A Critical Analysis of the Conceptualization and Implementation of Citizens’ Charters: Case Studies from UK, India, South Africa and Ethiopia

Fekadu Nigussa


Citizens’ quest for efficient and effective public service delivery, the economic and fiscal pressures in the 1970s and early 80s and the revival of new right politics necessitated to change the way public sector was functioning in western countries. Management ideas were proliferated, packaged and marketed by international management consultants, donor advocacy and lending conditions of international financial institution. Citizens’ Charter (CC) approach to service delivery is one of the systems introduced to ensure quality service to citizens and foster transparency and accountable among service providers. Recently, Ethiopia introduced the charter approach to public service delivery, but needs much to learn from countries like UK, India and South Africa who have a cumulative experience in the area. This study aims to critically analyse the conceptualization and implementation of Citizens’ Charter. It also provides case study analyses of United Kingdom, India, South Africa and lesson drawn for Ethiopia. Accordingly, the challenges are conceptual, bad record track and pick-drop culture of reform tools, the top-down approach or lack of adequate consultation of stakeholders and lack of implementation capacity.

Keywords: Citizens’ Charter, Transparency, Accountability, Service Delivery, Ethiopia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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