A crowdmapping system that empowers citizens to flag problems in their communities. NDI hosts Fix My Streets for partners through its DemCloud cloud-hosting service. The NDI-hosted version of Fix My Streets is sometimes called Fix My Community because it can be used to report more than just problems with streets.
Please contact us for: use cases, approximate cost and a timeline for implementation.
Crowdsourcing can put many eyes to work spotting critical problems citizens face. Fix My Street, originally created by civic tech NGO MySociety, routes citizen-submitted reports together with photos to the key government institutions who can address them. By making complaints and government updates visible to the public, the tool helps officials demonstrate that they are taking action on the issues that concern citizens. Systems like Fix My Street have been used for reporting everything from potholes to bribes and are a useful bridge between citizens and their representatives.
Overview of Features
- Citizens document, discuss, and submit reports to local government via SMS or web.
- Ability to attach photos to reports helps provide context and urgency.
- Citizens can view the problems their neighbors face and understand common concerns.
- Government leaders can demonstrate and document the actions they are taking in response to citizen issues.
- Provides government leaders with the ability to run reports on responsiveness and time to resolution for identified issues from their staff.
- Citizen reporters receive automated updates on report status and can track their issues online.
- Integrates with common government databases via API or submit reports via email.
- Full SMS reporting and follow-up capabilities support those in low-tech environments.
- Customizable themes makes access to data more efficient and appealing.
- Report status dashboards let managers track progress towards resolution.
- Analysis tools let leaders see the most common problems and areas most affected.
- Easy hosting and management with Docker containers.
- Proven effectiveness in over a dozen countries with millions of reports received.
- Language: Perl
- Database: PostgreSQL
- Web server: NGINX
- CMS Platform: Application Backend
- License: GPL
- Distribution: https://fixmystreet.org/install/
Fix My Street in Kosovo
Democracy Plus (D+), a civic tech organization in Kosovo, had a vision for using the arrival of ubiquitous internet access to give citizens the ability to complain about the annoyances in their town – and have someone act on it. One of the goals of organizations like D+ and NDI is helping democracy deliver. While everyday issues like trash collection and potholes may be small in the global scheme of things, they have a dramatic impact on all of our daily lives. Democracy Plus chose the Fix My Street platform to assist accomplish this mission, using it to build a web site called “Ndreqe”, Albanian for “fix it”. Working with the government of Kosovo, the Democracy Plus team planned to pilot Ndreqe in five towns across the country. However, when testing with focus groups, both the citizens and government were so enthusiastic about this easy-to-use way for citizens to share and track local issues the system was expanded to all municipalities in the country. Before Ndreqe, citizens had to use a cumbersome process of filing reports in person at city hall with the signatures of multiple people. Using Fix My Street to simplify this process has worked: hundreds of reports come in every year and are then addressed by local municipalities across Kosovo. Civic officials in democracies have an incentive to let their constituents know that they’re addressing their problems – and Democracy Plus is able to highlight the fixes that come in from Ndreqe, helping political leaders demonstrate their positive impact.
Any sort of citizen action platform such as Ndreqe has two critical components: people with the interest and ability to share their problems, and officials with interest and ability to fix the problems identified. Democracy Plus has worked hard over many years to establish the conditions for success, providing training and support to municipal staff to learn the Fix My Streets platform and assisting with case management. On the citizen outreach side, there have been ongoing public communication campaigns. Over the years Democracy Plus has made a range of adjustments to the platform based on user experiences, including ensuring that individuals’ faces were never shown and adding new categories such as for environmental misconduct.
Fix My Street is developed by MySociety, a civic tech organization in the United Kingdom, and has very widespread use in that country. Democracy Plus saw how effective the platform could be, and decided to bring it to Kosovo. Democracy Plus learned some lessons along the way; they advise starting small with a pilot before moving to a massive scale as they did in Kosovo. With a smaller pilot there’s more room for adjustment and learning from the practical experiences of users. Platforms like Ndreqe are also a long-term commitment for those managing it and the officials with the capability of making the fixes requested. If citizens report issues and don’t have them resolved, such disappointments will erode their faith in the system more than if such a platform had never existed. Long-term supportive funding is required to keep Fix My Street going. While not very expensive, such a platform does require support and hosting year after year. When the conditions are right for collecting and acting on citizen concerns, as in Democracy Plus’ work in Kosovo, a platform like Fix My Street can be an excellent tool to make it happen.