Consultas Covid Extremadura

Countries

Spain

Policy areas

Organisation name The Government Delegation in Extremadura

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Contact person: María Belén Palomino Saurina, Head of Section of the General Secretariat of the Government Delegation

In the context of the Covid-19 breakout, the Government Delegation in Extramadura decided to create a consultation mailbox, consultascovid19.extremadura@correo.gob.es. This was intended to answer citizen’s questions and doubts regarding the measures that were being adopted by the Spanish government in different public administrations in Spain.

The project also envisaged the creation of the Covid Extremadura consultation working group, to manage the mailbox and implemented a completely new working method. This was to be very agile and with unprecedented timing and response coordination, through the use of teleworking and digital technology. The team was responsible for answering citizen enquiries received 24 hours a day, seven days a week, within a maximum of 24 hours. The most urgent questions came first and were required to be answered immediately.

The existence of the mailbox and the working team have been promoted widely among public administrations in Extremadura, citizen and institutions. The very quick and efficient response rate to the enquiries was immediately perceived as very positive by the citizens. These two elements allow many people to access the service so the demand for information from the society has been unexpectedly high. Within three days from the creation of the mailbox, the demand increased to such an extent that five additional civil servants had to be assigned to deal with it. This was solved efficiently, thanks mainly to the commitment of the public employees in the face of the situation that society was going through due to the pandemic.

Although this project was created for a specific situation and as an emergency, it is intended to be sustainable. It can be reapplied in all circumstances where it is necessary to deal with citizens’ queries in exceptional situations or otherwise.

The model of this project is easily replicable. All that is needed is to set up an email account with a distribution list for the number of public employees deemed necessary to deal with the queries. One person needs to coordinate them and keep the response models and the compilation of regulations up to date.

This system of communication with the public may be appropriate for any other type of situation that may arise from a governmental measure, such as a crisis of any kind. It can also be used for the adoption of new regulations that could lead to a massive demand for information from society in terms of their content and scope.

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