Bogotá te Escucha

December 12, 2023 locampo
December 11, 2023 locampo

Bogotá te Escucha is an app created by the city government of Bogotá that is a way for residents to contact the city efficiently to report problems, questions, or petitions. It has various purposes and easily connects the government and its residents. [1]

Problems and Purpose

In Bogotá, Colombia, citizens struggled to have their complaints heard by the city while officials, on the other hand, struggled to organize, track down, and answer their numerous critiques. There would be hour-long lines to hospitals, unfixed potholes in the streets, and painstakingly long and confusing paperwork for the city to be completed among a multitude of other problems. Often these complaints went unfixed as it was so poorly organized that the proper authorities responsible for the sectors wouldn't hear of the problems and the circumstances would stay the same. Citizens were left unsatisfied with the city due to this and so, to provide a solution to their problems, Bogotá created a user-friendly app and website, named Bogotá te Escucha, that allowed residents one place to easily ask questions and make complaints while officials could efficiently respond to them. The purpose of the app was to increase attentiveness to the needs of residents in Bogotá, efficiently save time, and create positive views of the city. [1]

Origins and Development

Having noted the slow response from officials and receiving numerous complaints unhappy with the city, officials decided to rework their Citizen Input Data Dashboard that received the complaints and create an app that was easily accessible. These were created with residents in mind and made as user-friendly as possible by using easy-to-understand language, geo-coded maps, and charts to view complaints while also having numerous other methods displayed to create requests to the city government. [2]

To ensure that this program would be as straightforward as possible, the city created focus groups and actively engaged with residents in Bogotá to receive feedback and learn what they could do to improve user-friendliness and meet the needs of their citizens. These groups were crucial to the development of the app as they provided suggestions that were tailored to the needs of Bogotá’s citizens. [1]

Once the dashboard and app were created, the city increased awareness by designing a naming contest for the app and site. Residents would propose names for the programs by a deadline and then vote on which name they liked the most. The name that was chosen was “Bogotá te Escucha” meaning Bogotá Listens to You.

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Bogotá te Escucha is open to the entirety of the city as it was created to make requests, report problems and make the quality of life better for residents. The app and website are accessible by anyone, even those who do not reside in Bogotá. All that is needed to have access to it is an account on Bogotá te Escucha which can be used to directly contact the city for any important questions or petitions. 

It aims to bridge the gap between citizens and the city government. It strongly encourages all residents in Bogotá to participate, showing videos explaining the steps to file a petition. It also has a portal designed for children which can be used in the classrooms and accustom them to engage more with the city government. [1]

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

To use Bogotá te Escucha, an account must first be made to sign onto the website. Then on the site, you can choose to create a petition by a press of a button and this will be done anonymously. Once it is filed, it provides you with a petition number which needs to be saved for later. After the petition is filed, the number can be used to track whether officials have responded to it. You can take action and respond if there are any doubts or questions regarding the proposal through the portal. Then once the proper authorities receive it, they will eventually respond or confirm that an issue is fixed, etc. In the end, the petition will be closed within the system. You may also email or call to report issues through the contact information provided on the site. [3] [4]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Bogotá te Escucha has created positive outcomes within the community. Before, the slow responsiveness and low attention to the needs of residents generated negative views of the city while there were persisting problems that went unheard. With the new app and website, Bogotá has made a stronger connection with its citizens that made them feel much more valued which is shown through testimonies made by Bogotá residents. It also increased efficiency and saved time as the app and website automatically organized the petitions for the city. Overall, problems within Bogota were solved faster and it boosted engagement with their residents. [1]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

An important aspect that allowed Bogotá te Escucha to succeed was the amount of feedback and engagement they received from their residents. The city created the app specifically with residents in mind and actively attempted to include them in the development. The final product was made to be as easily accessible as possible for all residents including children and was successful and popular among Bogotá citizens. 

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