People in counties hardly report issues such as crime, potholes, and other counties relaed issues, to their County government, but some report on social media platforms by using hash tags like #potholes and many more. Not everyone is in social media, and not everyone knows how to use platforms such as hashtags on twitter and not everyone will call or find time to visit their offices. The offices have instead suggestion boxes that hardly anyone opens.
It is therefore necessary to have a basic system which enable both the local ‘mwananchi’ and the County government to communicate with each other, one on one via our feedback platform that uses the most basic feature of a phone. That is; SMS and Interactive Voice Response (IVR). While the majority of Kenyan’s are illiterate in terms of using social media platforms, they are very known to use SMS and IVR’s.
We have therefore created a system where locals can get immediate feedback from their County by sending their feedbacks and replying via SMS or IVR. By use of voice and SMS, residence can ask questions and the system captures the information where the expert replies via SMS or Voice using the web-based feedback centre management expert dashboard.
This is how it works
For interaction, locals will send information to a Short Code number with specified formats for the different inquiries, while notifications will be sent automatically. The system has the following functionalities: –
i) The system will enable locals to ask questions via SMS, which will be viewable by the County expert and to which they will respond from their computer system described in Section 2.1.1 above.
ii) The system will enable communication via SMS for distribution in a particular region, profile, wards, women group, County staff, officers on duty, County staff on duty etc.
iii) The locals will send any complaints via SMS especially about exploitation and or undelivered goods or un-rendered service.
v) The locals will seek for any assistance concerning the services they receive.
vi) The SMSes will be masked with the County name for all networks so as locals and traders will know the source is authentic. i.e. as “KISII_CTY” or any other name preferred.
vii) The system shall be extended to fulfill other needs such as making it a trading platform(optional).
viii) The County will be able to send locals news such as; Meeting for elders of the County, bursaries distribution, El-Nino weather updates, Diseases outbreak like cholera, updates on incoming projects, security and much more.
Interactive Voice Response
The system has an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Using this feature, locals call a number, then they are given prompts to follow e.g. Press 1 to ask a question, Press 2 to listen to advice on “name” County responsibilities, etc. The system interacts with locals in the language they are most comfortable with, including English, Swahili or their Mother Tongue.
Once a County advice expert logs in to the system, they can listen and respond to the questions raised by locals.