2017 - 2019
DigiThane: An Integrated Digital Ecosystem for Databased Citizen Centric Governance
In 2018, with a population of over 2,4 milion, the city of Thane needed a full-fledged and integrated e-governance system that could efficiently manage and deliver a two-way communication between the Thane Municipal Corporation and its citizens. Foxberry Technologies, a company under AP Globale, facilitated the implementation of an interactive digital citizen platform, connecting its residents with civic services such as tax payments, civic project alerts- in addition to receiving discounts at affiliated shops, restaurants and certain housing projects across the town. Today, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has become the second city in the world after Tel-Aviv in Israel, to have an online interactive connect between the local self-government and its citizens, with approx. 65 % of total households using the platform.
Key concerns of Thane Municipality were a lack of data about the real needs and preferences of its 2,4 milion Citizens, due to the low interaction with them.
The same affected all planning, execution & monitoring of pojects by the city of Thane, since connection to the public was non-existent.
Additionally, the Smart City Mission by the Indian Government had clearly outlined that Citizen should be at the core of the proposal of the Smart City Mission and each city had submit its roadmap of becoming a Smart City based on requirements stated by its Citizens.
While engaging Citizens at the proposal making stage, Thane Municipality and Foxberry Technologies, understood that the massive one-time Citizen Engagement Initiative was neither effective nor sustainable owing to the following issues:
- Shelf life of data on Citizen’s needs, wants and desires is very low
- One time data collection is highly biased in favor of recent happenings
- Physical and frequent data collection is extremely costly and time consuming
"Create a platform to improve the overall quality of life of Thane residents".
Sameer Unhale- CEO, Thane Smart City
The implementation of “DigiThane” started with an intensive citizen engagement outreach campaign, carried out by Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) throughout the whole City. TMC Employees were deployed to engage with its citizens to collect feedback.
Though this landmark exercise produced clean data, it was observed that the mobilization of such a huge workforce on behalf of the City of Thane was not tangible, every time data was required to capture citizen opinion.
Therefore, the creation of a platform that was low-cost for the city and allowed for easy mode of engagement with Thane’s Citizens was needed. This new platform should not only sustain through the lifecycle of the mission but also beyond it.
After conducting several surveys, the general consensus was that the new platform should include the following features:
- Content as per the relevance of Human Life Cycle (for each age group) in the application
- Monetary benefits through discounts and offers on Commercial Municipal Services
- Encourage digitization to connect between citizens and municipality
- Mobile Application (Android & IOS) & Web Portal for citizens & merchants
- Content Management System for Citizen Engagement Cell
- Easy access to commercial and Municipal Services
- Improved Public participation through surveys, polls and activities
Today, TMC is able to create and manage its relationship with residents of the municipality via various channels of their choice,
while offering customized, automated information and service streams.
The finished product is licensed software that has been customized as per the requirement of the client, TMC.
Over the last 3.5 years, more than 450,000 users (65% of total households) have subscribed to the DigiThane platform.
DigiThane tracks, monitors and understands metadata on each citizen- including demographic and transaction preferences.
This helps the TMC to anticipate the needs of its citizens pro-actively and thereby become an intelligently active Municipality.