A municipal employee at the newly-launched information service desk
USAID's RAMP UP
The information service desk set up with USAID support in southern Afghanistan’s largest municipality makes it more responsive
4 FEBRUARY 2013 | KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN
Kandahar’s residents say their lives have been transformed since the installation of the information service desk in May 2012. Gul Ahmad, who lives in Kandahar City, says, “Before, when I visited the municipal offices, I didn’t know how to process my application and where to submit it. Once, I came to the municipality and submitted an application to register house ownership and I was told to come in after one week. When I returned, my application was lost. Now, it is very easy to access each particular department. One day I submitted my request to the information service desk, and received the response as soon as the following day.”
Kandahar, the largest municipality in southern Afghanistan, is now able to better meet the needs of its residents thanks to this information service desk established by USAID. The desk officers respond to requests for assistance from people in Kandahar’s 10 districts in a timely and systematic way. They receive 60 to 100 such requests a day, and are responsible for delivering the query to the appropriate municipal department. Customized Microsoft Excel software, which records the applicant’s tazkeera or identity card number, automates the process of receiving and processing requests.