Bringing Public Service to the doorsteps of Citizens through Facebook
Kuliya is a village at Ghatail union in Ghatail upazila. There is a pond in this village covering a large demesne measuring 508 acres. Nobody knows the history of its excavation. The villagers have been using it for generations. The government has acquired the possession of this land.
However a person suddenly took control of the pond. In response, another person named Abdus Sattar Khan wrote a Facebook post about it mentioning no property should be encroached in such way – whether it is a government or a private property. This simple Facebook post has later changed the scenario.
Another person as part of his social responsibilities shared Mr. Khan’s Facebook post on ‘Public Service Innovation Group’ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/publicserviceinnovationblog/). Following the post, Tangail’s Deputy Commissioner instructed me to submit a detailed report on the encroached pond. After a detailed investigation, I found that the land was still under government ownership and it has been leased out to authentic local fishermen for a while.
Following the investigation, the administration took the initiative to rescue the pond. Had it not been circulated via Facebook, the powerful grabber would easily have taken away all the catches of fish from that pond. Facebook, as a medium, has made it possible to create a new platform for the government to prevent such problems.
It should be noted therefore, that at the local government level, Facebook is being regularly used by the government.
Facebook has now become a new medium for establishing accountability. Nowadays even the influential people are not spared anymore. The administration can now bravely work as well. Because of Facebook, the local administration can easily pass orders to subordinates via Facebook to take action. There is no more ambiguity at work. The results are also being visible to the public.
Not only that the entire process is paperless, but also transparent. The key policymakers have also been involved to support the process. The principal secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office once wrote: “This urgent matter needs to be resolved.” The field administration will undoubtedly become more courageous at work if policymakers continues to back them.
*The Writer is the Upazilla Nirbahi Officer, Ghatail, Tangail.