copy the linklink copied! 7.1. Citizen satisfaction with public services and institutions

Citizen satisfaction with public services helps show how public services are perceived relative to citizens’ expectations. Data regularly collected through the Gallup World Poll allows some comparative analysis of citizens’ satisfaction levels with a range of public services, notably for health, education and justice. Interpreting cross-country comparisons of citizen satisfaction with public services should be made with caution, as perceptions can be influenced by many other reasons beyond the access, responsiveness and quality of services, such as differing expectations, cultural factors, communications, current events or other factors.

As citizen expectations increase, many governments are seeking to develop more citizen-centric public services to ensure their needs are met. In a few SEA countries, public sector organisations monitor citizen satisfaction with public services to evaluate the impact of reforms and identify areas for further action. However, most countries do not measure citizen satisfaction, and amongst those who do, survey instruments and methodologies are not standardised at the national level and across countries.

In 2017, on average, 79% of citizens in SEA countries reported being satisfied with the availability of quality health care in the city or area where they live. This is slightly higher than a decade earlier (76%) and also higher than the OECD average in 2017 (71%). Citizen satisfaction is the highest in Singapore (93%) and the lowest in Viet Nam (62%).

Over the last 10 years, citizen satisfaction with the healthcare system increased the most in Cambodia (by 16 p.p.), as this period coincided with a series of health finance policies aimed at mitigating costs to improve access, particularly for vulnerable groups (Ensor et al., 2017). On the other hand, satisfaction has decreased the most in Thailand (by 5 p.p.). Although Thailand introduced a Universal Coverage Scheme in 2001, some research finds that a significant proportion of beneficiaries nonetheless utilise out-of-network services, implying a lack of universal access or better service by private providers (Paek et al., 2016).

A majority of citizens in SEA countries also report being satisfied with their education system and schools (83% in 2017). This is higher than the OECD average (68%) as well as satisfaction levels in the four OECD countries in the region. Citizen satisfaction with the education system is highest in Cambodia (90%), the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand (86% in each). It is lowest in Viet Nam (77%) and Malaysia (75%).

Over the past decade, satisfaction with the education system increased the most in Indonesia (by 10 p.p.) and decreased the most in Malaysia (by 11 p.p.). The increase in satisfaction in Indonesia is likely associated with the country having the fifth-fastest improving education system among the 72 countries that took part in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) between 2012 and 2015.

The reported level of confidence with the judicial system and the courts is generally below the satisfaction levels with health and education systems, a trend that mirrors OECD countries. In 2017, on average, 69% of citizens in SEA countries reported having confidence in the judicial system and the courts, an increase of 6 p.p. since 2007. Compared to other services, the perceived confidence with the judicial system might be less based on personal experiences since fewer people interact with the courts than with the health and education systems.

Citizen confidence in the judicial system was highest in Singapore (89%) and lowest in Malaysia (55%) in 2017. Over the past decade, confidence has increased significantly in Indonesia (by 37 p.p.) and Cambodia (27 p.p.). It has declined in Malaysia (by 14.p.p.), Thailand (by 11 p.p.) and Lao PDR (by 10 p.p.).

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Methodology and definitions

Data were collected by Gallup World Poll, generally based on a representative sample of 1 000 citizens in each country. More information about this survey is available at: www.gallup.com/home.aspx.

Data on the level of satisfaction with health care refer to the percentage of people who answered “satisfied” to the question: “In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the availability of quality health care?”

For education, data refer to the percentage of people who answered “satisfied” to the question: “In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the educational system or the schools?”

For justice, data refer to the percentage of people who answered “yes” to the question: “In this country, do you have confidence in each of the following, or not? How about the judicial system and courts?”

Further reading

Ensor, T., C. Chhun, T. Kimsun, B. McPake and I. Edoka (2017), “Impact of Health Financing Policies in Cambodia: A 20 Year Experience,” Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 177, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 118-126.

Paek, S.C., N. Meemon and T.T.H. Wan (2016), “Thailand’s universal coverage scheme and its impact on health-seeking behaviour,” SpringerPlus, Vol. 5/1, Springer, New York.

Figure notes

7.1, 7.2 and 7.3: Data for Viet Nam are for 2016 rather than 2017. Data for Malaysia are for 2015 rather than 2017. Data for Myanmar are not included in the SEA average due to missing time series.

7.3: The Korean data are not displayed. The OECD is working towards improving the quality of data on judicial system and the courts.

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7.1. Citizen satisfaction with the health care system, 2007 and 2017
7.1. Citizen satisfaction with the health care system, 2007 and 2017

Source: Gallup World Poll (database).

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933841577

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7.2. Citizen satisfaction with the education system and schools, 2007 and 2017
7.2. Citizen satisfaction with the education system and schools, 2007 and 2017

Source: Gallup World Poll (database).

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933841596

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7.3. Citizen confidence in the judicial system and courts, 2007 and 2017
7.3. Citizen confidence in the judicial system and courts, 2007 and 2017

Source: Gallup World Poll (database).

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933841615

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https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264305915-en

© OECD, ADB 2019

This Work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 3.0 IGO (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO) public license.

7.1. Citizen satisfaction with public services and institutions