Story Contributors: Harvey Chimaliro & Chimwemwe Kaonga, Concerned Youth Organization
Concerned Youth Organization on 14th November, 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Blantyre City Council to review, launch and implement its service charter.
Blantyre City Council some 10 years ago developed its Service Charter. However, the Council did not launch and operationalize the Charter hence compromising the service delivery to its residents in line with the stipulated Service Charter standards. Further, it meant that there has been no social pact between the Council and its citizens. In that regard, citizens could not take the council accountable for its service delivery. The project that CYO is implementing managed to contribute towards improved health service delivery at community level even in other parts of the City. However, since the Service Charter was not officially launched and operationalized, the sustainability to improve service delivery would not be guaranteed. In this view, in this project cost extension one of the focus is to engage the Council to review, launch and operationalize the Service Charter.
CYO have had a series of engagement meetings with the BCC management to lobby for the review of service charter which will lead to the launch and implementation of the charter. The Council then agreed to review the charter in partnership with CYO and other relevant stakeholders. A technical team was appointed by Blantyre City Council to work hand in hand with CYO to develop a work plan and some terms of reference. An MOU was later drafted with inputs from both parties. By signing the MOU, BCC has demonstrated high level of responsiveness and commitment to the principles of good governance as seen by fast tracking the process of signing the MOU in order to spearhead the Service Charter review.
The signing of the MOU is a milestone and a step ahead towards improved service delivery at city level, accountability and responsiveness. The review of service charters and its implementation will contribute towards improving efficiency and accountability and achieve a positive performance transformation in the delivery of public services hence in line with Public Reforms.
The Service Charters is a tool to drive public service delivery towards a more responsive customer-focused approach. In this regard, the significance of the Service Charter is that it expresses the Council’s dedication to serve the public and become answerable to its service citizens in the event of non-compliance.
The Service Charter will therefore serves as a vital communication tool between the Council and its residents. As such, good working relations between Blantyre City Council and its clients remain central to the success of the Charter.