LAHORE - A Punjab government initiative, the Citizen Feedback Model (CFM), has won the top prize at an international innovation competition held in Kenya on 3rd April 2014 at the “Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition”.

The competition, launched at the Open Government Partnership, scouted the world for fresh ideas to boost citizen’s engagement and government accountability. The three-day event attracted 196 entries from all over the world.

The initiative, has been developed and perfected by the government of Punjab, where millions of citizens give direct feedback on government services availed by them. The innovation is an attempt to improve governance through information management, where citizens are asked to respond to confirm the level of satisfaction about a government service they had availed.

The model evolved from the Jhang model where an ex- DCO, Zubair Bhatti began calling up citizens to confirm whether they were satisfied or had to face problems in dealing with government functionaries.

The initiative is being used in land mutation transactions and education. It enables education monitors to report through smart phones and ringing parents helped improve attendance of teachers and students increase from 78 percent to 92 percent. The initiative is likely to be extended to health, livestock, agriculture and other sectors. The Chief Minister Punjab has recently ordered that the CFM be utilized for assessing the wheat procurement drive throughout the province this year.

The Global Innovation Competition Jury comprised prominent experts in information systems and governance, together with other peers. The Chair of Jury who selected the initiative, Dr Sheila Ochugboju, explained: “This performance management system has three components; it is result-based, focuses on inclusion and uses tested technology. In addition, this is a model that can be replicated outside of Pakistan.” The two runner-ups, were GEM - Going the Extra Mile from South Africa and Reducing Maternal Mortality with SMS from Indonesia.

The global innovation competition of Making All Voices Count was set up to recognise and reward cutting-edge innovations that enhanced government transparency and accountability.