independent

Sunday 17 November 2019

Get 'Appy' with the council

John Manning

A new app is being launched that allows you to communicate directly with Fingal County Council on issues affecting your community.

An innovative pilot project to engage with traditionally unheard voices through the Fingal Voices smartphone app has been launched by Fingal County Council.

Fingal Voices is an app which allows citizens to ask questions, respond to surveys and engage in dialogue with Council departments.

As users engage with the app, they gain points which can be redeemed for various prizes.

Geolocation technology is used to match users with questions and surveys relevant to them, such as events they are attending or issues affecting their locality.

A beta version of the app is being rolled out which will be evaluated during the pilot project, which will run from October 23 2019 to January 31 2020.

The launch event at Swords Castle chapel involved a showcase of the app by Grégoire Piette, co-founder of Smart Futures who designed the app as part of the Unheard Voices project, a collaboration between Enterprise Ireland, Cork City Council and Smart Dublin.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly said: 'Local government is first and foremost about local people, and it is important that people are able to engage with the plans and processes that impact them.

'It is especially important that we reach those 'unheard voices' that have not been included before, because local democracy is vital for all members of the community.

'The Fingal Voices app is an exciting way of encouraging people to get engaged and get involved, and I look forward to seeing its progress during the pilot project."

Head of IT at Fingal County Council Dominic Byrne said: 'The Fingal Voices app is an exciting development in harnessing the dominance and popularity of smartphone apps to include and engage people.

'The app's use of gamification shows that Fingal County Council is unafraid of trying innovative approaches to drive citizen engagement and involvement in local government.'

The Fingal Voices app is available for Android devices at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/io.smartfutures.fingal.unheard_voices and for Apple devices at https://testflight.apple.com/join/vOTWO3Qe.

The Fingal Voices app is part of the Unheard Voices project which is a collaboration between Smart Dublin, Cork City Council and Enterprise Ireland.

The designers of the app, Smart Futures, say that they 'provide a unique solution to drive citizens' engagement and ensure unheard voices participation by using gamification and reward to incentivise collaboration on the county. Our innovative approach combines physical workshops as well as digital crowd-sourcing tools to on-board all stakeholders...'

Fingal Independent

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