From unrepaired roads to constant water leaks, Mexican cities face major infrastructure and public-service challenges. Existing municipal platforms for citizens to report issues are typically difficult to use and lacking in credibility, and thus major problems go officially unrecognized and unaddressed—which contributes to 70 percent of Mexicans not trusting their government.
Supercívicos is a citizen-journalism app that crowdsources videos and shares data about public infrastructure and service issues in Mexican cities. Users record and categorize geolocalized videos of urban challenges, and the app connects them with neighbors or other users with comparable issues. Supercívicos has formal agreements with the cities in which the app is deployed, so local governments follow up on grievances posted by residents.
Users can also vote on local problems, thereby prioritizing specific issues that need immediate attention. If communities need help getting a response from authorities, Supercívicos amplifies the report by alerting its 1.5 million followers. The app drives both civic engagement and real change—and then publicly recognizes when problems are fixed and local government has earned back citizens’ trust.
Mexico has over 2,460 local governments, though only about a dozen offer digital reporting tools to connect citizens with public institutions. Municipal tools often lack user-friendly interfaces and are discontinued during mayoral transitions. The Supercívicos app can provide Mexico’s 82 million smartphone users with an engaging, straightforward way to report and analyze public service issues. As governments further digitize their services and information exchange, Supercívicos has the potential to expand into countries beyond Mexico. The global e-governance market is expected to grow significantly, garnering over $45.7 billion by 2023.
Supercívicos currently seeks:
- Data science and strategy expertise to identify new ways to use its data;
- Collaboration with local governments in cities across Latin America to scale the solution and increase its user base and revenue; and
- Consultation on business model strategy.
Some of Supercívicos’ notable achievements include:
- Winning the 2018 World Summit Award;
- Winning the Grupo Formula National Journalism Award; and
- Media coverage in the New York Times for citizen journalism.
Supercívicos currently partners with several organizations to promote government responsiveness, such as:
- Seven local governments in Mexico, which have signed “collaboration agreements” to communicate directly with citizens; and
- Locatel, which uses the Supercívicos platform to generate tracking numbers for reports in Mexico City.
To date, nearly 400 public service issues reported through Supercívicos across seven Mexican cities have been addressed by local governments.
Mexico City, Mexico
Fixing Civic Problems Through Crowdsourcing
Solver Supercívicos, which fixes civic problems through crowdsourced collaboration, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Community-Driven Innovation Solver.