Public services go to the streets: the Citizenship module

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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)

TOMI is a network of interactive street kiosks that allow every citizen to freely use public services on-the-go, in a simple, fast and convenient way, while performing their daily routines on the city streets.
By using TOMI, people can search for a specific public entity/service, choose the one that’s closer to their current location and take a virtual queue ticket to a given public service, with the possibility to require an SMS alert when their queue number is approaching.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

TOMI is a user-friendly network of interactive street kiosks that offer a unique way to promote multiple activities and points of interest, such as public services, tourism, culture and local commerce. This solution allows citizens to save time, energy and money, by providing a myriad of information in a simple, accessible and free way. TOMI operates like a community/proximity service that gives everyone the same opportunities to access public services while walking on the streets, thus promoting both social and digital inclusion.
TOMI has five main modules (besides a “photo and GIF” feature, that adds a fun factor with the possibility to take giant selfies/GIFS):
- News (with curated urban local information);
- Events (aggregate everything that’s happening in the city, by categories);
- Search (helps to explore every corner of the city, listing places to eat, nearby points of interest or where to sleep);
- Transports (promotes mobility, allowing users to search for the routes for any destination);
- and the more recent Citizenship module, which represents the core of this application and was just launched in June 2018, endowing TOMI’s network with a brand new public services’ feature.
The main objective of the Citizenship module, which embodies a partnership between TOMI and the Administrative Modernization Agency (AMA) – the Portuguese public body responsible for administrative modernization and simplification and for the digital transformation of the Public Administration – is to bring public services closer to all people, taking advantage of TOMI’s network to provide a location for e-services and public services search.
In this way, it’s possible to strengthen ties between people, cities and the State, by making public services more accessible and easier to use.
The Citizenship module further concurs to enable multidimensional smarter cities, by providing georeferenced information about all the public services available and the possibility to get virtual queue tickets for these services, informing the number of people waiting and the average time of service in each public entity.

Users can select the public service of their choice and the public entity that is more convenient to them (based on location and/or queue lines), receiving the virtual queue ticket by SMS and also SMS alerts when there are 3 tickets left for their turn. Services include requesting and renewing the Citizen Card and Passport, obtaining Civil Registry certificates (birth, marriage, death) or scheduling an attendance at the Tax Authority or Social Security Services, to name just a few. The citizen can also take virtual queue tickets for services of public interest provided in the Portuguese network of Citizen Shops (one-stop-shops), namely by water, energy and telecom utilities. As such, users can wait for their turn anywhere they want and just go to the public entity when their turn is close.

This feature allows public entities to better organize queue lines and to reduce the waiting time in their physical offices, thus contributing to a better citizen experience and to improve the overall level of service.
Another standout feature is the possibility to use TOMI’s network to foster an effective citizen engagement, either by launching important alerts (such as a street being closed for works), by gathering citizens' opinions on matters of public interest, by providing relevant information or simply by collecting citizens’ feedback.

Furthermore, the Citizenship module ensures that everyone can interact and access public services, even people who don’t normally have access to technology. By providing useful and accessible information to all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or age, TOMI’s network promotes inclusion and equity and contributes to more informed, educated and participatory citizens.

Taking public services to the streets with TOMI is a strategy devised to make cities smarter, more tangible and with added value to the citizens.
TOMI Citizenship module is already installed in its Portuguese network, and is registering great feedback from users and coverage from the media.

Innovation Description

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Year: 2018
Level of government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

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