ASAN service
State Agency for Public Service and Social İnnovations under President of Azerbaijan

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Before the initiative was in place the lack of required level of transparency, efficiency, accountability and accessibility in the state administration and public service delivery were the elements for concern. In the course of the last decades the state administration took series of measures to put an end to the ever-lasting bureaucracy, red tape, and petty corruption in the chain of public services and its delivery. To this end, the establishment of modern management system in the field of public service delivery was the core for subsequent actions aimed at betterment of the system. Another hurdle was the absence of unified body ensuring the realization of electronization of services to be rendered by state entities in a coordinated form. That was due to the need for minimization of subjectivity and organization of corruption free, transparent and citizen-centric public service delivery system. It would enable to raise-up the quality of relations between civil servants and citizens, to achieve satisfaction of people in receiving public services. The endless preparation of documentation and applications both via personal appeal and via pile of papers were the usual routine giving rise to petty corruption, violation of human rights and freedoms of the citizens in public service system. Hence, the public services were not provided according to uniformed standards. It was due to absence of a state body to standardize, coordinate and electronize the public services provided by various ministries. There was no structure holding centralized database on citizens belonging to several ministries and organizing wide range of public and private services both in electronic and mobile forms. That was causing discomfort and inefficiency as well as loss of time and additional costs in the part of citizens. Therefore, it was impossible to benefit from services within one single building at all calendar days. Moreover you had to go to the place of registration. The above-mentioned is the best manifestation of the problem reflecting the need for efficient, transparent, comfortable and transparent state entity responsible for public service delivery, for setting citizen-centric standards and simplification of service procedures.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solution was found upon the launch of the “ASAN service” by the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations according to the Presidential Decrees No. 685 and 706 of 2012. “ASAN service” entails the establishment of one-stop-shop body, namely ASAN service centers, which is a common place to bring together representatives of different governmental agencies. “ASAN” service is based on the “service mall” concept. It comprises 9 state entities (ministries) rendering 25 group of public legal services. The uniqueness of ASAN in comparison with other likewise entities in the world are that the State Agency is ensuring the “space”, where governmental agencies are directly rendering their own services. The main advantages of the initiative“, ASAN service” leading to the large-scale solution were:  it offered rendering public and private services at the same place: thus, it is enough to come to the Center and get an access to all of them at once, which in its turn enables to save time and money. Before the citizens had to run throughout the city to apply for separate ministries at the expense of loss of time.  Organization of work is transparent: you are served in glassed offices, no hand-in-hand payment and all service duration is recorded for reconsideration in case of complaint.  The work is built upon the feedback of the citizens: exit pall computer, transparent boxes for suggestions and complaints, plus volunteers collecting the citizens’ view via I-Pads tablets are all aimed at the accumulation of the public’s view. The output of this exercise is to ensure the public participation in decision making process of the State Agency.  “ASAN service” centers are offering special queue system: citizen might come in person to the center and take queue with his/her ID card; or call to Call center and tell his/her preferred date/time; or fill in the application form in web site and indicate his/her preferred timing.  Working regime of “ASAN service” is tailored for the advantage of the citizen. “ASAN service” centers operate Monday to Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm without lunch break. That allows the citizens to apply for a particular service within a time frame suiting their weekly agenda without any need for excuse at the working place.  “ASAN service” centers are the space for high ethic value and morality. To treat the citizens in a very ethical manner, to highly respect their dignity, human rights and freedoms, and to appreciate their personality without any exception are the constituting elements of relationship between civil servant and citizen.  “ASAN service” centers are offering the comfortable waiting halls. The latter has:  the kids area,  photo studio,  bank/post office,  free of charge newspapers and journals,  internet cafe,  self-service area of computers,  mather-care rooms,  phone corner to contact 108 Call center.  The Call center of the State Agency became the best tool to ensure the right to information of citizens.  The number of “likes” of the Facebook page currently exceeds 100 thousands. Website – – is another tool for maintaining constant inter-active dialogue with the citizens and receives their input.  It brought together public services rendered by 9 ministries and guaranteed easy access to services: o Ministry of Justice o Ministry of Interior o Ministry of Taxes o State Committee for Property Affairs o Customs Committee o Migration Service o Committee for Land and Cartography o Social Protection Fund o National Archive Department

