CARE's Citizens' Charter Manual
The Citizens’ Charter (CC) is a public document that provides the essential information that citizens need to know about the services provided by a public agency.53 It states:
• What citizens are entitled to receive
• What service providers have the responsibility to deliver
The Citizens’ Charter is a written, voluntary declaration by service providers about the standards, accessibility, transparency and accountability of services delivered. The Citizens’ Charter by itself does not create new legal rights and duties; however it certainly helps in enforcing existing rights. It is best understood as a contract between service users and service providers. It states the quantity and quality of services users are entitled to receive in exchange for their taxes and what service providers have the responsibility to deliver as public servants in exchange for their salaries. The Charter can help to change the mindset of public officials as someone with power over the public, to someone with a sense of duty as a public servant to spend public money and provide services, which are funded through taxes, in a way that suits the interests, preferences and needs of citizens.
In Egypt, citizen charters have been used to improve communication with service providers and increase measures taken to address issues
raised by service users in the education and infrastructure sector. See here.
This guidance note describes how to develop a Citizens’ Charter, covering planning and preparation, design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. It was generated by CARE Egypt and the Global Governance team, with contribution from the CARE Bangladesh team.