New approaches to citizen satisfaction and public policy polling
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A new app developed at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) offers citizens a direct means of instantly communicating how they feel about the government’s handling of issues that impact their communities, explained Professor Richard Walker on 19 April at the latest talk in the President’s Lecture Series: Excellence in Academia.
The title of the talk was “My Citizens Panel: New approaches to citizen satisfaction and public policy polling”.
The “My Citizens Panel” mobile app provides a means by which researchers can examine government–citizen relationships, and how to develop alternative evidence for public policy options for areas as diverse as mass public transport, street and road maintenance, playgrounds and libraries, for example.
“‘My Citizens Panel’ is an online research panel of people who participate in web-based surveys and experimental studies about public policies, public affairs and public services in Hong Kong and beyond,” said Professor Walker, Chair Professor of Public Management in the Department of Public Policy at CityU.
The app comes under the purview of CityU’s Laboratory for Public Management and Policy (LaMP), which applies experimental research designs to questions of public management and policy.
The design of the app was based on expectancy disconfirmation theory (EDT), which seeks to explain satisfaction levels by analysing expectations, perceived performance and disconfirmation of beliefs.
“Public administration scholars are turning to EDT to anchor our understanding of satisfaction in prior expectations,” said Professor Walker, Director of LaMP and an international expert on researching questions at the intersection of management and policy.
“People develop different expectations of service quality based on personal experiences, word of mouth, media, etc, and apply different standards in forming their subjective ratings or satisfaction judgments,” he added. The app is an approach that enables the measurement of satisfaction based on expectation and performance.
During the talk, Professor Walker demonstrated how to access and use the app, offering the audience the chance to participate in an instant poll on issues with strong ties to Smart Cities (autonomous vehicles) and One Health (antibiotics for pets), which are both key strategic areas of research for CityU. The audience used the app to indicate high/low expectations of the issues, and then rate the perceived level of performance (high/low).
The talk offered insight into ways to measure citizen/user satisfaction in Hong Kong, particularly through the app that allows citizens to record their experiences of public services in Hong Kong, and demonstrated new ways to introduce evidence into the public policy decision-making process in Hong Kong.