In 2011, as the Government of Nigeria and the World Bank explored how to improve key programs, they needed to first understand how citizens experienced public services. Previous attempts to gather citizen feedback had fallen flat. Many initiatives had overlooked key constraints to usage and adoption at both the government and community levels.
For example, while these programs encouraged government bodies to solicit, review, and act on public feedback, many did not establish formal mechanisms to incentivize or enforce these actions. The design of several programs also prevented widespread citizen participation. Rural citizens could not travel to designated offices in urban centers to share their grievances. Feedback hotlines sometimes routed to public officials’ personal phone lines, creating extremely narrow windows where those officials would accept incoming complaints. And absent past or current guarantees on government responses to public input, citizens were reluctant to invest time and energy in providing feedback. Recognizing this challenge, the World Bank engaged Reboot to develop mechanisms that could enable greater citizen input on the delivery of public services.