USAID Nexos Locales Partner Municipality Wins Technology Award

November 06, 2017

Chiantla, a municipality of 98,000 people in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, has won a “Best Use of Technology” award from the National Association of Municipalities for creating a municipal transparency mobile app designed to help citizens hold government accountable for delivering services.

app award.jpgMayor Carlos Alvarado Figueroa, right, receives the award from Edwin Escobar, President of ANAM.

The app’s creation was facilitated by a DAI-led project called Nexos Locales. Nexos aims to increase the capacity of municipal governments to raise revenue; respond to citizen concerns about violence and security, food insecurity, and global climate change; and improve public financial management. DAI’s digital team worked side-by-side with the Mayor of Chiantla, Carlos Alvarado Figueroa, and brought in citizens to inform the design process.

The app—called Somos Chiantla—features a budget transparency module that allows users to track exactly where their tax dollars are going. It also includes a module that allows citizens to request help to repair potholes, report broken street lights, log problems with water provision, and more. Reports are handled by the municipality’s app manager, who feeds them to the relevant department and provides status updates to citizens.

Mayor Figueroa said his goal for the app is that “the citizens of Chiantla will assume full control of municipal spending. What the app does is make clear that there is civic responsibility on both ends: on the part of the municipality to be careful with expenditures, and at the same time on the part of citizens to contribute both financially and with their attention to the decision-making around those expenditures.”

The National Association of Municipalities awards were created to showcase best municipal practices and recognize the good work of mayors who “build a better country.”

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