Date Published: May 7, 2018, 1:58 p.m.
he first stage of the project aimed to gather all the data of Galle city from both public and private sectors. The data has been sorted out through an internal system and a hot line has been set up to help citizens with any issues they may faced. The data platform is the first collection data system of his kind in Galle and the municipality is currently also upgrading its website. Through this website, citizens will be able to quickly access city data and services online at any time. The hot line is reachable through mail or phone and provides users with assistance for any kind of services within very short time. In the meantime, the municipality collected most of the citizens email addresses to send them all the important information, alerts and notifications. This first attempt was well received and it’s a step forward toward more transparent and accountable government. The minutes of standing committee meetings have also been shared to the public so that citizens could be aware of the latest regulations of the city.Project area: Galle Municipal Council area Population size: 271156
Starting date: 13/05/2016
Ending date: 13/05/2018
The Galle municipal council was totally inexperienced in implementing such type of initiative. Consequently, many stages have been adapted on the field throughout the implementation. The very first step required an adequate mechanism to collect data. To this end, the data has been classified by sectors, product and services types. Main sectors are History of the Municipality, Rules and Regulations, Reserve services, Tax payment, Development projects and other City Departments.
An “issue tracker” was also set up thanks to the support of various stakeholders. Citizens are now able to report any issue through their phone or through the website. To this end, a call center operator has been created. The creation of the website was an opportunity that enabled municipal employees to learn development tools. The “issue tracker” was really successful and is now ready to be scaled throughout the country.
Besides, the Galle Municipal Council has developed a shared platform with the support of several stakeholders. This platform aims to allow and foster discussions between the citizens so that everyone can express their ideas and suggestions. This was one of the turning points of the project.
Galle Municipal Council financed the project with its own funds. It started as a small-scale project to be expanded in the future. R.s. 2 million has been spent by the municipality, which is now looking for external funds to develop and spread the project. At the moment, the project is only implemented by the municipal staff but the municipality forecast to expand the project to many different areas.
The project will need an investment of R.s 6 million more to be spent within a year.
The municipality is also expecting to develop the ¨issue tracker¨ with a more efficient and advanced software to foster sharing more city-level information. In fact, only a basic software has been developed so far.
The project has benefited many citizens. The call center assistance was very successful and has given citizen attention to more than 12870 people.
18759 calls have been answered during the project implementation stage.
5741 people got benefits without coming
We shared the annual reports to 37589 so far. We implemented 37 sub projects
We conducted 378 workshops
The program also saved R.s 2, 789,114.00 by minimizing the wasting time and working hours.
The main barrier was lack of knowledge about new trends and standards. It was one of bad thing that we had to face. If we have more proper knowledge about the international standards we could develop the project so far. Need more outside knowledge to develop the project and learn from other cities and there were no that kind of support to develop the program.
The lack of knowledge about new tends and standards was the main roadblock. We still need to learn from other cities experiences to develop the program. Changing Municipal employee mentality was another challenge. Lastly, we are still looking for more detailed and accurate technical knowledge to upgrade the project.
Main lesson is we can use data for increase services of Municipal Council as well as people life because we realize data can make a huge sense because sharing annual reports with people increased the tax payment because people realized what we are doing with their tax and we believe this is one of great turning point as well lesson.
The main lesson taken from the project development is that data can be used to increase services of the Municipal Council as well as transparency. It was detected that sharing annual reports with citizens increased the tax payment because people realized what the City was doing with their taxes. Other cities can leverage that experience by expanding their services and transparency to increase the effectiveness and transparency.
Another lesson was that people could contribute to the development of the project because their ideas and suggestions are highly valuable and effective. Also, people are willing to support and volunteer to implement initiatives like this one, so urban decision makers should leverage citizen engagement.