Beginning with conversations with GovLab in the Summer of 2020, they decided to use our Your Priorities platform for their ambitious program in 5 African cities (Bahir Dar, Accra, Kano, Kampala, Mutare) across five countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, respectively), cities specifically chosen because they had a proven track record of urban policy innovation. The program launched in November 2020.
GovLab was building on the success of similar engagement programs in North America and Europe, starting with a pilot in Mexico in 2016. Partnering with Citizens Foundation to implement Your Priorities gave them an additional toolbox of features to maximize engagement and streamline work for moderators and advisory panels reviewing the input from participating constituents of each city.
The problems addressed in the challenge included building urban resilience in slums and informal settlements, reducing waste and improving waste management, and integrating the informal economy. The Challenge generated hundreds of ideas in each category, with thousands of comments, up votes and criticisms from constituents in each city across the region. Ideas submitted contained instances of genuine innovation, with hybrid self-build homes, biofil toilets, and cutting edge tech used for waste collection management and remuneration for recyclables.