Effective handling of Complaints - Optimizing the use of ICT in Law Enforcement

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Effective handling of Complaints - Optimizing the use of ICT in Law Enforcement Talk by Ebuka Ugwu at Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) Information Officers Workshop Thursday, 29th August 2019 Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
  • 1. EFFECTIVE HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS OPTIMIZING THE USE OF ICT Ebuka Ugwu Senior Software Engineer BuyPower Nigeria 29th August 2019
  • 2. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC INTRODUCTION ▸ Information Officers have a need to take full advantage of the benefits of Information & Communication Technology to improve the complaints handling process ▸ ICT tools provide a relatively easy mechanism to handle interaction and complaints with the general public, analyze information, and provide timely and useful feedback ▸ An efficient and effective complaints handling system increases public confidence and strengthens the accountability mechanism
  • 3. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC THE COMPLAINTS HANDLING SYSTEM PEOPLE PROCESSES TECHNOLOGY Information Officers Public Complaint monitoring and processing frameworks Calls, Emails, Social Media Software, etc The Complaints Handling System consists primarily of People, Processes & Technology Focus is on optimizing this system by increasing the effectiveness of Technology
  • 4. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC ▸ ICT can increase the efficiency of the system in 3 primary areas: Complaints Collection Complaints Analysis Reporting
  • 5. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Complaints are generally collected via the following channels: ▸ Phone Calls ▸ SMS ▸ Email ▸ Social Media ▸ Twitter ▸ WhatsApp ▸ Facebook
  • 6. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Distribution of Complaints Communication Channels Others 2.3% Social Media 26.8% SMS 2.0% Phone Calls 65.2% Email 3.7% - Analysis of CRU Report, StatiSense, 2017
  • 7. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Handling Phone Calls - Software ✦ Interactive Voice Response Systems (IVR) - This is an automated software telephony system that interacts with callers, gathers information, and routes calls to the appropriate Information Officers. An IVR System accepts a combination of voice input and touch-tone keypad selection, and provides the appropriate responses in the form of voice, callback, SMS and other contact methods. ✦ IVR Systems consist of Telephone equipment, Software applications (for routing, monitoring and analytics), a database (for recording calls and storing data), and supporting infrastructure (Cloud Technology). ✦ IVR Systems can greatly improve the efficiency of complaint handling by: ✴ Reducing back-pressure during peak hours by routing calls efficiently to available Information Officers ✴ Providing clear, concise analytics information that can be accessed at any time and exported across different formats ✴ Providing hooks for easy inter-operability with existing systems, and future infrastructure ✓ Notable Nigerian IVR System Providers - Tizeti Communications, SkyFort Nigeria
  • 8. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Social Media Software ✦ The use of Social Media by the general public as a channel for recording complaints has grown steadily over the last few years. This has been mostly as a result of the proliferation of ICT-enabled devices and the advancement of telecommunications technology. ✦ Social Media tools like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook are relatively inexpensive to operate and can be used to target and collect information from a large audience, which can grow exponentially if utilized properly. ✦ Information Officers can benefit greatly from leveraging the power of social media due to its relatively shorter turnaround times, Network Effects, and its powerful potential to change the public narrative and increase confidence of the general public in the system.
  • 9. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Twitter, Facebook ✴ 60+ million active Nigerian users in 2019 ✴ Interactive message-board styled application for broadcasting information (tweets) to followers ✴ Metrics - Followers, Likes, Shares (Retweets), Direct Message Resolutions, etc ✴ Tools: - TweetDeck - Schedule Tweets for maximum impact, tag tweets, messages and mentions for follow-up and closure - AgoraPulse - Schedule Social Media Calendar, monitor all tweets, mentions, comments and messages from a single screen, use standard-compliant templates to reply tweets and messages ✴ Best Practices - Reply On Time (ROT) - Improves public confidence and satisfaction - Provide timely and regular feedback during the lifecycle of the complaint investigation process, and when it is completed - Treat all conversations and messages as personal one-on-one conversations. This provides a level of comfort for the public to provide more information that can greatly improve the complaint handling process - Limit excessive use of official language
  • 10. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS COLLECTION ▸ Website Live-Chat Software & Form Data Collection ▸ Live chat apps are simple software plugins that can be added to agency and force websites where people can interact directly via instant messaging with Information Officers to ask questions and lay complaints. ▸ Recent research has shown that websites with live chat plugins are perceived as more “genuine” and “authentic”, and people are likely to provide lots of information when interacting with a proactive officer. ▸ Most live chat software are also extendable for seamless integration with existing complaint handling systems. ▸ Adding Complaint Forms to official websites also provides a relatively inexpensive way to collect and log complaints from website visitors. ๏ Notable Live Chat Service Providers ✓ Chatra ✓ Live Chat Inc.
