Ministry Puts Itself Under Microscope

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By Anna Shilongo

WINDHOEK

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is to undertake a Service Delivery Survey countrywide to determine whether information from the ministry and media houses meets national demands for access to adequate information.

The Multi-Disciplinary Research and Consultancy Centre of the University of Namibia will carry out the survey on behalf of the information ministry.

The survey will, among others, determine the relevance of information disseminated by the line ministry and give direction with respect to preferred languages in which different communities want to receive information. The survey will also look into whether information provided meets the needs and preferences of people living with disabilities.

Information gathering and dissemination by the ministry will be scrutinized as well as how best to improve these processes.

The survey will further seek to determine the kind of information the population wants to see on the government’s website.

To obtain the necessary responses that will ensure improved service delivery, Unam’s Multi-Disciplinary Research and Consultancy Centre, in consultation with the ministry, has developed two different questionnaires to be used in the survey.

One questionnaire aims at obtaining general information from Namibians on how to improve services rendered by the ministry while the second questionnaire will exclusively target the media to determine what needs to be done to make information more accessible to the media.

Trained enumerators were dispatched to all regions in the country earlier this week.

The exercise ends on July 15, whereafter the information gathered would be processed.

Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says her ministry has requested the full cooperation of regional governors and councillors during the exercise.

“I am appealing to the media to also publicize the survey and to sensitize and motivate the population to give their full support to the enumerators in the different regions, and the media practitioners to objectively respond to the questionnaires directed to them,” she said.

The minister believes the data gathered would ultimately determine the direction that the ministry will take in the gathering, processing and dissemination of government information.

She referred to the President’s remark in 2005 that the most valuable economic assets of Namibia were its people.

” You will recall that President Hifikepunye Pohamba has on several occasions appealed to government institutions to mainstream rural development in their programmes and projects”.

Since then, the ministry has seriously considered the policy directives given by the President hence the Ministry of Information found it appropriate to approach the population to measure whether the services rendered meet the expectations and aspirations of the majority of Namibians, especially those in remote areas.

She added that information is an empowering tool that helps people to break away from the chains of poverty and ignorance.

She says through information, knowledge is created. This allows people to take charge of their lives and contribute to development and nation-building.
” The importance of information sharing to ensure economic and social development should never be underestimated,” she said.

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