The way to smart governance

Published On: May 18, 2018 08:43 AM NPT By: Swasti Gautam

He simply wanted to make an impact on people’s lives through simple innovations. So, around nine years ago, he established CellApp Innovators. Over the past decade, this company has worked to develop simple mobile applications that can help in solving day-to-day problems.

But today, Manoj Bhattarai, CEO of CellApp Innovators, has bigger dreams. He wants to come up with some revolutionary innovations that can aid in better and more transparent governance. He also wants to bring about digitalization in every village of Nepal with the help of information and technology.

“I have worked for many years to develop my own company and my career. I have also put in great effort to make applications that can bring about simple changes in peoples’ lives. But now I feel my company is ready to create some groundbreaking impact,” says CEO Bhattarai.

CellApp Innovators, over the span of a year, developed an integrated software system named Smart Palika that aims to give the first digital shift to the local governing bodies of Nepal. This integrated system comprises of a mobile application, website, digital data and a dashboard for the local representatives.

“Information technology has helped many countries around the world in smart governance. We wanted Nepal to experience the same thing,” says Bhattarai adding that the beneficiaries of this application will be both local representatives and the residents of every ward. Till date, they have collaborated with about six local bodies and, in the coming year, they intend to expand throughout the country.

One of the most interesting features of this software is that it provides most ward level and municipality level services online. “You will no longer have to spend an entire day at the local municipality to get your marriage registration, pay taxes, register a birth or death. All this can be done with a simple click on your mobile application,” says Bhattarai adding that Smart Palika also provides detailed information of the services provided by the local bodies, the amount of time taken for any kind of work, and the people in charge for any procedure.

“I love travelling. And, as I visited different parts of Nepal, I realized that my skills could be used for the betterment of this country. That is why I started developing this software,” says Bhattarai who before working on Smart Palika also visited different smart cities of India in order to understand the technicalities of this kind of system.

This easy to use software utilizes information collected by our local bodies for the betterment of our society. Through their software, mobile application, and website they make demographic, infrastructural, and other information available to the citizens. This makes governance more transparent and helps the local representatives plan their future agendas.

“The information collected by the government is usually registered in excel sheets or thick registers. Our software will help both the parties understand the data more easily through interesting graphs and figures,” explains Bhattarai adding that they will no longer have to go through a long list of numbers to understand a certain scenario.

Making information easily accessible to the local population will also help the local representatives move one step closer to the people who elected them. This, according to Bhattarai, will develop a certain kind of bond and trust between the two parties.

Smart Palika is also extremely easy to use as most of the features are automated. “For example, the app will automatically send notices to parents a few days in advance if their children need polio drops,” says Bhattarai.

The software also has many accommodative and flexible features. The services and features available will vary according to the needs of the population at each municipality. Another important feature of this application is that it makes both the citizens and the representatives aware of their rights and duties.

While on one hand, this application will assist the local bodies in comprehending a given data to help promote local talents and resources, on the other hand, it also has smart reporting services that lets the government know that its citizens are keeping an eye on its activities. It allows the local citizens to send suggestions, recommendations, and complaints directly to the Mayor or any other person of authority.

Overall, this software is a visionary project that is built to develop and innovate Smart Cities and Smart Villages throughout the country with technology being its integral component. The entire team of CellApp Innovators has been working tirelessly for a year to provide smart technologies at the local level in Nepal.

“We want to create an impact in such a way that it benefits both the local bodies and its citizens,” says Bhattarai. The team of CellApp Innovators believes that they can work with the local bodies and help them use innovative tools and techniques to bring about grass root level changes and development. With the help of technology, they intend to build a new nation where the benchmark of development and governmental services is much higher than what it is now.


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