Irish app makes citizen’s voices heard
Fingal Voices allows citizens to ask questions, respond to polls and engage in dialogue with Council members
- November 01, 2019 10:30
- Plamen Petrov
We all know how often our complaints, suggestions and ideas, addressed to local authorities, often fall to deaf ears. A mobile app, currently tested in an Irish municipality, will attempt to remedy this problem, serving as an example to other councils in the EU.
Fingal Voices app, the innovative project by Fingal County Council, allows citizens to ask questions, respond to polls and speak directly to various Council departments.
The app, developed by Smart Futures company, is available for both Android and Apple devices. After accessing the app, users can gain points and, through their accumulation, receive various prizes.
GPS technology matches users with questions and surveys relevant to them, such as events they are attending or issues affecting their locality.
A beta version of the app is now scrutinized during the pilot project, which runs from 23 October 2019 to 31 January 2020.
Innovative solutions for citizen’s engagement
The Fingal Voices app is part of the Unheard Voices SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) - a brainchild of collaborative efforts between Smart Dublin, Cork City Council and Entreprise Ireland.
Unheard Voices SBIR aims to explore innovative solutions to encourage a greater diversity of voices, because inclusivity is essential to successful local decision-making.
It all started in 2018, when Fingal County Council, in partnership with Cork City Council, launched the "Unheard Voices" challenge, under Enterprise Ireland's Small Business Innovation Research programme. The challenge aimed to find new, technological solutions that would help individuals and groups to engage with their local authority.
After funding was successfully secured, the Fingal Voices app came into being, allowing the council to target engagement initiatives, consultations and promote local events.
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