@chazzie001 sent me this link to Mobilitate via Twitter over the weekend.

It’s a South African initiative aiming to form communities to give feedback to various layers of government in a multitude of categories. Both positive and negative. It’s run by a crowd called Kaizania. They describe themselves as:

As Kaizania we have been helping and teaching corporations around the world how to be efficient and innovate fast. We believe governments need the same help, but governments are not known for paying attention to their citizens.

So we decided to change that. Yep, governments are pretty scary beasts, but history shows what citizens can do once they put their minds to it.

At first glance it looks like a HelloPeter for government. But as I dug around a little more, I discovered it has the potential to be much more. I say that because they’ve added a ‘map layer’ to their site. Much of what we wish government would tackle is very geographical. We’re not as concerned with the philosophies and policies, as we are with real-time on the ground service delivery. Crime, broken traffic lights, potholes, community news, etc is very geographically based and in the moment. When we see something not working, it’s specific and it has a GPS coordinate attached to it, and it’s happening right now.

I hope their next evolution involves smart phones and the ability to report on the move and in real time. Take the best of FourSquare and Trapster and combine it with Mobilitate and I think you’ve got a great feedback mechanism, that’s user-driven, real time and real location. When I hit a pothole, there’s very little chance I’m going to remember where or even to report it 30 minutes later when I’m in the office. But having the ability to report, comment or give feedback right there and then, with a map-layer and I get very excited at the possibilities.

Right now their pitch is that they’ll chase up your issues. However, if they grow it big enough and get government to track the feedback it has the potential to be an amazing user-driven community that feeds directly to the correct people. That’s a bit of a pipe-dream, I know. But apparently we’re a country ‘alive with possibility’ and holding onto hope must count for something.

I think it’s worth a look and certainly your support. I do hope they move fast enough (introducing smart phone integration) and get big enough (to make it viable).

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