Report: Tech-In Governance
The maiden edition of the Tech-In Series took place on 24th – 26th of March 2011 at the Pan African University, Victoria Island campus Lagos. The 48hr experiment gathered geeks and designers with stakeholders from different walks of life to co-create novel web and mobile based solutions aimed at empowering citizen to contribute to good governance through citizen participation.
The open and temporary living lab was powered by intense collaboration where participants worked passionately to transform six back of the envelope ideas into working prototypes of social web and mobile based tools for better governance in Nigeria. While the projects and teams were centrally selected and allocated, the team’s ability to self-organise led to a successful experiment.
The Co-creation Hub team spent a significant amount of time planning and organising the unusual event behind the scene between December 2010 and March 2011. However, the organisation was mainly to ensure an enabling environment where the individual team could freely engage and organise for result. The gathering obviously thus demonstrates the power of crowd and how a well supported co-creation process can lead to well thought out solutions. Even with meagre resources, collective intelligence when properly harnessed proved invaluable at the end of the event.
The winner, “Residents’ Report” is a managed platform which allows citizens to point local problems to public institutions responsible to aid prompt fixing. The runner-up was “BudgIT”, a web platform for user-friendly presentation of state and federal budget to include charts and performance analysis for proper understanding of what budget entails. The 2nd runner-up “Project Watch”, is a project monitoring system which allows citizens to certify the execution of public projects.
I believe it is appropriate for me to claim that the investment in this series has been good value for money and I would like to say a special thank you to Indigo Trust, Enterprise Development Centre, Main One Cable and Funmobile. The viability of Tech-In Series of course is dependent on whether some of the projects turn into sustainable social ventures but we believe the commitment of the partners towards nurturing and mentoring the team will provide a strong driving force.
Beyond the immediate challenges being addressed by Tech-In Series, the impact of the initiative will demonstrate the importance of knowledge application for economic prosperity in Nigeria.
Let’s throw knowledge at our problems, facilitate innovation and encourage entrepreneurs to generate value from it all for the benefit of our society at large.