Sunday, December 1, 2013
Crowdsourcing platform in India
Crowdsourcing and open innovation concept was one of the most interesting takeaways from this course. We seem to be using the concept in India also, but perhaps were not aware of the term and maybe we do not use an online platform such as "Challenge.gov."
The Indian Government used open innovation recently to design a distinct symbol for the Indian currency, though without such an online platform. An open contest invited ideas from the general public and almost 3000 entries were evaluated by a jury of experts to finally decide the new symbol.
I have observed that our State Government is always looking for creative slogans for public service campaigns, particularly for community awareness on health and social welfare issues. There is hardly any innovative thinking on the part of our Government employees. We generally take the services of NGOs and non-profit sector to assist the Government in this task, but in some sectors, they also don't have the capacity. An open call inviting ideas would give a variety of options to the Government to choose from.
For designing a city mobility plan for the State capital last year, our State Government hired a consultant and had to shell out a huge amount. But people were not satisfied with the quality of output. A good majority of city residents found the plan impractical and felt that they had not been consulted.
A crowdsourcing platform encouraging open innovation would be a win-win situation for both the Government and the citizens. It would help to inject new ideas into the Government that otherwise need to be purchased from consultants. It would also help to improve participation and engagement of citizens directly in the decision making process. It would improve transparency and accountability and would make the citizens feel that their voice is heard. There is a strong case to design a crowdsourcing platform for our State Government on the pattern of “Challenge.gov”
This is one idea I wish to implement immediately for use in my own department and dovetail it with funds for innovation. I would also give a proposal to our State government to conceive an online platform to be used by different departments of the State government.