The value of partnerships
By Thozi Ngeju: Community Coordinator
We launch in a few days’ time. All the hard work of putting together a baby such as MobiSAM will be put to the test. In principle, partners understand the need to go digital with our mobile application.
I know the two municipalities we work with (vis.: Makana and Raymond Mhlaba) have embraced the need to compliment paperwork with software. Bravo! Because service delivery communication should never result in unnecessary complaints and misunderstandings.
One of the advantages of having fostered partnerships with stakeholders in Makana is that it allows for objective opinions, as our partners are separate from the people who run MobiSAM.
The partnerships we maintain acts as the driving force behind daily routine of making sure residents are able to connect with and communicate their service delivery issues to Makana. Therefore, success will not belong only to the creators, but the users of the application as well as they will feel they had played a part in its development.
Just a small example of this is the addition of a ticketing system to MobiSAM 2.0. All thanks to suggestions from Makana Municipality. Things are positive, as the trade-offs are controlled. Each stakeholder has played a part. The media helped with marketing; civil groups helped with work on the ground and the partnership with Makana Municipality will continue until it is legally safe to let them run it without fear of the application screeching to a halt.
During the training sessions we had with members of the Makana Municipality, I noticed some familiar faces involved in the MobiSAM 1.0 training and implementation process, who seem as enthusiastic as in the previous years. A good thing.
They understand the value the application will add to their work.
When it comes to flexibility, the MobiSAM launch does not mean the application is final. It will be tweaked through a continued process of digital upgrades, the next expected in May. By keeping a close eye on the reception of the application and its use, each update will be determined by perceived ‘discrepancies’ in the operation of the system.
Even more exciting is the partnership with the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality. Uncharted territory, with twenty-three wards. Their Communications Division should be envied – they love their work. They have been willing to help with our enquiries. In addition, they have been there on time when we need to meet.
The countdown has begun. After months of rehearsals, the premier always determines the success of any production. Our capable developers with the warm receiving hands of the communities we work with will make this a benchmark for any future software the municipalities will need to use to reach their constituencies.