The Punjab Government has launched Punjab Model of Proactive Governance to fight corruption, improve service-delivery mechanism and to facilitate the citizens engagement by proactively seeking feedback of the people, who received any day-to-day government service. This Public Feedback Model is a special initiative of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to eliminate corruption at the grassroots and provide relief to the masses. First piloted in six select districts in Punjab, this project is now functioning in Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Jhang, Khanewal, Mandi Bahauddin, Nankana Sahib, Narowal, Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal, Sheikhupura and Sialkot. In the next phase, this Model will be implemented in 36 districts. Initially, important public dealing departments like Police, Health, Revenue and Education have been chosen to seek feedback of the people, as citizens deal with these departments on daily basis. To materialise this idea as an institutional entity, the Punjab Government, in partnership with the World Bank Country Office in Islamabad, submitted the proposal in the prestigious Innovation Fund Challenge of the World Bank conducted between its country offices. This proposal was one of the 13 proposals selected from among the 170 received from all the country offices and networks that got selected for the funding. The Punjab Government started implementing the Public Feedback Model in April 2010 in six districts, initially. After significant positive feedback, it has now set up a special cell in the CMs Secretariat and is supervised by Special Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal, who developed a pilot-project and contracted a state-of-the-art call centre in Lahore to institutionalise the idea so that people could be fully facilitated. According to Shahyar, who is associated with this project as a Consultant, the initial response of the people, when contacted by the call centres staff, has been of admiration and surprise; they never thought that the government would ever contact them and enquire about their problems. He said that this model will help to restore the publics confidence in government institutions and this is indeed a good sign. It has emerged as an effective tool for provincial and district officers to monitor the performance of various departments under their jurisdiction. It is giving the citizens an easily available platform to voice their opinion and demand improvement in service quality. It is important to note that the Punjab Model of Proactive Governance is fundamentally different from all contemporary mechanisms available to record citizens grievances and receiving complaints - it is not a complaint receiving mechanism to begin with; there are already a lot of mechanisms available for that purpose. This is a system where the 'state calls the citizens to enquiry about corruption or the quality of service delivered in their area. It is proactive and so not a passive place to receive complaints. It is not a call in service so there will be no situation where citizens call and go through a menu and then end up talking to a calling agent. There will only be one situation where citizens will call in. That will provide them with information about services being monitored. Under this Model, when a citizen goes to a government office to avail its services like driving licence, character certificate or property registration, the office records his or her mobile number along with the transaction details. This data is then passed on to the local officers and to a Call Centre in Lahore through an online data entry form or through SMS. The officers call selected citizens, while the call centre sends SMS messages to citizens and also calls them to inquire about the quality of services received. Thus, the province, instead of passively waiting for the citizens to file a complaint, if there is indeed cause of such a grievance, proactively engages the citizens and gets their feedback to improve service delivery and, especially, to weed out corrupt government officials. Unlike most such efforts in developing countries, this initiative has been taken by the Punjab government itself. This one of a kind Model of Proactive Governance aims at building sustained mutual trust with citizens, increasing citizens participation, reducing corruption and improving service-delivery by enabling effective monitoring. It is, however, very essential that this public friendly model should keep on working so that social acceptance to petty dishonesty and collusive corruption could be eliminated from the society, as it weakens the writ of the government and strengthens the corrupt officials and middlemen, who take advantage of the ignorance of the poor peoples, who have no knowledge about complicated government procedures. Most of the time, it is too complicated to take local petty officials to task because pursuing these things require a lot of energy and sustained efforts, which we usually lack. n The writer is a freelance columnist.