We should think of refugees as our customers. That might sound like a no-brainer. But for organizations like ARC who look to large funders to support our work, it’s easy to get caught in what those donors want and require instead of asking refugees what they want…
Kuja Kuja (Come Come in Swahili) is a customer service tool that elevates a refugee from simply being a recipient of services we provide to a customer who defines what quality is and demands accountability. The tool clearly and in real-time reports user perceptions of the services ARC offers – like clean water, protection, or community services – so that ARC can organize and align a response.
We started the journey with Kuja Kuja seeking to find a way to more richly share information from our field locations to ARC headquarters and drive ARC forward as a 21st Century organization for refugees. We began in Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda, listening to residents and building prototypes based on what we heard. The tool continuously collects feedback and is embraced by our local staff as a means to build trust with refugees on a foundation of honesty and mutual accountability.
A Feedback System
The system currently gathers feedback through three mechanisms: a mobile voice hotline that allows customers to reflect on their experience from any place at any time; smart surveys loaded on tablets and smart phones that facilitate on-site feedback at service touchpoints; and suggestion boxes placed in busy gathering spots that allow refugees to give feedback and write about their needs in an open-ended format. The quantitative and qualitative data is gathered and uploaded to the cloud where it is joined with data from other sites and output on management dashboards. Staff can quickly see the places services are operating satisfactorily as well as the places where improvements are needed.
Built on 5 Principles
- It’s always on. Feedback can be given and received everyday, from anywhere and at any time.
- People know about it. The key to traction and adoption is clear, regular and consistent communication and outreach so that refugees are aware and know how to use the system.
- Feedback goes both ways. A feedback loop that both receives input from refugees and regularly gives them feedback is fundamental to a sustainable and lasting system.
- Speak their language. Communicate in both the languages and terminology used by refugees, so that everyone has access and can understand how to use the system.
- There’s no silver bullet. Multiple integrated input platforms and methods go deep and broad and capture the richest, most instructive information.