Enhancement of Citizen Participation

                                                              

Enhancement of Citizen Participation

Comunitas
Solution proposed by: 
Comunitas, Campinas City Hall and Colab (Comunitas technical partner)
In a Nutshell: 
Promotion of the citizens engagement in public management. A platform was implemented in the city narrowing the dialogue between citizens and public managers. Citizens are encouraged to propose and contribute to public services and to the development of the city through a social network.
Where and When: 
Campinas, State of São Paulo, Brazil. From 2015 to 2016.
Challenges: 
Campinas has 1.080.113 habitants and is the center of a metropolitan region in São Paulo State. The city has a history of corruption in former governments that current public administration has the commitment to ban. This is the reason why some of mayor top priorities are to foster transparency, participation and social control on his term. The challenge was to find channels to reach most part of the population and make their voices being heard. It was very important to identify a tool that could promote the dialogue between the citizens and the mayor and city hall representatives.
Innovation: 
In order to establish a solid channel of dialogue between citizens and public managers, Colab.re was the tool identified by Comunitas and implemented in the city. This platform is considered innovative, once it connects and involves citizens in the public management. Before Colab deployment in the city, the decision making process would consider the opinion of the mayor, government staff and representatives and some community and association leaders. With this tool, people can propose and vote for better public services in different areas.
Concept: 
The basis of this work front is the program Juntos pelo Desenvolvimento Sustentável (Together for Sustainable Development) a public-private partnership created to improve municipalities management in order to deliver better public services to the population, improving competitiveness of cities and quality of life to the citizens. The program is led by Comunitas, a Brazilian social organization, and its methodology is based on five main pillars: Management, Innovation, Strengthening Leadership, Social Engagement and Partnership Hub. The engagement shaft seeks to mobilize and engage citizens in public management through processes and management tools and platforms to assure long-term goals and sustainability. Juntos aims that municipalities advance towards the 4.0 Government Maturity Stage, in which innovative services are co-created and designed for citizen needs, based on solid transparency practices and policies with network-based management and direct democracy. Colab.re is one of the platforms identified to promote engagement of Campinas citizens as it could contribute to build a collaborative environment and an open-government culture.
Description: 
Colab.re is a social network which allows the relationship between over one million Campinas citizens and the local government through a website or mobile app, available in iOS and Android versions. This tool is available to every Brazilian City and allows the citizen to interact with the public service by providing information about city challenges, such as identifying water waste, bad use of electricity, irregular sidewalks, amongst other services. It also permits the proposition of solutions and the evaluation of institutions and public services. Juntos have invested in the City capacity to answer the citizen’s posts and to solve the problems pointed by assertive addressing. It’ was established a project governance: In the City Hal, a team was designated to accompany and respond to these demands through a monitoring system which was installed in the Communication Secretary. When posting on this social network, the citizen can provide a photo, identify the place and describe the problem, which generates a demand that is designated to the local responsible organ, which will answer directly to the citizen with the status of the service and solution proposed – promoting an instant and direct dialogue between citizens and the ones responsible for the public services. The posts in the social network cannot be deleted and its back office system and governance monitored project KPIs to identify and solve services challenges
Impacts: 
Colab.re in Campinas has more than 3,5 thousand users, which have posted more than 1,1 thousand oversights. Almost 100 projects were proposed. The platform is also used to consult citizens, opening popular voting for defining public policies. In Campinas, three consults have already been made, specially one to engage citizens in a participative budget. The consult asks the citizens in which area BRL 1 million should be invested – they can vote in five social projects to be implemented. The platform was also implemented by Juntos in Pelotas (RS) and Santos (SP), and consults were held in these cities as well.

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