Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
The initiative is the creation of the CRA’s Complaints Management System with an objective to help the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) to efficiently achieve its mandate of protecting the telecom consumer rights and promoting competition in a very transparent and accountable environment, while the uninterrupted telecom services and its high availability is essential for everyone.
Some challenges were a trigger on why the CRA created an outstanding tool to efficiently achieve its mandate that requires utilizing a very special knowledge and resources expertise to achieve it. Those challenges were:
1. The channels with the public users who is seeking support from the Communications Regulatory Authority was (Hotline, Email, Social Media, Mobile App, Website Form and Walk-in) those channels were dropping its flow in different destinations that was need much efforts to validate and filter toward the investigation procedures. Such decentralization of the channels’ control was limiting the public user experiences and their ability to follow or track their complaints regardless the channel they used.
2. The procedures of recording the complaint information were manual on sheets, papers and the process of letters review and signature before submitting to the Service Provider was manually processed and paper signed.
3. Cases management and assuring telecom Service Providers’ compliance to regulatory customer complaints processes was complex with that much manual and paperwork.
4. Cases categorization and reporting analysis for capturing the gaps in the policies and regulations and define areas that need update as well as for efficiency and enhancement purposes was a big challenge.
5. Preparation of court cases reports was a challenge while dealing with that much info that should be gathered and referenced from different sources.
So, there must be a non-traditional and innovative tool in place to guarantee effectiveness, integration, transparency and accountability that engage all stakeholders.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
There is a linkage between CRA’s Complaints Management System initiative and the selected category; Where the initiative is empowering the CRA as a public institution in enhancing the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability during the regulatory process implementations. The initiative innovatively transforms the CRA regulatory complaints’ operations into end-end digital guaranteeing engagement of all stakeholders including telecom Service Providers on the same line with high accountability in a process that harmonize the collaboration and effective use of the policies and regulations resulting in effectiveness in achieving the organization's role in protecting the public user rights.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institution. Target: Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels. Target: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.
The initiative contributes here as the system is fulfilling the regulatory complaints process starting from public users’ access to lodge cases, and CRA to communicate with them to validate the case according to the law/regulations, then officially filing the case with the Service Providers for investigation, and manage all the communications’ documentations until resolution. An effective process maintains accountability on roles and transparency with the public user during the process. That promotes the rules of the telecom law to ensure all have fair access to the process.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Target: Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
The initiative contributes here as the telecom service is essential for everyone and protecting the consumer rights is managed through CRA’s Complaints Management System for all users including local, residents, workers. Same fair access and process for all.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
The initiative is socially sustainable as it has a direct positive on the public by resolving their encompasses issues affecting them while using telecom services, the initiative maintains their rights as telecom consumers and keeps them protected from the sector’s unfair practice.
The initiative is economically sustainable as it contributes to defining the required updates for policies/regulations based on the detected gaps from the cases, which means it feeds itself toward the objective that it built for. It utilizes today’s resources for making a fit to market policies/regulations that’s consequently leads to economic growth.
It's environmentally sustainable as it's paperless.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
The initiative has addressed the below shortfalls:
1- Limitations on the public user experiences and initial self-case validation by the public user.
2- Lacking a documented and well governed two-way of communications between the public user and CRA and between CRA and Service Providers with difficulties getting updates and follow-up.
3- Difficulty in organizing the workloads and internal resources management.
4- Time and effort consuming for accessing cases’ information as it was scattered on different locations which was making difficulties in accessing the information and making the investigation report preparations for the court cases exhausting for the employees.
5- Manual process of the regulatory complaints’ letters signing to be submitted for the Service Providers.
6- Difficulties in case tracking and control to assure the Service Provider's compliance with the regulatory process.
7- Data analysis and reports preparations were consuming much time and gives limited results.