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Creativeness: - It unifies in its building 9 state entities to render 25 state services. - It unifies under same roof services by private entities under the Public-Private-Partnership. This includes legal consultation, translation, bank, insurance, utility payments, etc. - It offers internet café, free of charge newspapers/journals, free books for shared reading, pay-point machines for utility services, kids’ area, mother-care room, medical center, laboratory, phone corner, self-service computers, photo studio, post office, bank, modern art expo corner, etc. - Social network is also one of the creative tools benefitted so far for the best interest of citizens. The fb page enjoying 100 000 likes and web page weekly conducted by 8000 visitors are the instruments to receive ideas, suggestions and complaints - Surveys are the instruments to feel the real taste of actions taken. They are conducted in electronic, personal, or paper-based manner. Innovations:  Electronic queue machine. Web site and Call Center based queue system.  Exit pall equipment. Skype Complaint kiosk.  Touch-screen monitors mirroring the information on services and fees, etc.  Special equipment for handicapped people: special elevator and automatic step-lifter  Inter-regional and intra-city Mobile ASAN service.  ASAN - signature for accessing public services.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The main elements of the Action Plan were:  Capacity building:  Institution building o Construction of high-tech building(s) meeting the requirements of transparency, comfort, citizen-friendliness and corporate standards This is the well-demanded criteria for citizen-friendly accommodation: the purpose was that it should receive confidence of the public, leave the feeling of trust to each citizen and create the cozy atmosphere. The style building and its interior was among the most important actions to set up totally different commencement: transparent, reliable, friendly! o Construction of communication lines enabling the smooth and effective rendering of electronic services IT staff within the building was meant to ensure the efficiency of overall work of service delivery. To electronize services and minimize the subjectivity, to fit the expectations of the dynamically advancing country one had to insert the large electronization as possible. o Installation of server center with special entry rule Server center has to combine the data base belonging to various ministries acting within the ASAN service center. Thus, it will enable to centralize the mutually accessible data base to interact upon requests. o Construction of the well observed servicing floors and comfortable waiting hall The waiting hall is the place of first impression for citizens. On the other hand, comfortable conditions could change the Soviet era stereotypes about the public entities. o Construction of the administrative floor convenient for dynamic work style Administration has to suite the efficient work style of the ASAN service centers. Thus, there has been followed the same administrative philosophy and the aim was to put on place working conditions sensitizing team work and spirit. o Installation of security facilities to ensure the physical integrity of the citizens and avoid any possible disturbance thereof o Construction of special floor for services to be provided by the private companies within the framework of PPP ASAN also represents public space open to private companies. This increases the effectiveness of centers and increases the demand in the part of public that need both private and public services at once. o Allocating a parking area for the expected numerous cars  Resource building • Normative-legal resources o Preparation of Document on Structure of Administration o Preparation of Charter of each Department o Preparation of job description for each position within the Departments o Preparation of Strategy Papers of each Department and their sectors o Preparation of specific rules and instructions tailored for each process (such as organization of meetings, greetings protocol, rules recruitment exams and interviews, etc.) o Preparation of documents to ensure the management of ASAN service centers • Human resources o Recruiting officers for key positions within the Administration of the State Agency o Recruiting the rest of staff members o Training for members of staff of the Administration o Training for civil servants representing the ministries to render public services (on psycho training, customer satisfaction, stress management, time management, etc.) o Preparation of human resources for the ASAN service centers • PR and international cooperation o Propaganda and publicity of ASAN services o Information and awareness raising about the ASAN service and centers o To get acquainted with the work style of the likewise entities abroad to fix up the pros and cons of each system, particularly of our mechanism and possible difficulties to face.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
- The 9 state entities envisaged to render public services were the principal partners – contributors for design and implementation of the initiative. They provided qualified personnel and appointed experienced professionals. This was mainly because of legal structure of ASAN service whereby the ministries had to serve the citizens themselves without any intermediary, but with due respect to the standards set up. - Local outsourcing companies in the area of IT, internal design, equipment and furniture have been involved to set up the IT facilities, install electronic queue machine and other devices. - The State Committee for family, woman and children problems co-organized together with the management of ASAN servicethe kids area while the Ministry of Telecommunications assisted in installation of communication devices. - The local executive authorities were also very helpful to find out the appropriate location and to make the ASAN service known. - Civil society: NGOs and human rights activists took also part in content-based issues in the area of protection and promotion of human rights and main freedoms. For example, the application of right to be informed, right to freedom of expression, guarantees of equality and non-discrimination in the process of public service delivery and overall work of “ASAN service” centers. They helped design the work structure with emphasis on these particular topics, among others. - Furthermore, the services such as banking, insurance, medical laboratory and first aid, translation, legal support have been prepared for use through collaboration with the representatives of the private sector. The newspaper and journals were provided by the publishing house, while the books were offered by the local book store. - International community: international intergovernmental organizations and states were very cooperative to extend their assistance and partnership both in terms of expertise and consultations at the implementation stage.