Lien Chinese Public Service Index

The aim of the Index was to track the longitudinal change of citizens’ and businesses’ opinions on urban governments and public services in China and consists of the following three general dimensions:

Citizen Perspective
Business Perspective
General Public Service
Solicits citizens' opinions on nine essential public services such as public education, public healthcare, housing, social security, public safety, infrastructure, recreation and sports facilities, environmental protection, and public  transportation, government efficacy, government transparency, citizen participation and political trust.
Assesses government performance in the areas of business environment, essential public services, government efficacy and business participation from businesses' perspective.
Evaluates government public service performance based on hard data collected from individual city statistics yearbook.

Table 2: Dimensions of citizens’ and businesses’ opinions tracked in the Lien Public Service Index for Chinese Cities

The survey was first administered in 2010 and subsequently on an annually basis until 2014 over the 5-year period. Each year, more than 300,000 phone calls were made to obtain a randomly selected scientific sample of over 25,000 citizens and more than 3,000 companies in those cities, believed to be the most comprehensive and largest sample ever conducted in this field in China. The project also sought the advice from the heads of relevant government offices in Hangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu, Shenyang and Hefei. The survey took cities’ basic situations and infrastructures into account, and the objective and archival data can complement and corroborate the subjective and perceptional data gleaned by telephone survey.

The Project has produced a fair amount of academic works, attracted wide media coverage and generated considerable policy impacts. Its annual city rankings have been widely covered by the main media and circulated among government officials, business managers, academic researchers and the ordinary public. Several important studies based on the data of the Project have been well received in internationally prestigious academic conferences and journals. Findings of the survey were published every year in the “Lien Chinese Cities Public Service Quality Index” report. The report ranked the ten best-performing cities annually, as well as the “Top Ten Cities with Service-oriented Government” in China. They were ranked under the following categories: “Service-oriented Government (Citizen Satisfaction)”, “Service-oriented Government (Business Satisfaction)”, and “Service-oriented Government (Provision of General Public Services)”. For example, the cities awarded the “Lien 2014 Top Ten Chinese Cities with Service-oriented Government” were Xiamen, Shenyang, Qingdao, Chongqing, Shenzhen/Hangzhou (tied), Dalian, Nanjing, Chengdu, Hefei and Shanghai. Key findings of this Project have also been adopted by several city governments in China to adjust public policies and improve public satisfaction. ​