2023 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
Niterói: Social Participation through Collaborative Urban Caretaking
Niterói, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a city with a long history of social mobilizations and that has instituted in its history, often in an innovative way, several tools for listening and participation of the population. Conferences, councils, public hearings and participatory budgeting were (and continue to be to a large extent) in a prominent place in the formulation of public policies at the basis of government decision-making. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, the need to seek other ways to bring citizens closer to management became clear.
We started a presence strategy on social networks, opening channels to receive demands and suggestions from the population in real time and without the mediation of traditional bureaucracy. This innovation found its organizational model from the collaboration with a young Startup called COLAB, which was recognized by the UN as “Best Platform for Governance and Participation”.
The Zeladoria Urbana (Urban Caretaking) is a great strategy for dialogue with citizens and a tool for strengthening citizenship. Through various gateways, we receive demands from citizens that are georeferenced and forwarded for immediate feedback from the government areas responsible for them.
This initiative brought important innovations. On the citizen's side, power, from any part of the city, to directly demand the public power, being able to inspect, collaborate and suggest actions. From the management point of view, the possibility of visualizing and managing all stages of this strategy from a simple and intuitive platform and having all data aggregated and organized in the same environment.
Over the years, we have opened new ones and connected old gateways for citizen demands into a single hub aligned with our citizen relationship strategy. We incorporated, bringing to the same base, demands that entered via former sectorial ombudsmen of Health, Secretary of Conservation and Urban Cleaning Company. In addition, we implemented Colab in the face-to-face service of regional administrations that receive citizens from all social classes at their branches.
Today, the platform we built with COLAB has more than 169,000 citizens registered and participating in the citizen relationship policy, in a city that has around 500,000 inhabitants, the most robust of which is the Collaborative Janitor.
Since the beginning of the actions, we have received more than 153,000 requests from citizens. There were 28,500 entries in 2021, 39,200 in 2022 and we already have 22,400 requests registered in just 5 months of 2023. This shows the large and growing adherence of the population. The service has 269 trained and involved public servants spread across 61 departments. These numbers continue to grow.
We have, therefore, a long experience that becomes perennial and increasingly relevant for public management. In this sense, we launched an integration of SIGEO, the city's georeferencing system, overlaying the various other layers available in this system with data from inspections and citizen collaboration, improving the interface for decision makers. In addition, citizens also have access to this rich and transparent view of available information.
Report inappropriate content
Is this content inappropriate?