Cityspec Mobile Inspection Tool

In early 2014, VPUU approached Formula D interactive to join a partnership to develop a mobile inspection system. The result is a mobile app for community workers to log reports in the field, take photos and capture GPS data automatically. A linked database enables the community workers to access parts lists with reference drawings to describe possible faults as precisely as possible. The system also provides a browserbased control centre for coordinators to create and track tasks for specific workers, inspection items and areas. Finally, the system allows for appropriate data mining tools to visualize and extract information needed by the city to action immediate remedial work.

Currently CITYSPEC is being piloted in 2 Cape Town communities in the informal settlements. Once the pilot has been successfully implemented, assessed and adaptation done, the aim is to expand utilisation of the app through VPUU to other areas until 2018. After this the CITYSPEC will be made available to other organisations worldwide.

On Site Reporting
The mobile application is optimized for the Samsung Pocket, which is, at R700, the cheapest device to provide a reasonable camera, GPS and data connection. Once a worker logs in with user name and password, their task list will be updated on the device, which may include the inspection of a specific streetlight in the neighbourhood. An added function is the spontaneous reporting of incidents such as fire and crime, which may be picked up on the way to an inspection site. Due to the intermittent data signal in some of the areas, the app will store reports on the device and may be synchronized with the server once a data connection becomes available.

Control Center
The Control Center is a web-based system and can be accessed by admin users. VPUU coordinators will be able to assign registered workers to inspection tasks. Tasks are defined around items logged in a database, i.e. facility details such as part lists, geographical location and workers available in specific areas. Once a task has been set up it will be synchronized with the mobile device as the respective user logs in. Vice versa, a completed task and status of an inspection item will become visible via the control centre alongside spontaneous reporting of crime and fire. This means that all data is recorded in a central repository, including GPS coordinates, time and other details of the fault. This data can then be converted into specific reports needed by the City such as a “C3”, or a map visualization, which are particularly useful to identify hotspots of crime or negligent service providers.

Conclusion and Outlook
Ensuring basic services that affect the living conditions and homes in informal settlements is ultimately the responsibility of the City municipalities. However, reality shows that the current system is being compromised on various levels when it comes to monitoring and maintenance. This is where civil society organizations play a crucial role to ensure that services are delivered according to schedule.

Cityspec, a Mobile Inspection Tool for Service Delivery in Informal Settlements will be available to civil society organizations and municpalities to effectively monitor basic facilities and help identify service delivery problems which affect the livelihood of millions of people.

Cityspec Mobile Inspection Tool - Gallery

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