Experts choose best technology solution for urban challenges

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Experts have chosen a solution that best fits urban challenges as part of a larger project known as the innovation Marketplace, a pilot programme being undertaken by UN-Habitat in collaboration with Ericsson and @iLabAfrica and Strathmore University.

Kiambu county has been chosen as the pilot county for the project. MarketPlace is looking to test and implement technology solutions together with youth and county governments in Kenya. During an Urban Hackaday event, challenges were divided into four segments; local economy, city planning, urban basic services and local governance. At the event it became clear that  getting or developing relevant sofware like good payment system or  best commercial construction estimating software is nolonger a choice but a must for counties.

Participants included urban practitioners, local government and technology companies. The event attracted over 40 participants, five county representatives from Kiambu and five mentors.

Marketplace is aimed at working together three key dynamics in our world today: the growing number of young urban citizens, ICT proliferation and the devolution process. These three are set to change the functioning of cities and their sustainability, a core mandate and focus of UN-Habitat.

Best urban solution

Mat Q emerged the winners with their web and mobile application for automating stage management at matatu terminals; provision of PSV traffic data to advise the county government. on expansion plans and to improve on revenue collection. This is aimed at solving the pen, paper and board rudimentary way of stage management that has many loopholes for manipulations.

In second place were Smart Reporters. They designed a web based and mobile platform for work evaluation based on county residents’ feedback on service delivery. It is aimed at solving the problem of poor service delivery.

Auto Tech came in third with a web and mobile application that aids in data collection with analytics and visualization. Examples of data being collected include water and electricity consumption to aid the county in planning purposes. This is because the current mode of data collection is bulky, cumbersome, with human error and lacks visualization.

The best solution was decided through a judging panel composed of experts from UN-Habitat, Strathmore University, Ericsson and prolific entrepreneurs and will be incubated at @iLabAfrica for the rest of the year towards developing it to a prototype that can be tested at the county level to improve their processes.

 

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Melissa Daniels
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