Kyrgyz Citizens Improve Their City With a Click

Nurkaly Tolubaev helps to improve Osh by reporting various issues.
Nurkaly Tolubaev helps to improve the city of Osh by reporting various issues.
Youth of Osh
Website and mobile app help residents of Osh to report problems to local government
“The online map greatly simplifies our work when we can just look at [it] to understand the mood and concerns of the city.”

September 2018 — As a student, Nurkaly Tolubaev is a frequent user of the free public wireless internet service installed on the buses of Osh, the second largest city of Kyrgyzstan with over 245,000 residents. So he noticed immediately when the service was no longer available in June 2017. He wrote to the mayor’s office using the mobile application OshCity.

“I was surprised when the head of the municipal moto transport enterprise personally called me and explained everything,” says Tolubaev. It turns out, the mayor’s office decided to save money on the free internet during the summer when there are not many passengers and the demand is low.

“It is great when they respond like this. They also apologized for inconveniences,” says Tolubaev.

The OshCity app and a special website were developed by a local organization, Youth of Osh, in cooperation with the mayor’s office, to improve communication between citizens and the administration of Osh. The platforms allow citizens to send requests and questions about 28 different services including transport, cleaning, health, employment, land use, construction, sanitation, education, water, heating and electricity. The project was supported by USAID’s Collaborative Governance Program.

Since the launch of the platforms in February 2016, the city has received over 550 requests and resolved 84 percent (468) of them. The mayor’s office is looking for additional funding to resolve the remaining requests related to construction of roads, playgrounds and sewers.

“An online map where people send problems related to municipal services is an excellent tool for monitoring and mapping problems. The online map greatly simplifies our work when we can just look at the online map to understand the mood and concerns of the city,” said Aytmamat Kadyrbaev, the former mayor of Osh.

“Of course, it is impossible to resolve all problems at once since some of them require financial expenses. However, it makes me happy that they give intelligible answers to all questions,” says Emil Sagynbaev. He became a constant user of the website, reporting about street lighting, potable water problems, and distribution of land slots.

All requests and responses from the website are publicly available to ensure that the process is transparent, which helps to strengthen residents’ trust in city authorities.

The project proved to be sustainable and effective in streamlining communication between residents and city administration. In May 2017, it was highlighted at a national cities forum as an innovative project for urban development. But the biggest indicator of success is happy residents who get all their needs addressed.

USAID’s Collaborative Governance Program, which ran from March 2013 to February 2018, was designed to strengthen collaboration between civil society, business and government in Kyrgyzstan to improve the delivery of services to citizens. In four years, civil society organizations supported by the program implemented 85 initiatives to advance police reform, improve government procurement, increase transparency of local budgets, strengthen property rights, fight corruption, prevent domestic violence, and improve access to vital services like electricity, irrigation water and low-interest loans.

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Last updated: September 13, 2018

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