Citizens Connect

Citizens Connect is a civic tool that provides access to information and public services, to support effective service delivery by gathering feedback and highlighting issues which are of concern to Citizens to the relevant Government agency for timely resolution. The platform also serves as a portal for civic awareness, public service information, citizen reporting, inquiries, and advice. This initiative fosters accountability and transparency in public services.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Drawing from our experience with corruption in the Nigerian Immigration Service and our engagement with other public service providers and regulators, the idea for Citizens Connect came about. It is evident that there is a huge communication gap between citizens and public service providers. Most citizens do not know where to channel their feedback and grievances and which Government agency is responsible for addressing poor service delivery, extortion, and other corrupt practices. There is also little effort by Government agencies and departments to inform citizens about the services they provide. Therefore, there is a need for a civic platform to address civic awareness and public service issues using web technologies and social media as a tool.

Citizens Connect is a crowdsourced platform where citizens collaborate with Government departments, through civic awareness, information sharing, gathering feedback and reporting public service issues to the relevant Government agency to improve accountability and transparency in public service delivery.

This intervention uses a hybrid approach, combining website and social media for information sharing and facilitating citizens’ discussion forums, and offline meetings with Government representatives. For instance, if this platform was available, many citizens having trouble applying for their travel passport could report corrupt officials through our website or direct message on social media while the team tracks and follow-up complaints with the immigration controller or escalates to the Minister for timely resolution.

This project will make Government inclusive and transparent consequently leading to effective planning and addressing the problems identified by citizens. The project will foster a relationship with Government agencies and departments through physical meetings to close the feedback loop and engage public service users.

This project will reach all Nigerian Citizens especially the youth population who actively use the internet. The Nigerian Communication Commission recently published that there are about 92 million active internet users who subscribe to data services on the major Nigeria telecommunication networks. This shows that over 50% of the total population of citizens are internet users, therefore this project will promote the usage of the internet for civic engagement. The project will also reach the non-active internet users through offline town hall meetings, newspaper, and radio programmes to collate feedback from citizens.

What are the potential work products?
The project will create web and mobile applications that facilitate communication on public service issues between citizens and Government and also create social media platform to popularize its usage and collate extended feedback.
Collaborating with civil society organisations to organise physical forums and training to enhance citizens’ competence to process and understand civic information, engage Government, and contribute to the policymaking process.
Log public service issues, report corrupt officials and convey feedback to the relevant Government department using an online system to track progress and close resolved issues.
Work with media organisations to cascade information sharing from online engagement to print media, radio, and TV, to keep a wider audience informed on engagement between citizens and public organisations.
Promote grassroots participation; Citizens Connect will work with Community Based Organisations (CBO), Civil Society Organisations (CSO), Students and Youth groups to promote its usage across communities in Nigeria.
The innovation will scale bigger through the development of platforms that foster open policymaking and co-creation. We hope to develop openbills.ng a plaform for crowdsourcing policy input and sponsoring Citizen-led bill while townhall.ng will serve as a Goverment technology platform for engaging constituents and the general public

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2018
Organisation Type: Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)

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