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The initiative implied the multi-aspect approach and the implementation of various processes parallel to each-other. Besides the financial aspect which was due to the budget of the State Agency funded by the Government the technical and human resources were standing actual on the agenda.  The technical solution came through the cooperation with the private and some other public entities that helped design the ASAN service centers. This was particularly the case regarding the installation of optic cables, computers, security and other electronic devices, including the electricity and other utility services. Plus to that the internal design of offices was also made up by the private companies acting in the area of construction, design and IT solutions. Public entities such as Ministry of Communication were also helpful to set up the communication lines, secure network and data base.  The crucial part of the process was the human resources management. To find out appropriate experts, well experienced specialists and enthusiast young employees were the tough objective before the leadership. For that purpose the strategically correct and well-tailored recruitment process was on place. The first result of it was that the experienced people were convinced to work for the State Agency and its ASAN service centers. And the clue for that was the two-folded recruitment process (written exam and interview) that was transparent, objective and professionally organized. The recruitment of these knowledgeable and enthusiast young staff members in fact was the decisive factor in responding to challenges and overcoming the difficulties. To this end, the following could be qualified as the main processes associated with the realization of this initiative:  Building for ASAN service,  interior design,  installation of equipment and cable/communication lines,  training of newly recruited staff members including the officers envisaged to render public services  PR activities The implementation of this initiative has been realized by the Government with due involvement of private entities and organizations. It has been included into the State Investment Program for the 2012 year.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
“ASAN service” approved itself as a new concept representing the best practices both nationally and internationally, for public service delivery.  First and foremost it unified 9 state entities under the same roof, thus enabling the citizens to apply for public and even relevant private services within the same administrative building without any additional loss of time and money.  It simplified procedures for receiving public services via new standards and innovations. One should mention mobile ASAN services in this regard that have been rendered on 22 destinations for the population of 41 districts.  It established the efficient work style through electronization of services and convenient work schedule, thus avoided bureaucratic obstacles and undue formalities. Today ASAN services are rendered Monday to Friday from 10 am till 8 pm and weekends from 10 am till 5 pm.  ASAN service achieved the high ethical behavior of civil servants towards citizens, thus created good example of how the state service providers should respect the dignity and personality of each and every citizen applying for. The comfort conditions installed in the waiting halls of the service centers were also exemplary of human factor upheld by the content and nature of the ASAN service.  This body ensured the “zero corruption zone”. This service excludes “hand-in-hand” payment, increases transparency. The latter has been achieved via series of measures, including by e-queue system, transparent offices, payments via banks only, service process recording, public participation via fb, twitter and website, exit poll and complaint devices on the quality of service, among others.  The new concept made its significant contribution in the sphere of realization of democratic reforms holding in our country. It proceeded from the best interest of citizens and acted as the space for right to freedom of expression and right to be informed. It encouraged each citizen to provide his/her feedback on the quality of services and provided exhaustive information about the details of a particular service, including their rights and freedoms.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There are two types of systems in place to monitor progress and assess the activities:  Monitoring the quality of each service and civil servants;  Monitoring overall activity and outcome of the ASAN service. Department for Monitoring and Assessment is fulfilling the function of watchdogging the daily work of services and civil servants. Its controllers are keeping under their thorough consideration the personal indicators of the servants in terms of ethical behavior, professionalism, stress management skills, psychological preparedness, and percentage of co-relation of total number of citizens served against the overall number of satisfaction. Further, they equally assess the co-efficiency of performance by each service to evaluate the line of evolvement and dynamism. Plus to that there are also the e-survey, exit poll equipment, Skype complaint kiosk, inter-active questionnaire in the web site ( ), on-line chatting, Call Center (108), as well as the official facebook page ( ) that directly accumulate information from the citizens about their views on the services and their quality. To mention just the exit poll equipment provides the feedback by hundreds of citizens each week that benefitted from the ASAN services. To enable the older generation to express their