October 2017

Customer service training provides better access to justice for citizens of Myanmar

Myanmar_Putting_Citizens_First

If it is indeed true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the USAID-funded Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PRLP) has cause to be flattered. After providing customer service training at the Office of the Supreme Court of the Union (OSCU) and in pilot courts in the first half of 2017, the training has spread to numerous other courts of their own volition. The focus of the training was to initiate positive and productive interactions with all court users and improve the level of service being provided. Ultimately, the results benefit not only the general public but also attorneys, police, and litigants who interact with the court on a daily basis.

The third day of the original program was dedicated to training court personnel on the delivery of the training module. This approach provides a sustainable model, which allows the courts themselves to replicate and deliver the training for other personnel. Participants quickly realized the benefit, not only for the public, but for improving their skills and the perception of the courts.

The training provided new techniques and communication skills to create a culture of customer service at the courts (see photo). Sessions included effective listening skills, the importance of initial intake, the physical environment, and assessing improvement using the Q10 method. The Q10 methodology utilizes a brief 10 question survey of court users to measure customer perception. The initial training included 34 participants from the OSCU but has expanded to include 865 beneficiaries, including 448 women and 417 men. After seeing the benefits this program offered to the courts, the OSCU chose to replicate the program throughout Myanmar for High Courts, District Courts, and Pilot Courts in 6 Regions and 2 States.

PRLP is providing technical assistance to selected pilot courts in Myanmar and their support was the original impetus for this activity. However, the concept quickly spread evidencing the value of pilot activities to motivate system wide reform. Thanks to this valuable program, citizens can now enjoy better service and the reputation of the courts continue to improve. Quality justice services are an important component of ensuring the rule of law for all citizens.

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