One of the biggest goals of our project is to empower residents of Kazan City. The sphere of housing and communal services is the field that concerns every resident of the city as life satisfaction is directly dependent upon living conditions. The higher the quality of the provision of services to the population in the field of housing and communal services, the higher the general welfare of the citizens of the city. In order to be able to influence the quality of the provision of services, not only supervisory methods on the part of local authorities should be applied. In addition, numbers of convenient and user-friendly services should be organised for residents. A direct channel of communication between managing organizations and residents for sending requests and receiving feedback. The only way we can really empower our residents is to make a universal channel of interaction between residents and city authorities.
How have you achieved this objective?
In order to achieve this goal we decided to implement an information system which will be designed to automate the processing of requests, dispatch, and control requests in the field of housing and communal service. It has a following tasks:
Direct and automated control over all processes (timeliness, analytics, reporting, feedback)
Single and unified work standard for all actors involved (general algorithm of proceeding, separation of powers, set rules for all participants, general document samples and single reporting requirements).
Unified process of requests handling in "unified window of requests submission". All requests are received via call centre or through E-system
Tracking module of execution where process control, standards and rules control are proceeded.
Monitoring and analysis on quality of requests execution is provided for all users in a personal cabinet.
Transition of hard-copy requests form into digital space.
Residents are granted a unified web-window to receive latest information on a status of their requests handling
Users have a feedback channel for comments, recommendations and critiques.
To what extent has this objective been achieved?
As a result of implementation we have achieved to engage residents into the process of management in the field of housing stock. Over the course of the project implementation there have been more than 2.5 million requests, 99% of which were successfully resolved. Citizens become interested actors now they can provide feedback. Also, due to the online voting system offered to users (results which then are publicly available on portal), housing and communal services started to operate more effectively and finally become more competitive. Reduction in the number of complaints proves that city residents started to resolve their problems using the system.
How has the experience been coordinated with other actors and processes?
All potential stakeholders were involved to make an expert examination and analysis for further project developments. The Committee for House and Communal Services proposed basic business processes which could be integrated into the pre-existing information system (IS). As a main executive body, the Committee for House and Communal Services recruited contracting, managing and resource-supplying organisations such as experts and future active executive participants of practice implementation. As they joined, the ecosystem of the project was completed. Following the analysis, it was decided to set up a call-centre where residents could address issues of communal services. Here, the Department of Information Technologies and Communications has become an important part of the practice. One of the managing organisations collected some feedback and comments during the pilot run, leading to some changes in the principles of the IS design in order to make a more user-friendly interface.
What has been the level of co-responsibility?
The Committee for House and Communal Services has become a functional operator. The committee monitors and audits contracting, managing and resource-supplying organisations on a regular basis.
The Department of Civil Protection took over part of the call-centre to receive and process requests from city residents. Up to 10,000 requests are being processed in peak load days.
The Information Technology and Communications Department acts as a technical operator of the system. It controls and assesses the efficiency of the IS and completes a regular system update.
Which is the most innovative aspect of the experience?
As part of system implementation, there has been a reengineering process with an eye to improvement and standardisation based on a target module to create a single unified environment to interact with requests and proposals. The execution is now being monitored automatically. Due to the implementation of the information system Open Kazan there is a required level of transparency provided in the field of housing and communal services through a constant access of users to data and analytics required.
To what extent is the procedure transferable?
Our project is fully scalable to the cities with apartment buildings and companies under the management. The City of Kazan is ready to share a methodological, organisational and technological experience. As a part of a sharing programme in the field of housing and communal services, this project has already been reintegrated in other Russian cities such as Grozny, Nizhnekamsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Almetyevsk, Usinsk, Innopolis, Gorno-Altaysk, Elabuga, Zainsk. As we see, this practice can be reapplied not only in big metropolitan areas but in smaller cities or districts as well. An analysis on house and communal services together with the launch of information system Open City and special educational classes for working staff is taking place in the cities which implement this practice.
Why do you consider that the experience is feasible?
One of the problems that made us aware of the necessity to run this project was to ensure project transparency in the field of communal services and residents' requests. An increase in transparency should be equal for all participating actors such as residents who send requests and executors as well who act as a controlling authority. As a part of implementation, we have reengineered procedure for requests processing. This included:
An extension of dispatching system where each executive actor has a strict and clear area of responsibility
Advanced channels of feedback and evaluation
Regulation of time-limits for stages of requests handling
Availability for all social groups
Reducing the number of executors for each request/complaintââ
Which evaluation and accountability mechanisms were used?
Since IS Open Kazan has been launched, it provides statistical data and the due reporting. End-to-end analytics are also available for users. There is an intuitive report constructor available in a personal cabinet, which can provide statistics in a different segment (city/district/suburb, contracting/managing organisation, organisation/physical person, types of service etc.). Report and statistics allows to reveal weak spots in the sector of house and communal service. End-to-end analytics unveil weak links in a process with a follow-up on error correction.
There are public ratings of managing organisations based on an online-voting system which help keep responsible parties more competitive. Based on the above, city authorities hold regular meetings with responsible parties in order to analyse mistakes and make work more effective. Therefore, monitored both by authorities and residents, IS Open Kazan has achieved a better quality of service.
Comments of the jury
Open Kazan is an interesting initiative to enhance service delivery and to respond faster to service problems while helping to reduce corruption.
Note: this experience was drafted by the institution which presented the candidacy for the 14th IOPD Award.