8- The feasibility of the concept of defining the required updates for policies/regulations based on the detected gaps from the cases was limited as the case information and data could not be found in one centralized place.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
The initiative contributes to addressing gender inequality by giving fair access to the service and protection of the rights of all telecom consumers including women, young girls, and other vulnerable and key populations during their usage of the telecom services. The initiative also provides the basis of many campaigns about “know your rights” based on real cases/complaints to make them aware of their legal rights and raises their legal literacy as telecom consumers to protect them from vulnerabilities/threats they may face during the usage of the internet or other telecom services.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
The target groups that’s the initiative serve are the telecom services’ consumers either an individual or corporate users including private or public sector institutions as a telecom service consumer, the outcome from the initiative for those groups is empowering them to access an obvious, fair and transparent regulatory process when they have an issue with their telecom Service Provider. This process that generates the outcome is managed by an independent regulatory body (CRA) that harnesses the technology to serve those groups for getting this outcome while pursuing their issues with the regulator until getting the resolution of their cases.
The initiative gives them the proper regulatory support after they failed to resolve their cases at the first instance with their Service Provider and before taking the case to the court. The initiative magnifies this outcome by also providing the regulator with the basis for proactive protection through regulations’ enforcement and basis for awareness campaigns. This outcome empowers those groups to get their right as telecom consumers based on the power of the regulator who has the technical, legal/regulatory, and business expertise to practice this role and the initiative is harnessing the technology to make an efficient delivery for this value/outcome.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
The initiative started with a strong recognition of the need to overcome the challenges that we had during the practice of the regulatory process of handling telecom consumer complaints with the Service Providers. The start was with listening to the internal and external user needs, surveying and validating the user needs, then we started assessing the implementations of such needs on the old/ legacy system that we had but was technical not possible due to the technical limitations of such legacy system to afford the initiative requirements.
So, we had to implement the initiative using an underlined technology that supports integration and interoperability to build innovation into both internal and external processes and channels along with utilizing our previous technological investments. To efficiently achieve the CRA mandate of protecting the telecom consumer utilizing a technological tool for empowering us to reach an outstanding/unique regulatory practice, our chronology was:
1) Collect, prioritize, validate and filter our needs on the short and long term syncing with Qatar National Vision 2030.
2) Assess and mobilize the resources that will work and be utilized during the implementation.
3) Organized the projects’ plans, evaluated and prioritized sub-projects under the initiative which includes building a centralized system that connects/integrate with other existing points like (National Authentication Service, social media integration, email, and Interactive Voice Response integration) and new Apps/ channels should be developed/enhanced like (CRA Mobile App, Website interface) and injecting the regulatory process into its genetic with innovative and smart features and flows.
4) Technical implementations kick-off, review and testing during the implementation cycle until UAT completion and then the initiative released for piloting and monitoring purposes in June 2019 and officially launched in October 2019 during QITCOM (the largest ICT event in Qatar).
5) Evaluation and post release enhancement (Ongoing and will not stop).
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
Obstacles that we had were related to the requirements’ uniqueness that we had to implement as the regulatory process is not a common flow process and not commonly or frequently implemented like sales, supply chain, procurements or any normal processes. Those regulatory requirements with its features that should be implemented on the central system and its arms were set for a regulatory purpose, so technically there were challenges/ obstacles but we were able to overcome by the very keen understating of the needs behind each feature and cascading such understanding with the developers empowered to find the way together.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
It's innovative by making outcomes differently through mechanisms that positively differentiate itself in the mind of the telecom consumers. if you lodged a case through one channel, you can get updates and follow up through some other channels as it connects with one source. If CRA could not reach you, the system gives you many options to connect back with the CRA. When the case goes to court, the system maintains everything digitally documented for you in one place to maintain your rights. You will get surprised when the system calls you for capturing resolution confirmation and updating the case.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
The initiative has been triggered based on local needs and the initiative mainly targeting to fulfill those needs in an innovative way.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The initiative embraced digital government by introducing a very specialized digital public service for the consumers featured with an easy, fair access and equal chances. Our public service experience delivered through an innovative initiative uses the technology to maintain consumer rights with a process injected with an enhanced consumer experiences, accountability, transparency and efficient delivered. Now; it’s the turn for the utilization of cognitive services and frontier technologies which would not be possible to implement and use without building what we have built until now. More information about that can be found in the attached presentation.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
It has not been transferred yet to other contexts.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
There is a potential for the initiative to be transferred/adapted to other contexts, the CRA has a very active and cooperative international relations role with other regulatory authorities within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the region as well as many other countries, the CRA participating in various workshops with other regulators and shares its advanced practice in protecting telecom consumers rights. Also, it is expected that the initiative may inspire some other contexts out of the ICT sector as building upon an advanced practice with proven progress is better than starting from scratch.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
Project manager and business case owner, business unit representatives from the Consumer Affairs Department who is taking care of the telecom consumer rights. Technical human resources from CRA’s Shared Services team and very skillful CRM (Customer Relation Management) system developers, mobile Apps, and web developers. Representatives from the external stakeholders (Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar) and the Government Contact Center involved in different phases of the project. With robust support from the CRA management.
