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27 Abr 2015

For My Neighborhood: Citizen Reports

Daniel Carranza



Leer en español.

 

The video accompanying this post was released this week and signals a new stage of Por Mi Barrio (For my Neighborhood), a tool released by DATA Uruguay in Montevideo, in agreement with the Municipality of Montevideo and the Neighbor’s Ombudsman, supported by Avina Americas. After its kick-off in August, this tool for reporting street breakage, vandalism and other problems in the city, has just finished its “beta” stage and launched its new functionalities along a multimedia campaign. The goal is to increase neighbor participation  in the maintenance of the city, but also to equip the whole process with more transparency.

PorMiBarrio

Like other tools of citizen reporting, Por Mi Barrio is based on Fix My Street (free and open software) created by My Society of the United Kingdom, and had the support of the international branch of this organization for local implementation. But this application added three key components to the basic app:

  1. A substantial improvement and renewal of the interface and usability, making it responsive (compatible with mobile devices such as tablets and cellphones), and which recently earned it two awards at the Ibero-American Biennial of Design.
  2. An unprecedented deep level of integration with the municipality systems that allows Por Mi Barrio, through open services, to generate electronic records within the Single System claims of the Municipality of Montevideo.
  3. And last but by no means least, a comprehensive plan of workshops in neighborhood centers, clubs and municipalities to help bring the use of the tool to all corners of the city and to enable neighborhood mediators to use the tool to address neighborhood problems.

 

Taller PorMiBarrioThese points were discussed extensively during a webinar organized by the World Bank and the OGP involving DATA, the Montevideo municipality and AGESIC (e-government agency in Uruguay). You will find extensive information on these points at the link.

But the most interesting piece of news of this campaign comes from the side of transparency, which is the statistics section. One of the advantages of Open Government is that, beyond the tools, collaboration with civil society provides much more information on the management of processes and data. In the statistics section, Por Mi Barrio lets you view highly valuable information such as what types of claims and how many are made to each of the areas, how many of these are resolved and in how long. This section will continue to be improved in the coming months and, above all, will continue to accumulate more claims, making the database richer. This database is now available for download as open data from the site and will soon be also available at the National Catalog of Open Data of Uruguay.

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