant acts and rules which help the users in verifying it. KILA's account on Tesz is a rich source of information for anyone dealing with Local Self Government Bodies in Kerala. As KILA provides the process to be followed and documents to be submitted for various processes, citizens can reduce the number of visits to Panchayat/Municipality/Corporation to get the things done.
Civil Supplies Department: Civil Supplies Department provides top-notch customer service round the clock through their FB page. All of our questions were answered by their team immediately irrespective of whether it is asked in office hours or not. The answers provided by them meets the exact definition of a useful answer.
KSEB: KSEB is a perfect example of how government organizations can use various social channels in a unified strategy to engage and build a stronger community on social channels. There is no other Government Department that uses all the social media channels such as FB, Twitter, Whatsapp, Tesz to answer the queries. KSEB is a case study for other departments on how to effectively use various social media channels to engage the citizens.
Norka: Norka provides real-time support to the citizens through their chat facility. Most of the times, we get quick response and answers seems to be useful.
MVD: We get detailed and great response on Tesz for RTO related queries compared to other social media channels. One interesting thing about MVD on Tesz is that users across the country check the answers provided by MVD. This might be because they didn’t get answers to a similar query from the MVD of that State.
KSFE: KSFE provides detailed answers to chitty related queries on our platform in a reasonable time. However, we have seen queries on Pravasi Chitty getting delayed responses given the complexity involved in it.
KSIDC: KSIDC provides detailed answers to approvals and licenses required to set up a business in Kerala. They have been swift on responding as well. Based on our experience, citizens are greatly benefited by asking their queries through Tesz to get it answered from KSIDC.
State Police Media Centre: We have limited experience with this department. However, we find the answers to be one or two sentences long, most of the times.
Kerala Social Security Mission, Kerala Startup Mission: Unlike Departments with a dedicated helpdesk team, these are Missions and don’t have the manpower to cater to citizen’s queries. Hence the reason for the delay. However, their answers are useful in spite of the delay.
State Election Commission Kerala, Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala: As the elections are due in Kerala, we get an increasing number of Voter ID related queries. As these institutions are the flag bearer of Voter Education, the answer we get to our queries are perfect example of a Non Useful answer.
Revenue Department: One department which receives the largest number of queries in our platform is the Revenue Department. But we don’t neither know about the presence of a helpdesk for this department nor whom to contact in that department for answers. However, we have a lot of experts in this area to answer queries.
There are many departments such as Education Department, Health Department, PSC, IPRD, CM Office, etc. which are not included in the list because there were very little or no queries with respect to these departments in our platform or in the social media to analyze.
Again a reminder that this is purely an exercise from our experience and we are eager to understand your experience with any of the government department’s services -both online and offline. Let us know your thoughts @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: 2*2 matrix is a relative graph based on our experience and can be subjective.