Financial: The allocated budget for the initiative.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
There is a positive return of the financial investment in the initiative as it increases the effectiveness of the CRA's role as a public institution during the achievement of the mandates that the CRA was created for. Such institutional effectiveness reflects positive impact and maturity on the ICT sector which consequently leads to economic growth. While the initiative is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable as explained before that makes it sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
The initiative has been internally evaluated by the CRA’s Internal Audit Unit, they have performed their review procedures based on best practices, the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), and the approved Internal Audit Charter of CRA.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
The procedures were performed pursuant to the Consumer Affairs Department’s roles to perform their regulatory activities in manage handling the telecom consumers complaints by following the Consumer Complaint Process mentioned above which is implemented digitally on the Complaints Management System that involves and connects all stakeholders (Telecom Consumers, Government Contact Center, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and Telecom Service providers in Qatar).
We have conducted our review by selecting random samples from the breakdown of consumers’ complaints list for the complaints that were resolved and closed during the period from January 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
The consumer complaints process indicates the flows and procedures that empowers CRA and the Service Providers (SPs) (Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar) to manage handling the telecom consumer complaints lodged to CRA from the telecom consumers in Qatar.
The special review was to review the operational activities and applicable features around the digital transformation of the following consumer complaint processes and give a limited assurance.
Conclusion/findings: Based on our special review, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the mentioned procedures are not applied and followed by the Consumer Affairs Department during the consumer complaint process.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
The initiative has been made to serve the telecom consumer by the CRA with the involvement of the telecom Service Providers in Qatar (Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar) along with the shared Qatar Government Contact Center that’s following the Ministry of Communications and Information and Technology (MCIT). So, the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape as it involves:
1- The Government Contact Center as shared government resources and the initiative also utilizes the infrastructure and technical capabilities provided by the MCIT.
2- The CRA as an initiative owner who utilizes it to contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of the CRA as a public institution.
3- Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar as major players in the ICT sector as telecom Service Providers and major stakeholders for the initiative.
The institutional relationships have been operating in consonance between those agencies since the initiative was an idea, during the implementations until being released and operational with the involvement of all those agencies as stakeholders until now.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
We strongly believe that the cooperation, engagement, and partnership between the CRA, the MCIT, The Government Contact Center, Ooredoo Qatar, and Vodafone Qatar was essential in the success of the initiative, where the CRA is the initiative owner and initiator, designer, and implementor, while the MCIT offers and maintains the Government Cloud Services (Sadeem) that hosts the initiative along with involving the Government Contact Center as one of the public channels that expose the initiative to the public users.
While Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar participated in defining the requirements before the implementations and got intensively involved in the testing, piloting, and monitoring phase and finally a major operational stakeholder for the initiative. The engagement and partnership between stakeholders took place in a very cooperative and productive environment and is still ongoing now.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
1- There are no limitations on use cases implementations especially when it is linked with an institutional and national vision. Every use case can be achieved as long as it's triggered based on real user needs even though it technically looks challenging.
2- Collaborations and partnerships not only achieve the targets but magnify the positive impact.
The CRA plans to improve the initiative as below:
1- Consider data as the main driver for any future improvements, so more investment is ongoing now in the business intelligence tools targeting a very advanced data analytic possibility.
2- Keep developing the consumer interface channels and create rich, personalized experiences for every user.
3- Will utilize the Microsoft cognitive services and frontier technologies for some Artificial Intelligence use cases;
- Human to robot conversations including chatbots.
- Detecting sentiments and opinions from searchable text.
- Distill information including regulations and policies into easy-to-navigate for an advanced systematic utilization.