valuable reactions the transparent exit poll boxes and paper-based questionnaires are applied throughout the servicing. The journals for complaint and suggestions are also at the disposal of citizens to help evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the system, pros and cons of procedures in place. To achieve the in-depth evaluation of progress the results of surveys are gathered and processed by the Department of Social Innovations and reported back to the leadership at large every week. The Activities of the department are the following: • To ensure the unified management of the services and the coordination of functions of the members of personnel of the state entities acting at those centers; • To control rendering the services in accordance with the principles of efficiency, transparency, responsibility and comfort; • To ensure rendering the services in accordance with a letter of law, the assessment of its quality and transparency; • To control the observance of rules of ethical behavior by the members of personnel of the state entities.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles encountered were the following:  To create one single data base accessible for all state entities rendering ASAN services. It had to be interoperable and capable to receive requests and return replies. The access to the data bases of the different state entities rendering services at the center was critical in terms of ensuring efficiency of services. The main course of action on this matter was achieved through creation of integrated and mutually accessible database. This was key for effective and efficient service.  Selection of experienced representatives of the state entities to serve citizens at the “ASAN service” center. There was a great need to train civil servants to meet high standards such as capable to manage stress, to communicate hundreds of people a day, to prepare himself/herself psychologically, to treat citizens within ethical behavior after a long working hours, etc. The undelayed action was to set standards on quality of service, elaborate code of conduct for civil servants and citizen-friendly working schedule. Another set of measures was to enforce the assessment and monitoring mechanism over the work of servicemen to constantly check their professional records. These steps played significant role in recruiting those meeting high standards and being enthusiastic to maintain their professional capacity.  Awareness raising and dissemination of information We would not be mistaken if we qualify this particular issue on the top of encountered obstacles. The establishment was newly created, there was no information about its uniqueness in the part of the public, the dynamic time run was making the PR task very tough. Thus, immediate actions were taken to raise awareness of the citizens, enlarge the circle of publicly available information about the ASAN service and apply the latest creative and innovative means such as facebook and website, amongst others

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
 Qualitatively new relationship between civil servants and citizens ASAN service established totally new, qualitatively exemplary relationship between service providers and citizens. The latter truly felt the ownership of state (entities) over the best interest of people. It also increased the level of confidence and trust towards state entities and their activities. Furthermore, ASAN service reassured the significance of public’s feedback, view and opinion for the state entities and demonstrated how the public’s view is acting as the main indicator for decision making at the state level.  Large application of e-services and minimization of subjectivity ASAN service was the best manifestation of Government’s will to end up with the Soviet legacy of bureaucratic routine and ever-lasting formalities. It demonstrated the Government’s interest in fighting against the arbitrary intervention of public officers and therefore inventing the electronic services to get rid of the corruption-based subjectivity.  Transparent and corruption free environment ASAN service is the next but the strongest Governmental initiative to fight against corruption up to date. It placed the transparent working style since the entrance till the end result achieved. Electronic queue system, all-glassed offices, recorded servicing, ban on “hand-in-hand” payment, large awareness raising measures on list of documents, fees, procedures, addresses, servicing duration, and about rights and freedoms of citizens vis-à-vis the services rendered make up the transparent environment. Today each citizen that witnessed ASAN service mentions with proud humor: ASAN is the Wi-Fi and corruption free zone!  Innovative and creative public service delivery ASAN service has also received the sympathy of citizens due to its creative and innovative way of work. The citizens have already admired the queue booking via web site or Call Center 108 and mobile ASAN service travelling via large and well equipped buses to already 22 destinations to serve population of 41 districts right on the spot. To receive on the daily bases the feedback of public via fc page liked by more than 100 thousands people today and web site consulted by around 8 thousands people a week is another strong asset of ASAN service.  High respect to dignity, right to freedom of expression and right to be informed in the course of public service delivery ASAN service upholds high respect to human dignity. It proceeds from the best interest of citizens, right-based approach and the legitimate stands on the issue. To respect the right to freedom of expression the ASAN service has done number of commendable work: standardization of its work on the basis of views and opinions of citizens; creation of ethical and high moral treatment of visitors, installation of easy and accessible space for inter-active dialogue with citizens, survey-based indicators of progress and increase of quality.  