Grievance Redress Systems(GRS) are recognised worldwide as one of the enabling factors for organisations to be efficient, effective and people-oriented. A functional platform for receiving people’s complaints or grievances facilitates administrators to improve their service delivery systems, thereby improving governance in general.
In Bangladesh, some ministries/divisions, other government offices and NGOs have their own online grievance redress systems. But it was identified that these systems need to be integrated into a single and centralised GRS to produce better results. This is an important task and much effort will be required before all these systems can be integrated due to administrative and technical implications.
Following a recommendation of the report of the Public Administration Reform Commission (PARC) in 2000, Cabinet Division of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) took an initiative, the first time to bring together the existing redressal systems in the country under a central GRS platform. In 2007 (revised in 2008), the GoB established a manual grievance redress system in all line ministries in order to help reduce grievances and improve service delivery in public service as a whole. In 2011, Cabinet Division designed, developed and tested a GRS software, which is an interactive web-based software and portal, for all line ministries to implement grievance redressal for mitigating people’s complaints relating to end-to-end service delivery and in 2014-15 financial year, the online GRS software was finally hosted in a server, which is available at www.grs.gov.bd.
In pursuing the objective of achieving a centralised GRS, a technical committee of the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) has requested UNDP Bangladesh to lead a mapping exercise by engaging technical professionals to trace and find any GRS mechanism in place (whether digitised or manual) implemented by GOs, NGOs, CSOs and DPs. Following up on the recommendations of the study, the GRS Technical Committee decided that it is imperative to enhance the current system to include required technical and logical modules following the GRS Guideline, 2015. The Technical Committee recommended to bring together all online GRS, connecting different mechanisms with one central, comprehensive and user friendly system that is interoperable and compatible with National e-Service Bus and with integration with Bangladesh National Enterprise Architecture (BNEA) which will ensure sharing of digital information, improve e-services accessibility and facilitate interoperability of inter-government and non-government agencies. Following the recommendation of the technical committee, Cabinet Division requested Social Security Policy Support Programme (SSPS) to assist Cabinet Division in designing and piloting a second generation GRS software.