The GIZ/Transport Sector, a department of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Liberia recently contracted us to implement one of the first mobile services for citizens engagement for use by the Ministry of Public Works, Republic of Liberia. The project implements and pilots a text message based service for a) citizen reporting of abnormalities in road construction projects and b) the communication of starting road construction projects. This will improve citizen awareness of Ministry of Public Works (MPW) /road construction and maintenance projects in the pilot regions and facilitate monitoring of road construction site work.
The new technology or service dubbed Ministry of Public Works and GIZ/Transport Sector Mobile Services for Government to Citizens – Citizens to Government Communications and Engagement Project (G2C2G) affords road users and residents within the targeted counties mentioned supra to make inquiry about the status of on- going road works on various segments of the road from Red Light to Ganta in Nimba County and obtain an instant feedback. The new technology or service also allows road users and residents along the stretch of road to be fed with information concerning on – going road works on various segments of the road with no cost to road users and residents.
The road users and residents within Montserrado, Margibi, Bong, and Nimba Counties respectively desirous of subscribing to and using this new service or technology should simply make use of the service by sending a simple text message.
Also to subscribe to the service to get regular updates FROM Ministry of Public Works, send the message JOIN to 7623.
This service or new technology was realized owing to enormous support from the German International Cooperation (GIZ) to the Ministry of Public Works and utilizing the services of Liberia’s leading GSM providers LoneStar Cell MTN and Cellcom.
The Formal launch ceremonies in Margibi and Bong Counties:
A team consisting of representatives from all three partner entities GIZ, Ministry of Public Works and iLab officially launched the service last month. The official launching ceremonies of the service took place in two counties with scores of well meaning Liberians in attendance. The launches took place on May 19 at 11:00am at the Administration Building in Kakata, Margibi County with over fifty participants ranging from local authorities, civil society organisations, schools, religious institutions, International NGOs to local residents in attendance while the launch in Bong Country took place at the Gbarnga Administration Building in Gbarnga, Bong County with over eighty (80) participants in attendance as well.
The participants praised GIZ and iLab for the numerous assistance rendered to the Government and People of Liberia over the years. At the end of the ceremonies, Mr. Joseph Jallah, Communications Officer at the Ministry of Public Works used the occasions to encourage road users and residents plying the route from Red Light to the Ganta City in Nimba to take advantage of the opportunity to make inquiries regarding the status of road works and get an immediate response to their inquiries. According to the Information Officer at the Ministry of Public Works, the service or new technology works in such a way that information will also be transmitted to road users and residents concerning on – going road works within the above mentioned targeted counties.
For his part, Mr. G. Delino Bryant, GIZ Policy Implementation Officer for Capacity Development in the Transport Sector /Roads in Liberia, emphasized the importance of the technology or service that has been launched within Montserrado, Margibi, Bong, and Nimba Counties. He said his entity decided to embark on this huge undertaking to preserve the huge investment made by the Liberian Government and the World Bank through the Liberian Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) and to ensure safety for both pedestrians and motorists plying the various routes. Mr. Bryant also encouraged road users and residents within the four counties mentioned above to make maximum use of this new service.
It is our hope as we implement this service that it will help in improving citizen awareness of MPW/road construction and maintenance projects. Facilitate monitoring of road construction site work. Pilot new technologies and approach for MPW communications and citizen engagement and most importantly build trust in the Ministry of Public Works.
Luther D. Jeke
Director of Training / Project Manager