  • 11. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC COMPLAINTS ANALYSIS ▸ Analysis is a very important part of the Complaint Handling Process. Analyzing information over time provides insights into trends and patterns of the kinds of complaints that are more/less frequent in certain areas, and this data can then be use to determine targeted action in these areas (trainings, public outreach, etc) to achieve pre-determined outcomes. ▸ Information collected manually (via physical forms and word of mouth) are more difficult to analyze as they require a great amount of human effort to make sense out of them. ▸ However, Digital Information can be recorded, transcribed and fed into various analytical systems which seamlessly identify patterns in this data, and makes it easier to report via different channels.
  • 13. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC REPORTING ▸ Reporting is the process of organizing data into informational summaries in order to monitor how different areas of information relate to each other ▸ Reporting is perhaps, the most critical step in the complaints handling process ▸ This involves organizing data into spreadsheets, charts, graphs, plots, tables, etc, to help with understanding data at a glance. ▸ Simple and Accurate reporting of data, both internally and externally (via Social Media, Publications, etc) increases confidence in the complaint handling process.
  • 14. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC REPORTING ▸ Reporting Tools • Microsoft Excel - This widely accessible software is one of the most powerful reporting tools available in Technology. It combines Analytical & Graphical tools into one package that can greatly simplify the reports generation process. EVERY Information Officer concerned in the analysis and reporting sub-process of the complaint handling process will do well to learn the basics of this software. Training classes and workshops exist across all states of the country. • Plotly (https://plot.ly/)- This free web tool is a very friendly and easy-to-use plotting library. Dynamic Data can be imported across different formats (excel, csv, text, databases) and plotted on a wide array of rich graphs and charts for easy consumption on the web and print media.
 Many information centers have embraced this tool in recent times for its dynamic nature. Data reports can be converted to web links that are easily sharable on the internet and social media platforms.
  • 15. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC REPORTING Sample of a Data Report by the CRU of the NPF in 2016 on Police Misconduct This report was shared on Social Media and generated a large amount of positive interaction and feedback
  • 16. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC OPPORTUNITIES IN IT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ▸ A law enforcement officer with expertise in technology plans, directs and guides technology decisions for the department. They do this by applying experience and knowledge of law enforcement principles and practices in combination with knowledge of computing and other technologies to drive growth and efficiency within the agency. ▸ Currently, a large section of IT projects and decisions in law enforcement are outsourced to technology agencies. Outsourcing is relatively expensive, and this presents an opportunity for officers to handle some of these projects internally.
  • 17. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC OPPORTUNITIES IN IT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ▸ Modern Opportunities that exist in IT for Officers include: ๏ Data Science & Analysis: Data has become one of the most valuable assets in modern times. Law Enforcement Agencies generate huge amounts of data (crime, identification, cases, etc), and analyzing and understanding this data is now more important than it has ever been. Officers that gain expertise in Data Science & Analysis will become indispensable in the future of Law Enforcement for their ability to improve the efficiency of their agencies based on Data. ๏ Cyber Security & Cyber Crime Prevention: Cybercrime involves any crime committed using computers or the internet as its base. These include: cyberterrorism, computer hacking, fraud, identity theft and child predation. Cybercrime detectives are officers that have advanced knowledge of IT systems and software relating to what is being investigated. With the rate of internet-based crime going up at alarming rates across the world, cybercrime detectives have become even more necessary in today’s IT- driven world.
  • 18. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC OPPORTUNITIES IN IT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ๏ Database Management: Law Enforcement Agencies operate multiple databases for storing and retrieving information for internal and external operations. IT officers adept at designing, managing and updating these database systems are very important in modern law enforcement. ๏ IT Support: With the ever-increasing amounts of IT hardware and software being deployed across agencies to fight crime, there will also be increasing demand for internal IT officers who can help diagnose, debug and fix these equipment for other areas of the agency, remotely or in-person
  • 19. INFORMATION OFFICERS WORKSHOP - CISLAC CONCLUSION ▸ It is very commendable that Law Enforcement Agencies are taking steps to embrace global standards across the board, especially in ICT, by taking deliberate steps to solicit and handle complaints from the members of the public, and giving feedback on actions taken on such complaints. ▸ The framework for these processes need to be revisited from time to time to ensure that they meet standard practice and lead to a more reliable and verifiable progress of all Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria.
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