Projekts “Vietējo NVO kapacitātes celšana publisko pakalpojumu nodrošināšanā sievietēm un citām ievainojamām grupām lauku apvidos. Atbalsts Sieviešu Konsultatīvo grupu izveidei 7 pilotcentros.”
Projekta mērķis ir paaugstināt nevalstisko organizāciju kapacitāti valsts pakalpojumu nodrošināšanā sievietēm un citām iedzīvotāju grupām ievainojamās situācijās lauku apvidos Uzbekistānā un veicināt sieviešu konsultatīvo grupu izveidi 7 pilotvietās, valsts pakalpojumu centros.
Projekts, kas tiek īstenots sadarbībā ar Uzbekistānas ANO Attīstības programmu, kuru finansē Eiropas Savienība un LR Ārlietu ministrija.
Projekts sekmēs publisko pakalpojumu pieejamību Uzbekistānas reģionos sievietēm un citām iedzīvotāju grupām ievainojamās situācijās. Projektā sadarbībā ar nevalstiskajām organizācijām un palīdzības sniedzēju organizācijām tiks izveidotas 7 sieviešu konsultatīvās grupas 7 valsts pakalpojumu centros reģionos, lai sekmētu nevalstisko organizāciju iesaisti valsts pakalpojumu nodrošināšanā.
Centrs MARTA sekmē procesa virzību, nodrošina ekspertu apmācību konsultatīvo grupu attīstībai un vadīšanai sadarbībā ar partnerorganizāciju Uzbekistānā - Pilsonisko iniciatīvu atbalsta centru (CISC).
Nodrošinātas studiju vizītes Latvijā, kā arī ekspertu monitoringa vizītes Uzbekistānā.
Izveidots tiešsaistes kurss (5-7 video) sieviešu konsultatīvo grupu konsultantiem un personām, kas strādā ar sievietēm un personām ievainojamās situācijās par dzimumu līdztiesību, diskrimināciju, vardarbību pret sievietēm, komunikāciju ar mērķa grupām u.c.
Projekta ilgums 2021. gada aprīlis – 2023. gada novembris
‘Documents move, not citizens’ – reforming Uzbekistan’s public service delivery system
Uzbekistan’s first Public Service Centers were established five years ago, as a means of ensuring wider use of public services, reducing the time and financial costs of accessing services, and increasing the population’s satisfaction with how state bodies serve them.
Public Service Centers (PSCs) deliver services to individuals and legal entities using the ‘one stop’ principle, by which the public can access a service through one visit to a single office. Delivering this fast, high-quality and transparent service requires avoiding bureaucracy and administrative obstacles. It requires the ability to transfer documents and information digitally between offices. Lastly there is the need to ensure compliance with requirements of legal documents and administrative regulations for providing public services.
The PSCs were established as part of the Ministry of Justice system as a means of successfully implementing reforms in the field of public services, and to provide legal support for them.
The principle of ‘documents move, not citizens’ has been identified as a central principle for providing public services. A solid legal framework has been established to regulate this area, particularly based on the laws ‘On administrative procedures’ and ‘On licensing, permitting and notification procedures’.
As a result of implemented legal and organizational measures, PSCs have become centers for solving problems faced by the population, while also simplifying relations between state organizations and citizens.
The number and variety of services offered at Uzbekistan’s PSCs are steadily increasing. 280 types of services are currently delivered through PSCs, compared to the 37 offered through the first centers established. 100 new services were offered in 2022 alone. Every day 40,000 to 40,500 citizens access the centers, which to date have completed 42,000,000 service deliveries, ten million in just the last nine months of 2022.
A new practice of mailing the final results of 28 types of public inquiries has meant that in many cases citizens only have to visit a PSC once to address a matter.
Great efforts have been made to ensure that PSC buildings are modern, accessible and convenient for citizens living across Uzbekistan, including for those in our nation’s rural and remote areas.
PSCs have been established across all of our republic’s 208 districts and cities. Modern buildings have been built to house 176 PSCs, 75 established through public-private partnerships. Critically 138 PSC branches have been set up in remote, mountainous areas of Uzbekistan, between 50 and 100 kilometres away from district urban centers. Local citizens no longer have to make long trips to access services.
Today PSCs have all amenities needed by visitors, including waiting rooms equipped with electronic queue systems, information stands, self-service corners, medical assistance, bookshelves and children's playgrounds, Wi-Fi zones, and cafes. Sign language interpretation is available for citizens with hearing and speech impairments, used by 218 citizens over nine months of 2022.
Digitizing service delivery with blockchain technology
The Ministry of Justice has done an unprecedented job in helping digitize Uzbekistan’s public services. In the past 3 years, more than 70 million archival documents of the civil registry office have been scanned and stored digitally, making it possible to digitize the delivery of civil registry services in Uzbekistan.
The process of providing public services related to registration of civil status records is being developed using the ‘principle of continuous improvement’.
Incorporating blockchain technology into the system of electronically registering civil status records has guaranteed the reliability and security of these records.
The Ministry of Justice helped create a Data Processing Center (DCP), equipping it with modern server devices and equipment needed to store, process and digitize archival documents in the registry system.
