Citizen Engagement, Accountability and Transparency
Problem and Context
Good local governance is the backbone of a democracy as it directly impacts citizens’ everyday lives. However, Nepal’s local governance is criticized for a number of shortcomings: traditional service provision; accountability deficit; lack of transparency; low citizen participation and too little engagement.
Nepal has gone through major political changes during the first decade of the 21st century. Along with these political changes, demand for efficient public service delivery has heightened. People are also eager to bring government plans and programs to public scrutiny. They do not see themselves as passive recipients of government programs anymore; rather they are willing to engage in active conversation with the government. Its proper harnessing has a potential to transform local governance in Nepal.
We have been developing a model to revamp local governance using crowd-sourced mapping, open data and mobile technology. Rather than just blaming the government, our approach rests on the premise that effective local governance requires two-way communication between government and citizens. We have developed new information and communication tools to enable stronger interaction between the government and public. These tools are aimed at simultaneously empowering citizens as well as enabling the government to harness citizens’ knowledge and experience in hyper local issues.
We are working in Ward 7 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Our partners are Ward 7 office, office of Honorable member of the Constituent Assembly Mr. Gagan Kumar Thapa and Young Innovations. Kathmandu Living Labs brings its expertise in crowd-sourced mapping, open data and mobile technologies in the team.
- Latest Update: On January 7, 2015, this prototype was demonstrated to the Office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Following the demo, a task-force consisting of members from the office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, the office of Hon. Member of Parliament Gagan Kumar Thapa, Ward 7 office, Kathmandu Living Labs, and Young Innovations has been formed. This task-force is currently working to integrate this model into the existing workflow and systems of the Office of Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
- We have completed mapping infrastructure and major points-of-interest in ward 7 mobilizing students and citizen volunteers. Read this blog.
- We have developed a mobile app that enables citizens to report their grievances such as pothole on the road and illegal dumping of garbage. We have also developed system to map and show those reports to fellow citizens and the ward officials for their action.
- We have developed an interactive mapping system to open ward level programs and projects to the public.