A brief introduction on Grievance Redress System


It is becoming evidently clear today that, under the new paradigm shift, public servants are not only accountable to existing institutions of control but also to the public at large. The empowered and enlightened citizenry of today is far more challenging and the administration, therefore, has to develop, evolve and enable itself to meet the evolving demands of the society that it has to serve; serve according to the complaints and compliments of the public. The concept of accountable, transparent and responsive public administration bears little meaning in the absence of effective Grievance Redress System (GRS). In other way, strong and institutionalized GRS could be treated as one of the important icons of good governance. Like public, demand for effective grievance system is increasingly underpinned by investor policies as well—such as those of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation—and international initiatives such as the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Grievance Redress System:

Grievance redress system is nothing but an institutionalized and organized method consisting of specified roles, rules, and procedures for systematically resolving complaints, grievances, disputes, or conflicts.

Grievance redress system provide a way to reduce risk for public service delivery, provide an effective avenue for expressing concerns and achieving remedies for public, and promote a mutually constructive relationship.

The aim of this is to develop a range of procedures to facilitate airing, and resolution of grievances in a non-threatening, supportive environment.

Useful Components of a Grievance Redress System:

Grievance resolution system includes several elements, including some or all of the following:

  • A transparent grievance receipt and registration system to provide ways for aggrieved public to register complaints and confirm they have been received;
  • Grievance eligibility assessment to determine if the issues raised in the complaint fall within the mandate of the grievance system and the complainants are eligible to file a complaint;
  • Grievance evaluation to clarify the issues and concerns raised in the complaint, gather information on how others see the situation, and identify whether and how the issues might be resolved;
  • Problem solving, with or without the assistance of independent, third parties that include:

► Internal decision-making processes, whereby issues are handled by some designated officials, using stated standards and criteria, to develop and propose  a  response to the grievance and to allow for an appeals process;

►   Joint problem solving, in which the organization and the complainant engage in direct dialogue;

►   Third-party decision making to offer a solution when a voluntary agreement is not possible;

  • Grievance tracking, monitoring, and reporting to the society;
  • Government-Public feedback and information sharing to strengthen grievance resolution processes;
  • Organizational learning and identification of systemic problems and the need for changes to policies and procedures to prevent recurrent future disputes.