The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) believes that communication with partner countries and their citizens is a driving force to enhance the quality of development co-operation. Thus, it has utilized the Partner Countries’ Satisfaction Survey on ODA Programs as a significant tool to communicate with them for more than 20 years. It enables KOICA to see and recognize the strength and challenges that it faces in implementing the ODA programs and indicates what should improve.
To this end, KOICA has paid particular attention to communicating with customers and stakeholders, who are not only the backbone of KOICA but also the crucial factor in determining the success of ODA programs. As part of this effort, the Partner Countries’ Satisfaction Survey on ODA Performance has been conducted annually since 1998. The survey is a very significant and influential tool used to facilitate communication with KOICA’s customers and learn what they think of its activities and outputs. In other words, it enables KOICA to see and figure out what the Agency is good at and what it needs to improve in terms of implementing the development co-operation programs and customers’ experiences.
KOICA conducts the Partner Countries’ Satisfaction Survey on ODA Performance every year to assess and analyze the overall service quality and satisfaction status of the programs. The Survey is intended for the partner countries and their citizens (aid coordinating authority, recipient institutions, project partner agencies, volunteer hosting agencies, invitational trainees, and service end-users). The survey questions are categorized into the following topics: Service Quality (fundamental satisfaction, service efficacy, service completeness, interaction, communication, customer care, environmental convenience, institution/process/system, and work capability), Social Responsibility (policy feasibility, sustainability, and ethics), Discrepancy (expectations gap, ideal service, and comparison with other agencies), and Overall Satisfaction (cognitive satisfaction and emotional satisfaction).
|Evaluation items for calculating the overall satisfaction rate
|Service product quality (3 questions)
| ㆍ[Fundamental satisfaction] KOICA’s ODA program is in line with my purpose of using its services.
ㆍ[Service efficacy] KOICA’s ODA program will enable me to achieve my objective/goal.
ㆍ[Service completeness] There are no problems in using KOICA’s ODA program throughout its entire processes.
|Service delivery quality (3 questions)
| ㆍ[Interaction] KOICA’s staff treats its customers in such a kind, friendly way that makes me satisfied.
ㆍ[Communication] KOICA provides any necessary information, processing results, etc. in a clear manner.
ㆍ[Customer care] KOICA’s staff do their best for me to receive the services I need.
|Service environment quality (3 questions)
| ㆍ[Environmental convenience] (Has visited before) KOICA’s facilities and environment are clean and pleasant.
(Never visited before) It’s easy and convenient to use KOICA’s services.
ㆍ[Institution/process/ system] KOICA’s staff handle customer requests promptly.
ㆍ[Work capability] KOICA’s staff display excellence in doing their jobs.
|Social responsibility (3 questions)
| ㆍ[Policy feasibility] KOICAisimplementing policies that are in line with the purpose ofitsestablishment.
ㆍ[Sustainability] KOICA is carrying out tasks aimed at creating value for the country or society in the future.
ㆍ[Ethics] KOICA’s operations are carried out in a fair and transparent manner.
|Discrepancy (3 questions)
| ㆍ[Expectations] What did you think of KOICA’s ODA program based on your expectations?
ㆍ[Ideal service]What did you think of KOICA’s ODA program in comparison with the most ideal service that you can imagine?
ㆍ[Other agencies] What did you think of KOICA’s ODA program in comparison with the services of other institutions or countries
you have experienced in the past?
|Overall satisfaction (2 questions)
| ㆍ[Cognitive satisfaction] I am generally satisfied with KOICA’s ODA program.
ㆍ[Emotional satisfaction] I have developed a positive view of KOICA after partaking in KOICA’s ODA program.
In 2020, KOICA administered this survey to a total of 5,654 people in 44 countries. In the results, the overall satisfaction score dropped to 86.8 points from 88.1 points compared with 2019. KOICA infers that the main reason for the decline was the difficulty in implementing development cooperation projects under the COVID-19 global pandemic.
At KOICA, the Public Communication Center is responsible for overseeing the entire process of the survey and the Voice of Customers (VOC) system. It analyzes diverse factors related to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction with programs reported by the recipient countries and their citizens, and gets a range of their feedback on its development cooperation service. Also, it registers a variety of ideas and thoughts of its customers to the VOC system and divides them into several categories such as compliments, complaints, and suggestions to improve. Among them, those which should be immediately considered and resolved are allocated to the proper office. Then, the Center monitors and evaluates how well they are processed and resolved via a Key Performance Index (KPI), which refers to a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge a company’s overall long-term performance.
There are several advantages to administering the survey. Its key benefits are:
Gaining new insights : The feedback tells us what we didn’t know previously. The survey is a great way to step back, obtain honest opinions from our partner countries, and learn what we didn’t know or had taken for granted. For example, “Two officers in the same department give contradictory information,” one customer said.
Deeper communication with partners : The survey is a very useful and interactive communication channel compared with the newsletters and flyers, which are unilaterally delivered. It provides partner countries with an opportunity to respond and shows how much their opinion and thoughts matter. It is a good tactic to express how much we care and are open to communication with them. They appreciate our effort and gain a sense of community with us if KOICA takes into consideration their suggestions.
Continuously improving customer orientation : KOICA can be more customer-centric organization. Every employee strives to improve and upgrade the aid service by communicating with customers. As part of their efforts, KOICA led a variety of system improvements and innovations. Also, the survey results serve as a tool for decision-makers to identify the strengths and challenges of KOICA’s programs and to establish and guide customer-friendly ODA policies and strategies.
KOICA endeavors to win credibility and loyalty of its customers by communicating with them. Customers’ complaints, while disappointing, are valuable assets that help our business and service grow and improve if handled properly. This is the main reason that KOICA carries out the survey on an annual basis. KOICA trusts that all the solutions to develop its aid service stem from the customer’s’ view and ideas. The customers’ perception is KOICA’s reality