Botswana

  • Indicator 16.6.2: Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services

Data Source Digital Platform, Social media

Summary:

The government of Botswana is the biggest supplier of essential services across all sectors in Botswana, including health, education, land management and housing, sanitation, agriculture, business and trade, technology and innovation, safety and security, justice and rule of law, environmental management, transport, communications, immigration etc. In that regard, there is a need to track the relationship between the level of investments made by the public sector and the corresponding quality of services offered. Timely and reliable data for informed decision making were required for tracking the monitoring progress related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Furthermore, there was a need for regular feedback to line managers to improve services on the short term and to policy makers on the medium/long term. 

In general, in Botswana reliable and timely measurement of the SDGs is at risk of being inhibited by structural constraints on institutions, low quality data, limited technical capacities and insufficient financial investments in the area of data. Hence, Facebook was chosen as the main source of collecting data due to its popularity and accessibility among the public. A tool was introduced with an algorithm which collects frequently used words on Facebook to appear on a larger picture of collected words depending on the frequency of its usage. The more a word was used, the larger the picture would get, and the approach enabled quick data collection on trending concerns of citizens. The main challenge of this data process was the compliance with Facebook’s legal requirements. 

The major takeaways from this initiative: 

  • The public is more responsive to social media rather than traditional methods to provide feedback on their experience of public services. 
  • Partnerships are key and a much-needed currency for planning and implementation of successful initiatives.
  • Managing expectations from both clients & service providers is a complicated process as instant changes and results are expected. 
  • In data collection, there is a risk of leaving out groups that may not have mobile devices with internet access, and the sample group risk therefore to be deemed less representative of the public as a whole. 
  • Cost-effective Open Source data collection tool with the advantage of using an open source data that is affordable with low operational costs, relatively easy to manipulate and transferable to other partners.
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