Satisfaction of citizens due to minimization of loss of time and money, efficiency, comfort, ethical behavior Since the establishment of ASAN service the citizens witnessed the new and qualitatively high public service delivery. Now they do not need to run throughout the city for several services. Neither they need to travel in traffic-rich roads. ASAN service combines the most applied public and private services. E-services make the life much easier. Efficient work style allows the citizens to send their applications from distance. The comfort comes to the eyes from two aspects: one is the physical comfort that is created for visitors, such as e-queue system, bank, post office, photo studio, emergency aid, laboratory, kids’ area, mother-care room, Wi-Fi café, self-service area, modern art corner, etc. Another type of comfort is due to the working schedule of ASAN service: from 10 am until 8 pm without lunch break, including weekends from 10 am until 5 pm. Thus, the citizens do not ask permissions at their working place neither they look for any reason to excuse themselves. They apply during the lunch time, after the working hours or weekends if they are too busy during a week days.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
İnnovative character of the initiative gradually increases the opportunities of its analogical application in other areas of public administration. It is worthy to mention that beyond the improvement of public service delivery it established high standards of citizen-centric mechanism. After the establishment of ASAN service the additions to its mandate have been made couple of times. Two more services and 22 functional auxiliary services have been complemented to the previous 25 group of services. The new mandate has been discharged with high success and remarkable indicators of citizen satisfaction. This was the one of the cases when the sustainability of the initiative was at stake. To keep it sustainable, e.g. updated even 10 years from now the strategic planning and research is being done by the management of the ASAN service. How to meet the expectations of citizens in the future, how to fit the IT challenges of tomorrow, and how to avoid that it is not outdated even after several decades are the subject – matter of today’s discussions of ASAN. Another area of future implementation is the expansion of ASAN geography within the country to cover all regions. To meet the real needs of localities is the issue of transferability of ASAN. However one might mention the good experience gained and record obtained out of the mobile ASAN service. The latter was technical and geographical transfer of static ASAN into the mobile one. Mobile ASAN service in fact demonstrated the accessibility, equal treatment of population in regions both with and without an access to ASAN public services and innovative delivery style, hence proved the ASAN’s transferability. As a modern social and innovative concept "ASAN service" attracted the attention of a number of states and international organizations, and there is a great interest to acquaint with its activity. This experience has already been scrutinized abroad on several occasions. Due to its unique characteristics "ASAN service" received the name of "New brand of Azerbaijan" by public and in foreign press ( “New brand of Azerbaijan”- " ASAN service" in Euronews channel! Euronews: Azerbaijan inventing new brand "ASAN service" This Project shapes the new model of relations between civil servants and population with its unique features. The essence of the concept is that the citizen applying to “ASAN service” center gets the opportunity to benefit from services of the several state entities at time. This centralization enables the citizen tremendously reduce the time spent. Application of the most advanced information technology makes the use of services more simple and transparent. Today 4 ASAN service centers are functioning. Each service center serves more than 1000 people a day. More than 800 thousands citizens have been satisfied by this service up until today.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The principal lessons learned are:  Transparency, accountability, public participation, new tools for feedback, accessibility For newly designed public service like ASAN the transparency is of utmost importance to demonstrate the difference of quality and create the opportunity for value-judgment by public. This equally implies the accountability of service providers toward citizens. Moreover, it was reaffirmed throughout the activity that it is important to build upon the public’s feedback to qualitatively advance the records and achieve the satisfaction.  Ethical behavior, respect to human dignity and human rights and freedoms ASAN service proved the relevance of ethical behavior in relation with the citizens. That is the starting point for their successful completion of the procedures to receive public services. Respect to dignity, personality, human rights freedoms of citizens is irreplaceable and they cannot be substituted by technological advancements neither by the modern buildings.  Citizen-centric approach, comfort in a broader meaning Citizen is always seeking the care and respect by the state and its bodies. The comfort regime was successful enough to extend these feelings among the citizens that applied for ASAN service.  Electronization and minimization of subjectivity ASAN service created the zero corruption space. This was mainly because of minimization of subjectivity through electronization.  Significance of awareness raising, information sharing, publicity and propaganda Citizen is strong once he/she gets the needed information beforehand and is fully aware of the activity of state entities. He/she can easily pass procedure for receiving public services once is aware of his/her rights, freedoms and obligations. For that purpose PR activity entailed unique experience to proceed from the best experience of citizens. Equally PR was critical to make the new service known and attractive.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   State Agency for Public Service and Social İnnovations under President of Azerbaijan
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Azad Jafarli
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   +994 12 444 7410
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   36, Academic Hasan Aliyev str.
Postal Code:   AZ-1078
City:   Baku

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