LIBTALK is a national mobile and online platform for direct, near real-time exchange between the citizens of Liberia and their Government on the delivery of public services. Through LIBTALK, citizens will share their services concerns and experiences with Government Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs), and receive relevant timely feedback and redress.
The Government of Liberia has set for itself an overarching goal of uniting its people and building a prosperous, inclusive and progressive state. Pillar 4 of the PAPD on governance and transparency seeks to build capable, trusted and accountable state institutions able to drive an effective and sustainable socioeconomic development agenda.
Receiving and responding to citizens' concerns, experiences and perspectives about its performance, in particular, in delivering key public services, forms a key part, not only of gauging the performance of these institutions, but also of generating the evidential basis neeeded to guide their further improvement.
LIBTALK serves both purposes, providing a platform enabling citizens to bring their voices to bear directly on the type and quality of services they receive, and a robust base of data and information needed to enable continuing improvement of services and relevant policies.
Primarily, LIBTAK is designed as a Citizen's Feedback Mechanism. Using his or her mobile phone and a designated short code, or, writing directly into the relevant section of the libtalk portal, a citizen is able to send a short message indicating his or her experience with the delivery of a particular public service.
The message is then verified and categorized by the LIBTALK system and channelled immediately to the concerned service provider for feedback and action. In subsequent engagements, the service provider (a MAC) communicates specific measures being taken to address the issue raised by the citizen.
A key feature of the design of the Citizens’ Feedback Mechanism, consists in its escalation function. The message sent to the frontline provider is simultaneously relayed to higher levels within the service delivery chain, ensuring prompt response and resolution.
The CFM analytic function enables aggregation and analysis of the resulting exchanges between citizens and service providers across counties and service sectors, generating a robust body of vital data and information from which further analysis can be made of various aspects of public service delivery, such as efficiency, professionalism, responsiveness and accountability of service providers.
Effective delivery of public services necessitates citizens’ active participation in and oversight of the processes involved. Often however, lack of adequate information about government policies, plans and services (types, availability, quantities, providers and budgets) constrains their meanigful exercise of this role. Through its mobile and web platform, LIBTALK will help fill this gap by making vital data, analysis and information available to citizens. Under its policy of “No voice left behind” LIBTALK will partner with various stakeholders, including civil society organizations and institutions to ensure all citizens, especially those likely to be excluded on account of being non-literate or lacking mobile devises, participate in informing public service delivery and related policies