November 13, 2020

Open Cities Lab's WhatsApp platform supports multi-city work during COVID-19

Civic tech organisation, Open Cities Lab, is adding a WhatsApp platform to its ongoing effort to develop inclusive cities in South Africa through people-centred, informed decision-making for participatory democracy.

Open Cities Lab is a non-profit open and non-partisan organisation that combines the use of action research, co-design, data science, and technology with civic engagement, to enable the development of inclusive cities and urban spaces.

The line will help Open Cities Lab in its current work with the metros of eThekwini (Durban), City of Cape Town and City of Johannesburg during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WhatsApp platform will support Open Cities Lab’s work with both the municipal governments, and the network of NGOs that are working in those cities, primarily focussed on people that are most vulnerable and living in Informal Settlements.

The WhatsApp API will enable Open Cities Lab’s to provide support with data and communications, and to feed critical information to informal settlement dwellers, which amounts to millions of people across the three cities, and to feed information to NGOs and government to assist with crisis response.

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