MOPA - Inclusive Cities

MOPA is an inclusive digital platform that uses citizens as sensors for public services, allowing them to use any mobile phone to dial a free short-code, *311#, and report on problems affecting their community.
All the data generated through MOPA is interpreted, contextualized and used to inform the government of the issues faced in each individual neighborhood of the city.

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MOPA is used by the Waste Management Department of the Maputo Municipality in Mozambique as the platform for citizen engagement, accountability and insights.

How does your innovation work?

MOPA connects basic mobile phones to an online data platform by using a free shortcode (*311#) that allows anyone to submit reports on problems they experience with public services. Based on the type of problem and its location, the platform is able to deliver these reports in real time to the relevant service providers, giving them the information needed to solve the problem in the field. When solved, the provider notifies MOPA, which in turn provides feedback to the citizen, thus closing the loop.
All data generated is compiled into reports and analyzed, providing the evidence needed to improve the service delivery.

What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?

MOPA was designed for accountability. All the reports submitted to the platform require a response from the Municipality, which validates the problem, coordinates the field work, and resolves it. When the issue is solved, the Municipality has to provide feedback to the citizen, who in turn can confirm if the issue was solved, or re-open the issue if it was not.
This feedback loop was designed to ensure that the Municipality cannot simply "solve" the issues in the platform without validation from the citizen who reported it. Furthermore, all issues are published online in real time and can be accessed by anyone with a computer or through a mobile phone.
We have had upward of 5.000 issues reported, with 75% success rate in resolution. The Maputo Municipality credits MOPA with the cleaning of more than 200 informal dumpsites, which were identified by citizens through the platform.

Do you have current users or testers?

Yes, the platform is live in Maputo with an average of 100 visitors a day and 30 reports.

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

MOPA is currently working exclusively on the waste management sector, but it was designed to support any public service, including water and sanitation, road infrastructure, electricity, crime watch, and any other service that would benefit from having real-time data provided by citizens.
Our strategy is to include other Municipal departments in this platform to ensure that citizens have a single point of entry in which they can provide information and receive feedback on every public service provided in the city.
In the long term, we want this platform to be the standard data platform for all major African cities, giving citizens the opportunity to improve the quality of the public services they receive regardless of their financial capacity, while at the same time reducing the costs and improving the efficiency of the Municipalities that provide them.

Next Steps

Our next step is to use the platform to power a value chain for recyclables. Citizens can sort their waste, report to the platform the type of recyclable they amassed and the location, and this information can be pushed to middlemen who can collect (purchase from the citizen) and transport it to industry partners who can process and repurpose it. This has the potential to generate thousands of jobs for the least privileged.