Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Highlight from Jordan: Baldytak Mobile App

When presenting feedback to municipal decision makers on the quality of services they provide to citizens, it can be difficult to gauge how mayors, municipal councilors, and city staff will react.

Will they sincerely accept the results as a whole and use them as a mechanism for improvement, or will they only accept positive results and disregard the negative?   

At the end of last year, IRI conducted surveys with its Baldytak mobile application in a total of 11 Jordanian municipalities. With this IRI-developed application, groups of trained Jordanian citizens in groups called “Citizens’ Committees” gathered the opinions of 12,444 residents on local issues from city priorities to ease of access to municipal information. Once all of the results from the surveys were compiled, IRI Assistant Program Officer Khaldun Ibed traveled to each of the 11 municipalities to formally present the results.

While these results generally reflected a mix of citizen appreciation and discontent, municipal authorities all seemed to take them as points to begin new discussions and were appreciative that they had access to such information. Positive feedback allowed municipalities to take pride in their work, such as Sholeh municipality where the mayor was happy to learn that citizens noticed the months of effort spent improving roads. Negative feedback was seen more as constructive criticism, and the authorities discussed ways to better themselves. Many mayors showed that they want transparency within their municipality, with the municipalities of Greater Jarash and Ma’an posting their results on Facebook, Me’rad pledging to use them in their next town hall, and Greater Salt posting them in the lobby of their city hall.  Mafraq municipality’s manager plans to show the results to international donor organizations when seeking support, as the results showed the burdens the city faces from hosting so many Syrian refugees.

These presentations revealed that many city leaders have difficult challenges ahead and that improvements might not be recognized or appreciated immediately, yet the access to information that IRI Baldytak surveys provide is crucial for setting a path to accountability and good governance in these municipalities. As the mayor of Me’rad Marwan Ayasrah said, “Baldytak surveys were very useful for our municipality; we were able to divide the budget based on areas where results were not satisfactory enough. I think we are ready to conduct a monthly survey and even show the results to other organizations.”