Nalibeli has been working with many stakeholders including citizens, local officials, communities and civil society groups to build a tool to solve these problems by creating central repository of information on public services, including: the location, hours of operation and contact details of relevant government offices; the documents required; and the estimated time and fees involved.
GalliGalli has created over 1,000 pages of information, including how to get a birth certificate, renew a driver’s license, apply to a university, obtain a marriage license, sell property, receive a pension and file a complaint at a local District Administrative Office, among other key issues.
We link this online tool to on-the-ground events and human networks through:
- An informal network of institutions and organisations that voluntarily give their time and expertise to help connect service seekers with the bureaucracy.
- “Wiki-a-thons” across the country to help citizens understand how to use the site and why it’s important.
- A regular discussion series giving citizens an opportunity to interact with relevant decision-makers or experts on key issues of concern.
- Planned citizen tours of government offices, such as the District Administrative Office, led by the GalliGalli team.
As Nalibeli met its one-year mark in summer 2014, GalliGalli conducted an impact evaluation to assess the progress made. The log of 270,000+ hits on the Nalibeli site gives some indication of user engagement with the information. The team also discovered that their Facebook page is a useful tool to disseminate information and invite people’s questions and input on what information they would like to see on the wiki. Survey respondents said they regularly scan the Facebook page, and when they see a post about new information relevant to their needs, they will follow it to the wiki page.
We've also heard many stories indicating the usefulness of the site. One user shared how Nalibeli was critical in helping him understand the process for acquiring a passport under the government’s new requirements. Another shared how Nalibeli helped her clear up confusion about how to file her taxes, since she identifies under two different categories. Bureaucrats at government offices have started to come more cooperative with our team – sharing information about crucial processes and talking openly about challenges within the bureaucracy.
The beauty of Nalibeli is that once it is set up, impact is high while running costs are minimal. The tool uses Mediawiki (the software that runs Wikipedia) which is open source, simple (in keeping with this project) and free. Mediawiki has demonstrated the possibilities for generating sufficiently credible information at a very low cost via crowdsourcing - with encyclopedic knowledge, books, and even art. We publish all the information we gather online for free, but to build financial sustainability we charge a fee to help people or companies carry out specific processes, such as registering a company.