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GovTech Singapore running trial community on Facebook to enhance citizen engagement

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) is running a trial community on Facebook, called Tech Kaki ((‘Kaki’ is the Malay word for ‘foot’, but is used colloquially to refer to the friends you hang out with) to encourage citizen participation and enhance citizen engagement in improving government services.

GovTech Singapore desires to take an "outside-in" view to develop truly user-centric services to benefit citizens, businesses and Singapore as a whole. For the same, it is seeking feedback and suggestions from anyone who is interested in using technology for improving lives. In-depth knowledge of technology is not a prerequisite.

Members of the community will be provided access to new tech products before they go live. They can effectively be a part of the development team to make the products better. 

Short polls and mini surveys are held regularly on the community page on Facebook. A previous poll centered on app usage, asking about their top 3 most used apps and gauged their familiarity with three government apps, GovTech is working on, namely the OneService Mobile App (It enables members of the public to send their feedback on municipal issues in Singapore), Beeline (It allows commuters to book a seat on buses listed by private bus operators. New routes are activated by community demand and users can track the bus on the day of the booking.), myResponder (It notifies myResponders to nearby Cardiac Arrest cases who may render first aid before ambulance arrival.)

An ongoing survey on chatbots asks which chat which messenger apps are usually used by the participants, checks their previous experience with chatbots, enquires whether they would be willing to use a chatbot to interact wkith government and what features would they like to see. The Singapore government is exploring increased use of smart Chatbots for enabling responsive and personalised interactions with citizens. Several government agencies are using a chatbot called Ask Jamie to help its web users find the information they are looking for.

Responses from an engaged citizen community can help GovTech improve awareness of existing government services and applications and understand citizens’ requirements.

In response to a citizen enquiry on Twitter, GovTech responded that the agency will look at other platforms for the community after the current trial. 

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