Bogotá’s system for receiving and responding to citizen complaints was confusing and discouraged public use. Complaints were poorly organized and came from a variety of sources, which made it difficult for city staff to respond and sometimes prevented complaints from reaching the correct authority, slowing down resolutions to problems.
The Solution: Bogotá te Escucha
The city increased its responsiveness and accountability to citizens by creating a user-friendly Citizen Input Data Dashboard and a new mobile app to better collect complaint data. The data was organized in publically available maps, allowing residents to more easily submit and track their complaints and helping the city prioritize and efficiently respond to resident needs.
How it Works
The city created a new app and re-engineered its online complaint system to make it more citizen-friendly and efficient for city staff to process and analyze.
- To raise awareness for the new system, the city held a competition for the public to propose a name. Residents voted for the winning name, Bogotá Te Escucha (Bogotá Listens to You).
- The new online dashboard displayed requests via charts, graphs, and geo-coded maps, making it easier for citizens to hold city government accountable and for city staff to understand and respond to issues.
- The city began to route all complaints and requests made online and in person through the system, where residents could easily track their requests.
- Citizens participated in focus groups to make suggestions for ongoing improvements to the new system.
- The new smartphone app allowed residents to more easily report problems such as waste accumulation, poor lighting, potholes, and excessive noise.
Residents use of the platform has increased dramatically and response times have improved.
- The total number of requests submitted online by residents has increased by 33%.
- Use of the app has jumped from under 800 downloads in January to nearly 10,000 in March, and requests through the app have quadrupled.
- Response times to requests made via the app have decreased by more than 55%.
- Now that city staff can more easily map and track complaints, they have been able to make better-informed policy and program decisions.
- For example, a number of complaints about wait times at the public hospital led city staff to increase available appointments and hospital staff and make other improvements.
- The city also remodeled a public space to increase access for people with disabilities based on citizen complaints.