Ulvi Mehdiyev, the Chairman of Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Public Service and Social Commission, led a delegation that met with President Museveni of Uganda at State House Entebbe on July 24, 2023. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the ASAN CONCEPT, a transformative initiative aimed at improving Public Service Management in Uganda through citizen-centric and technology-driven approaches.
According to Mehdiyev, the ASAN CONCEPT seeks to enhance the accessibility of public services to citizens by leveraging modern technologies. The initiative is part of the large-scale reforms in public administration introduced by President IIham Aliyev in Azerbaijan 11 years ago. The ASAN Service has since gained global recognition for its excellence and innovative initiatives, becoming a unique intellectual property of Azerbaijan.
President Museveni expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, acknowledging that Uganda is already working on similar reforms but recognising Azerbaijan’s advancements in this area. He welcomed the establishment of ASAN service centres in Uganda and even extended an invitation to President Aliyev to lay the foundation stone for the centre.
The ASAN concept of Public Service Management, derived from the Azerbaijani word ‘asandir’, meaning ‘easy’ or ‘convenient’ focuses on the following elements:
ASAN service centres act as convenient one-stop shops where citizens can access a wide range of public services from various government agencies, eliminating the need to visit multiple offices and reducing bureaucracy.
Administrative procedures are streamlined and made more user-friendly with reduced paperwork and the introduction of online services.
ASAN centres are known for their transparent and efficient service delivery, providing citizens with timely updates on their applications’ progress.
Information technology and digital platforms are extensively utilised to enhance accessibility and streamline processes.
ASAN centres prioritise citizens’ needs and satisfaction, incorporating feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement.
The ASAN concept helps minimise corruption opportunities by reducing face-to-face interactions and implementing transparent procedures.
The ASAN concept extends beyond government services, fostering partnerships with the private sector to create a more efficient business environment.
The success of the ASAN concept in Azerbaijan has garnered international attention, leading to collaborations with other countries and international organisations to share best practises and knowledge.
Since September 2018, Uganda and Azerbaijan have been working together, culminating in a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of Azerbaijan’s ASAN service experience in Uganda. Both countries have engaged in close cooperation, organising mutual visits for collaborative growth.
The partnership between Uganda and Azerbaijan also presents a great platform for cooperation, as Azerbaijan will be part of the Troika, one of the decision-making levels for the Non-Aligned Movement, with Uganda taking over the Chairmanship.
According to the Permanent Secretary of Public Service, it is evident that this partnership represents a timely and promising initiative to improve service delivery in Uganda, transforming the public service landscape to be more citizen-friendly, efficient, and transparent.