Updated Mar 29, 2019

Blair Glencorse

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The Citizen Helpdesks are a pioneering citizen feedback, dialogue and community voice platform to ensure accountability in the development process by closing feedback loops in communities.

Communities select a dedicated groups of volunteers, often local journalists, called Community Frontline Associates, who act as two-way information collection and dissemination units. The CFAs gather information on critical problems on a monthly basis through community surveys, relaying this information to the Lab's dedicated teams who coordinate with local and national power-holders. The Lab ...
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Communities select a dedicated groups of volunteers, often local journalists, called Community Frontline Associates, who act as two-way information collection and dissemination units. The CFAs gather information on critical problems on a monthly basis through community surveys, relaying this information to the Lab's dedicated teams who coordinate with local and national power-holders. The Lab feeds validated information on these issues back into communities through local radio shows, community meetings and infographics in local languages, facilitating conversations about key local concerns and working with partners to solve problems. This process is used to ensure that all stakeholders understand how and when development will take place (as outlined in development agreements, legislation, or policies for example), to build accountability into local decision-making in real-time, and to close the feedback loop between citizens, governments, the media and the private sector.
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Stage 5: Scaling

The Helpdesks model began in response to the post-earthquake effort in Nepal, and has since been adapted and implemented in Liberia and Mali - closing the loop on challenges ranging from migration to natural resource management and security issues.

Focus Areas:

Citizen Participation, Good Governance, Peace and Resilience and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Citizen Participation, Good Governance, Peace and Resilience, Human Trafficking and Natural ResourcesSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nepal, Liberia and Mali

Nepal, Liberia and MaliSEE LESS

3
Countries Implemented In
50,000
Customers
20
Employees
$400,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

The Citizen Helpdesks address the inaccessibility or misinformation in communities between stakeholders (private sector, public sector and civil society) by creating a platform for dialogue and feedback.

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Solution

The Helpdesks model is a systematic process of collecting citizen concerns, building feedback loops across a community of stakeholders and facilitating joint problem resolution.

Target Beneficiaries

The Helpdesks primarily support citizens by integrating them into decision-making processes in their communities, but also include local leadership, government and the private sector into these feedback loops.

Mission and Vision

Through better feedback loops, communities can benefit from i) greater citizen engagement and ii) more accountability in the development process.

Competitive Advantage

CHDs are an alternative to traditional ways of collecting citizen feedback and supporting problem resolution in that they are 1) adaptive – the model evolves over time and is not wedded to pre-defined logframes; 2) sustainable – the model is low-cost and volunteer driven; and 3) collaborative – the model brings all relevant stakeholders into the conversation, which we have seen promotes trust instead of tension over time.

Planned Goals and Milestones

The Lab is currently exploring new sectors and countries for Citizen Helpdesks to be piloted in. The Lab has also codified the process for launching and maintaining Citizen Helpdesks to help other organizations interested in closing feedback loops to incorporate similar processes into their operations and programmatic work.
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted50,000
New Implemented CountriesMali, Liberia
RecruitCountry advisor; Programs & Learning Manager (Liberia)
New FeatureWe are exploring new countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa for scaling CHD, as well as new sectors/topics including gender based violence and health.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Accountability Lab Nepal, Liberia and Mali are locally registered entities that individually run Helpdesks with the support of Accountability Lab US team.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Apr 2018
New Country Implemented In
Mali
Aug 2017
New Country Implemented In
Liberia
Apr 2015
New Country Implemented In
Nepal
Apr 2015
Created

Supporting Materials

ALAB-GIZ-BMMC-Final-Final-Survey-Report-.pdf