Now Karachiites can know anything about their city with just one click as NGO Shehri with their new project looks to compile everything about local governance. Karachi home to 20 million people and the 7th largest city in the world, is the backbone of Pakistan. The project was launched on Friday in collaboration with USAID Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program for Empowered Citizens for Improved Urban Governance.
According to The Tribune, the program is set to develop a handbook on the Sindh Local Government Ordinance (SLGO), a web portal, ecomap and mobile applications. Through these tools, it aims to improve coordination between the locals and various government departments.
By developing a web portal, NGO Shehri wants to digitize all information available related to the city and bring it together on one platform. It will include:
- History and an introduction of Karachi,
- Natural and physical resources,
- Maps and crisis mapping,
- Provision of government and non-government services,
- Important and credible civil society groups,
- Archives of national and international research,
- Publications on urban governance,
- Discussion forum for public users
- Search engine optimization.
This portal will actually help the residents to inquire about the question of which organization or government agency to approach for a civic issue.
The digital ecomap of Karachi will be used by people where they can upload images of civic issues they face on a daily basis and can also use its different interactive features. The map linked to the web portal can be used on mobile and would be accessible to government officials.
NGO Shehri using the crowd mapping technique are going to produce two types of reports under this project. First one is civic governance crisis, such as, garbage, overflowing sewers, encroachments, trees being uprooted, etc. and the second report is on community-based initiatives, such as, projects that are generating community-based solutions to a civic issue.
For the development of mobile applications, NGO Shehri plans to host a two-day Hackathon session where 40 different universities will be selected to develop an app. The session will include six groups of up to seven students where they will create a mobile application that will help the residents of Karachi to engage in creating more open public spaces, improving recreation, transportation, and solid waste management.
The Handbook inspired by New York’s handbook of local government will be developed to explain Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2013. It would be available on the web portal for anyone to access. NGO Shehri with this project aims to empower the residents as they will know how to access the right government’s department.
Instead of spending time in a long queue at different public houses, documents like Birth registrations, death certificates, and marriage registration forms could be downloaded and submitted from their web portal.
The law and order situation in the city is relatively better than it was a few years ago and with Safe City project, it is likely to get even better. Thus, the future of Karachi looks promising for the country and its residents. The project is yet to approved by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and also by the National Database Registration Authority for allowing online submissions.