An interactive dashboard launched by Liveable Cities, an innovation-sharing platform, aims to help local chief executives identify areas for improvement in their cities. By providing a visual profile of every city in the country, the dashboard also serves as a guide for the general public and the private sector to identify ways for using public data to engage with their community.
Developed with experience partner Delivery Associates, the dashboard consolidates multiple data sources from agencies and partners, as well as the 146 local government units (LGUs) themselves.
“What gets measured gets managed,” said chairman Guillermo “Bill” M. Luz, at the recent launch. The dashboard, he added, allows everyone to get the complete data of a city across indicators, compare cities with the national average, and track a city’s performance based on a specific indicator in a time series.
The dashboard tracks 11,680 indicators across 10 categories: basic information, labor, education, local economy, doing business, mobility and connectivity, health, urban environment, resiliency and emergency response, and safety and security.
“With data, kahit malaki lungsod mo, kaya mo gawin lahat [With data, even if you have a big city, you can manage everything],” said Quezon City (QC) Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte-Alimurung at the said launch. “Data is the key.”
Quezon City’s QCitizen ID, for instance, unifies all the data sets each QC resident might be qualified for. In the past, the city had to contend with multiple data sets for each person, as some individuals qualified for several different parameters (a senior citizen, a single parent, a person with disability, et al.).
Data can also keep a city safe from security threats, as shown by Zamboanga City’s experience.
“When we had the Zamboanga siege, we were grateful for the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to provide us data,” said Zamboanga City mayor Maria Isabelle G. Climaco-Salazar. The city eventually invested P1.2 billion pesos on data analytics to focus on its human security challenge. “Our decisions affect not only our city but surrounding LGUs and municipalities in Region 9, as well as Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi,” she added. “We have to choose our battles so data is very needed.”
The dashboard will be updated with new information over time, said John A. Tully, associate director of Delivery Associates, Zoning maps are also being considered in the upcoming version.
“All data points are just two clicks away,” he said. “We will be adding more functions in response to feedback.” Setting up a custom dashboard for a city, he added, can be done in as quickly as a few weeks. “It is possible for every city and municipality to have a dashboard without having to do expensive development.”
Added Mr. Luz: “Consider this our contribution to create more data-driven cities,” — Patricia B. Mirasol