By: Wanjiru Lenana, Stella Kimani, Brenda Mwangi, and Denver Ochieng
Donald Miller once said, “in the age of information, ignorance is a choice.” Looking at the Kenyan society, this couldn’t be more correct. Kenyan’s tend to be very lazy when looking for information, they’d rather rely on the word of other people than find information for themselves; they want the easy way out.
For that reason, we came up with an application idea that will be able to give Kenyans all the possible information that they will need when embarking on various projects; that require approval or permits/ certificates from any government institutions. The application gives instructions and guidelines for various bureaucratic services and also gives contact information for the various offices. This application gives Kenyans the easy way out; in that, all the information shall be all under one roof.
We’ve all been in situations where we have asked ourselves, “where do I start, and What do I need?” Whether it’s importing a car, building a house, or starting a business, we almost always turn to people that have done it before for information. Sometimes this results in problems because; the person one may look to for information, may have skipped a step or two in the process hence gives instructions to a flawed process.
Our application is called, niko-na-msee. The name of the application is a sheng (a mix of Swahili and English) phrase meaning “I have a guy.” This application will give a step by step account of “how-to” to do various projects that require the government’s approval and permits. It even goes further, and gives contacts to the relevant people and offices/departments.
Although Kenya has already made efforts to integrate digital technology in provision of government services through platforms such as Huduma Kenya and e-citizen, Kenyans still are not as active as may have expected. This is due to poor sensitization within the public and sometimes insufficiencies in regard to the infrastructure provided for this function. These government service websites sometimes faces issues with handling a big capacity of users and different functions tend to be more difficult for common folk to navigate through.
Government service functions are normally devolved and as such citizens have to use different platforms for different services and each service has different varying levels of difficulty in regard to user friendliness. The Niko Na Msee app seeks to close all these gaps by not only playing an information provisionary role but also being the link to all these other devolved government service platforms.
The app gives guidelines and a step by step breakdown of how to go about issues such as licence renewal, certification, approvals and government regulation services in general. Once a user logs on to our app, the user inquires on an issue which he/she would like to get information on and as a result gets a step by step breakdown of what is required for a user to go about the governance and regulation process.The user will also get contacts to the relevant institutions and a possible time limit to which a task can be completed.
Seeing as these services are far and wide between different ministries and governing bodies, we shall first tackle the common services which citizens find hard to complete. To ascertain the main government services which Kenyans find difficult to complete, a research will be carried out.
This app not only seeks to ease the strenuous process accessing and using governance service platforms, but is also aimed at bettering the lives of Kenyans and helping in the fight against corruption. Seeing as middlemen and general inefficiencies in regards to dispensing government services is one of the major motivating factor for Kenyans to engage in corrupt dealings the app effectively cuts off the middlemen. This also adds to the depth of the innovation wave currently happening in Kenya and ultimately will help employ talented youth who would have otherwise have never been given such an opportunity.