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§ Many citizen engagement mobile apps (example – identifying pothole, drainage faulty
traffic light, illegal parking, unattended, etc. issues) failed simply because they are
unable to sustain the popularity, usage, and continuous enhancement. Why?
Capacity To Hear And Respond
(web portals, emails,
phone calls etc)and
method unable to
CITIZENS CITY AUTHORITIES
“Black hole” issue
We Build Cities Based on Citizen-Centric Approach
Get citizens input via their
Citizens have a
better quality of life
Authorities decide and
justify their next plan
Citizens will see how
their cities perform
BUILDING THE NEXT SMART CITY SOLUTIONS
Identify locations of issues
and City Authorities respond
Tip (1) – Buy-in From Both Segments
• It requires the active participation of both parties.
It’s like “chicken or egg” question. Who starts first?
• Residents felt that their complaints would go
down the deaf ears of the local councils – just like
going down the black hole.
• The local authorities that are sensitive to the
citizens feel that the citizens need to channel their
grouses into a proper channel rather than letting
their anger on social media and become terribly
Tip (2) – Publicity
• If you ask 100 or 1000 people on the streets
whether they have heard such application. We can
almost guarantee you that none have heard that.
• It’s easier to get a ridiculous publicity message
across the WhatsApp rather than something which
is more useful
• ”Engagement fatigue”
• Staff intensive
• Time consuming
• Little return of Municipal investment
Tip (3) – Finding The Right Concerned Citizens
• Who are these people? What type of individuals
that are concerned about the cleanliness or safety
of the surrounding.
• The NATO and the SELFIES – the non-concerned
Tip (4) – Gamification If Necessary
• People Wants An Incentive To Participate In
Crowdsourcing Initiative. Either Get Themselves
Paid In Monetary Or Prizes.
• The Other Way Is To Gamify The App In Such A
Way That Gives Some Form Of Status Within The
Community App. Give Them Points And Elevate
Them Into A Different Status Or Higher Rank On
The Leadership Board.
• Launch Contest With Prizes For Being The Most
Tip (5) – Pressure Groups
• No administrators of the cities would love to
receive complaints every day. Nobody likes to
handle hundreds or thousands of complaints each
day throughout the whole year. But if they did not
manage and close the complaints, how could they
solve all the problems which are already in the
• Why need to be in a reactive mode when local
councils can be proactive?
• Sometimes, city authorities need a little push or
“pressure” from the people.
Tip (6) – Social Media Channels
• The most popular official
channels by local councils are
either through phone, fax, web
portal or email. But technology
has rapidly changed the
landscape of communications
with the advent of smartphones,
mobile Internet, and Social
• Allow the citizens to
communicate on their favorite
social media channels.
“One App to Bind
Tip (7) – In-house Vs Outsource
• It’s NOT only the front-end but also the backend
• Thus, a lot of cities who thought that they could
just develop the mobile app (i.e. the front-end) in-
house did not realize what they are going to end
• Nearly all local council IT departments are not set
up as a product development house. The budget
given to them are only enough to operate, manage
and maintain the IT system but not to become
innovative and develop their application.
Tip (8) – Product Roadmap
• Handling a continuous development and future
enhancement of the backend system requires a
sustainable IT support resources.
• New technology emerges and thus it must quickly
be adapted with the current process workflow.
• Developing and supporting this in-house will
probably give the IT department of the local
council a horrible nightmare that they will always
Tip (9) – Smart City Vision
• Citizen engagement is only one of the single
component in a Smart City. They are many
applications which require integration to a smart
city platform; thus, it cannot be developed in silo
• Remember that IOT also requires input from
physical sensors (other than the sensors from the
• A real Smart City need an integrated platform that
collects and aggregates various sources of data
(structured or unstructured) to discover the
insights of the city and make cities a better and
sustainable place to live.
Tip (10) – It’s Not An It Job!
• Of course, any IT company can develop the mobile
• However, IOT requires different skills that
encompass embedded programming,
understanding different communications
protocols, cloud services, and big data analytics.