Bogota’s Citizen Complaints Dashboard
This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)
Bogota’s Citizen Complaints Dashboard (Tablero Control Ciudadano) is a preventive and social control web tool that displays the requirements that the citizens put before the public offices. The Citizen Complaints Dashboard gives access to public officials and citizens to the analysis and monitoring of complaints, claims and compliments entered into the System.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard highlights alerting data related to issues regarding time of attention to the requirements as well as greatest concerns to citizens, promoting efficiency of the administration.
The District System of Complaints and Solutions from the city of Bogota compiles nearly 300,000 annual data since 2013. Citizens who receive services at the public offices have provided the data in the form of complaints, claims, and compliments. This information, which rests in the servers used by the Citizen Service Offices, is highly misused and in most of the times, it is incomprehensible for any decision making process and for the population itself.
The citizen’s concerns that rest on the District System of Complaints and Solutions are of valuable importance for the improvement of services for several reasons: they work as valid service improvement suggestions, they allow analyzes regarding different phenomena related to the efficiency and effectiveness of the actions of the City Administration, and lastly, they are an important resource for both, executives as well interested citizens in social accountability.
The Veeduria Distrital, which functions as a preventive control agency, verifies that the authorities in charge of handling complaints and claims respond in a timely manner and generate solutions to citizens' requirements. In addition, for the past five years, the Veeduria Distrital has been developing a six-month report on the District System of Complaints and Solutions delineating entities’ behaviors.
The Bogota Citizen Complaints Dashboard is a preventive and social control web tool that displays the requirements that the citizens put before the city offices. It allows the various city offices to improve their customer service, based on an evaluating tool for the information contained in the District System of Complaints and Solutions. In addition, it also allows an analysis of citizen concerns and complaints, presenting them in an informal language, promoting a better understanding between citizen’s requirements, in terms of issue, administrative sector, location and response time.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard gives access to city officials, citizen advocates, and citizens themselves to the analysis and monitoring of complaints, claims and complements entered into the District System of Complaints and Solutions – “Bogotá te Escucha”. It highlights alerting data related to issues regarding time of attention to the requirements as well as greatest concern to citizens, generating an opportunity to formulate public management solutions.
In addition, the tool’s performance is fundamental within the preventive action framework, because it allows city officials and citizens to have an interactive tool to help them understand the citizens' behaviors and concerns based on monthly monitoring. The tool promotes a visualization of the agile data and facilitates its search by promoting information from graphs, search options by sector, subject and location.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard mainly benefits the citizens as well as the many offices directors, as it promotes social accountability and within the offices, it promotes the data analysis assisting the decision making process that will have the capacity to monitor, evaluate and formulate preventive actions, projects and public strengthening the Administration's capacities to respond to the needs of citizens, thus improving their quality of life.
Within the City Network of Complaints and Solutions (District Decree 371 of 2010), the Veeduria Distrital identified the need to have a tool for entities and citizens that allows them to know in an effective way and in informal language, the results of the behavior of the citizen requirements. Consequently, the Veeduria Distrital decided to implement the Citizen Complaints Dashboard and began the functional design of the tool in which its scope was defined.
In 2017, the project was submitted to an international competition organized by Bloomberg Associates Organization where the Veeduria Distrital was a proud beneficiary of a technical assistance of data scientists supporting the effective development of the idea. Among other beneficiaries were initiatives by Paris and New York, who had the opportunity to develop projects with the support of Bloomberg Associates.
At the end of 2017, the scope of the project was extended to 15 additional sectors of the District Administration that incorporate 54 city public offices.
The project was carried out through 13 Skype meetings with the participation of the District Oversight team (7 public servants) and the Bloomberg team in New York - USA and Buenos Aires - Argentina.
In addition, weekly training sessions were held between data scientists and Veeduria Distrital's staff in order to analyze the programming language used by the Citizen Complaints Dashboard as well as the adjustment related to the design, structure and presentation of the data, among others.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard construction was completed during the first quarter of 2018 and put into service in April. During the months of May and June of 2018, a total of 15 training sessions were held with each of the 15 secretaries and their management teams. In addition, within the framework of the administrative committees, sessions were developed in which the participation of the executives of the offices affiliated and linked to these administrative sectors was counted.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Bogota has a District System of Complaints and Solutions System, which is an application that allows the managing and transferring of citizen’s requests addressed to the different city offices according to their nature. Despite having this information system, up-to-date there was no tool that allowed the geo-referencing of these requests, in order to arrange them by localities and citizen’s complaints allowing the execution of programs and policies that address this kind of weaknesses.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard provides the City Administration with an information management tool of around 300,000 annual data through a friendly graphic interface,which presents citizen’s most frequent complaints,complains and solutions in the District System of Complaints and Solutions. Thus, public officials have the possibility of monitoring the behavior of citizens' concerns, and vice versa, citizens receive some indicators of the city offices’ attention response time.