Applying this technology in the Civil Registry’s single electronic archive has eliminated existing bureaucratic processes and improved quality of service, ensuring safe storage and simplified access to information on the life events of citizens.
Services offered on a mobile basis
Mobile state services have been established to better assist citizens living in Uzbekistan’s remote areas. These services have been utilized 500,000 times over nine months of 2022.
Specially-adapted vehicles function as these PSCs, equipped with modern information and communication tools. Effective from 2019, all services provided through PSCs are also offered through mobile services.
What does this give the population? Regardless of where they live or where they are registered, citizens and entrepreneurs will be able to use services at places convenient for them.
Making the public aware of online services
Today in Uzbekistan we talk more about digital government, rather than the concept of e-government. Necessary legal framework and infrastructure has been established, and the ‘Digital Uzbekistan – 2030’ state programme has been adopted.
It has become essential to educate citizens on using public services online, and improving their skills in this direction. One key step in this progress has been establishing self-service corners at PSCs, the use of which are guided by customers service assistants, which have helped citizens access online services in a simple way. From 2020 to 2022 the use of online services has steadily increased from 3.1 million instances per year to 9.6 million in the first nine months of 2022.
From 1 August 2022 a ‘Mobile-ID’ for personal identification has been introduced into the public services system. This alternative means of identification has served to fully implement the principle of ‘from web to app’.
Limiting documents requested from citizens
To reduce bureaucracy and red tape in public service provision, the need for Uzbekistan’s citizens to present 73 types of documents and references has been cancelled, alongside the simplifying of more than 200 procedures.
This means that more than 20 million people each year have been freed from excessive paperwork, from travelling to offices, and from bearing the financial costs of visiting government offices.
Documents that can no longer be requested from citizens include identity documents and photos, and employment records. The practice of requiring these documents has been in place for the last 80 years, causing annoyance and frustration to citizens. Reducing document requests has radically improved relations between state and citizens.
Multiple services delivered through a single citizen request
Services have been strategically packaged as a way of preventing citizens from wasting time while moving from office to office – interrelated public services delivered in a composite form, on the basis of a citizens’ single request.
For example, when registering their child’s birth at a PSC, parents will be simultaneously registering their baby at a polyclinic, sending an application to receive the one-time financial allowance for new parents, registering their baby at their permanent address, and entering the queue for state preschool education. Achieving all these once-separated outcomes through a single process not only saves new parents time and financial resources, but also eliminates the need for them to submit 15 individual documents. For the average 70,000 births recorded each month in Uzbekistan, parents have been saved 280,000 visits to public offices, and the equivalent of over a million USD in financial costs.
Proactive service delivery
“The best service is something you didn’t even notice you needed.” Uzbekistan’s PSCs are laying the groundwork for providing citizens with proactive assistance – addressing potential concerns ahead of time. For example, starting in November 2022, the system of assigning care allowances to children who have disabilities or who are HIV-positive is being implemented in a ‘proactive form’ which does not require additional documentation from citizens.
Public Service Centers functioning as free legal advice centers
The legal advisory offices of Uzbekistan’s ‘Madad’ NGO are located in the buildings of the district and city PSCs, providing free primary legal assistance on legal issues, including online advice and explanations. This service has helped develop the population’s awareness of and access to impartial legal assistance. In nine months of 2022, free legal aid was provided to 101,530 citizens through this means.
Monitoring PSC service delivery
Situation centers are recognized as being one of the most effective means of implementing a situational approach to strategic management. Between 300 and 1,500 applicants visit PSCs and Civil Registry Offices daily. A Situation Center has been established at the Ministry of Justice, to monitor the quality and speed of service delivery, and identify related problems in a timely manner.
The integrated centralized repository of the situation center combines information from various sources, and uses this to guide management decision-making. It helps streamline the remote monitoring, forecasting and analysis of provided services, while also assessing employees’ work and compliance with ethical rules.
A consistent, comprehensive analysis of dynamically-developing situations helps identify main problems and issues, and find best solutions for resolving these going forward.
Citizens are increasingly satisfied with PSCs
The Ministry of Justice, in close partnership with international organizations, has continually studied citizens’ satisfaction with public services. As part of the ‘Improved Public Service Delivery and Enhanced Governance in Rural Uzbekistan’ project implemented together with the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, an anonymous survey was conducted by a third party among PSC visitors. It found that 90 percent of citizens visiting the centers were satisfied with the services offered, and highly rated the assistance of public-facing employees.
A unique paradigm shift
Uzbekistan’s population can see that the principle ‘documents move, not citizens’ is not just a lofty statement, but a reality. Uzbekistan’s Public Service Centers work to embody the national objective expressed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev: “Let the state agencies serve the people, not the people serve the state agencies.” Seeking a citizen-centric mode of operation encourages an innovative search for new solutions that will genuinely meet citizens’ needs.
The government development project being jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union has supported key reforms made in this direction.
Anyone who visits Uzbekistan’s Public Service Centers can see that their established environment, and the quality and speed of services, is being constantly refined and improved. Of course there are still shortcomings, which are being constantly addressed. Our goal is to provide highest standards of service to every citizen who seeks government assistance.
Mr. Hudayor Meliev
Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and national coordinator of the joint project of the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union ‘Improved Public Service Delivery and Enhanced Governance in Rural Uzbekistan’