Wanyakala, Tom Alfred (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Customer orientated reforms have been widely adopted for improving service delivery. However, the introduction of these reforms in the public sector is still little understood; and the literature is pessimistic regarding their application in the public sector in developing countries. To further understand the relevance of customer orientated reforms in developing countries, this study assessed their performance when implemented by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), which is in charge of urban water supply in Uganda. Using multiple data sources, including household user surveys and interviews, the study posed the questions: Has the NWSC become more customer-oriented as a result of reforms? If so, what are the consequences for user satisfaction and loyalty? The study finds first that customer oriented reforms in the NWSC were introduced by a committed leadership which reduced resistance to change and coordinated key stakeholder involvement. Second, it finds that the reforms contributed to improved water accessibility, affordability and customer care. Third, it finds that increased provider responsiveness to complaints correlates with increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Since the study focused on users with home water connections, further research is needed to assess how similar the results would be for poorer non-connected users and commercial and institutional users.
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