Citizen Complaints Dashboard is developed in coding "R language", it has an object-oriented programming and it operates an integrated interface with R styles.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard has been implemented since April of 2018. The Citizen Complaints Dashboard construction was completed during the first quarter of 2018 and put into service in April. During the months of May and June of 2018, fifteen training sessions were held with each of the fifteen secretaries and their management teams. In addition, within the framework of the administrative committees, sessions were developed in which the participation of the executives of the entities affiliated and linked to these administrative sectors was counted.
The Veeduría Distrital has been advertising this tool and it has provided a space on the entity’s website where an entry button can be found leading to the Bogota Citizen Complaints Dashboard that can be accessed by entities and citizens. In addition, information has been published in the Veeduria’s social networks and similarly, it has been disseminated in meetings with other city’s public offices.
Collaborations & Partnerships
In 2017, the project was submitted to an international competition organized by Bloomberg Associates Organization where the Veeduria Distrital was a proud beneficiary of a technical assistance of data scientists supporting the effective development of the idea.
At the end of 2017, the scope of the project was extended to 15 additional sectors of the City Administration that incorporate 15 Sectoral Secretariats, 21 Affiliated Entities, 14 Related Entities and 4 sub-networks of integrated health services.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard benefits the citizens as it promotes social accountability, also the city offices as it promotes the data analysis, assisting the decision making process that will have the capacity to monitor,evaluate and formulate preventive actions, projects and public policies strengthening the Administration's capacities to respond to the needs of citizens, thus improving their quality of life. (56 city offices, as well as citizens who are involve in the social accountability processes in Bogota).
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
From May 2018, the Citizen Complaints Dashboard has had 47,234 visitors. This tool promotes a data analytical environment and it fosters the technical capacities within the city public offices to implement preventive actions, generating a culture where preventive actions and social accountability are a key to ensure efficiency in public management.
The Citizen Complaints Dashboard allowed the identification of issues within the “Bogotá te escucha” District System of Complaints and Solutions system and it has given tools and instruments to improve the categorization and management of the information that rest in this platform.
From a citizen perspective, in Bogota are more than 850 citizen oversight initiatives, therefore the Citizen Complaints Dashboard has provided the citizens with information regarding topics of interest from all the 15 administrative sectors of the city.
Finally, through the implementation public officials have a better understanding about citizen service as they are appropriating an open data tool that contributes to the improvement the city as a whole.
Challenges and Failures
One of the main obstacles faced with the implementation of the Citizen Complaints Dashboard, is related to the quality of the information that is collected in the District System of Complaints and Solutions, so this exercise allowed to diagnose the need to improve collection methods of data and thus have more consistent information.
Some of the risks that may arise in this project are those of a technological nature among which are the interruption, alteration or failure in the functioning and operation of storage systems or the District System of Complaints and Solutions system as a source of information of the Citizen Complaints Dashboard.
Conditions for Success
There are two main conditions for success; the first one is a high level of engagement of the public offices by using the Citizen Complaints Dashboard and providing training for public officers for the appropriation of this management tool. The second one is the automatization of the platform so users can access in real time to all information.
The Bogota Citizen Complaints Dashboard is replicable in any public office, ranging from the local to the national level and in any country as it works as a decision making tool, providing the information about what citizens are most concerned within the public administrations or the way services are provided. Having a tool like the Citizen Complaints Dashboard makes any city administration more efficient as it puts needs, compliments and requirements of the citizens in the core of the way public policies, programs or plan are being design and implemented.
That way, the agenda of public offices and officials is citizen centered; therefore, trust between public administrations and citizens is strengthen.
The lessons learned from the Citizen Complaints Dashboard project are to continue with the advancement and improvement of the quality of the information reported in the ‘Bogotá Té Escucha’ - District System of Complaints and Solutions system and verify the importance of having updated and refined databases to guarantee the effectiveness of the tool. The Citizen Complaints Dashboard is the best example of how an open data technology tool contributes directly to consolidate an open government.