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How a civic app has helped Athens to become more citizen-centric

Within five months of introducing the Novoville platform, the Greek capital has resolved more than 22,000 citizen requests and increased efficiency by a quarter.

Athens has used the app to increase citizen engagement and satisfaction
Athens has used the app to increase citizen engagement and satisfaction

Within five months of operation, the City of Athens civic engagement app has helped to resolve 22,500 requests while 8,500 SMS and 2,500 push notifications were sent to citizens, significantly improving the quality and frequency of communication between the public and the municipality.


The city also claims that the platform has helped to save 720 man hours, reduced call centre volume by more than a third and increased efficiencies by a quarter.


Two-way communication


Athens wanted to make its customer relationship management (CRM) more efficient, engaging and cost-effective as well as increase citizen satisfaction. It required a system that would easily integrate into its organisational workflows and avoid unnecessary infrastructure and maintenance costs. It also needed to take pressure off its call centre, which was receiving 250 calls per day.


The city implemented the cloud-based Novoville civic engagement platform over a soft launch phase in October 2018. The platform allows municipalities to manage requests efficiently and obtain real-time visibility on organisational performance and the next phase will see the roll-out of further services such as payments.


Through the Novoville app, Athens residents and visitors can easily submit requests, report problems they come across in the city, express their opinion on important issues, and get live updates about the progress of their requests on their smartphones.

"It closes the communication cycle between the city and the citizens, and creates a two-way relationship between these two sides"

In addition, through the app, city authorities can instantly notify citizens about events, public consultations, emergencies, and more, while providing useful telephone numbers, points of interest, and a comprehensive FAQ section.


At the same time, the Novoville platform offers municipal services real-time visibility of the city’s pain points, so that they can better plan their work and be held accountable for their performance and response time. Live statistics and automated workflows allow them to make better, data-driven decisions.


"We are very happy about our collaboration with Novoville,” said Konstantinos Champidis, chief digital officer at the City of Athens. “It is not just an app you can use to report issues that you encounter in your everyday life. It is much more. It closes the communication cycle between the city and the citizens, and creates a two-way relationship between these two sides.’


Enhances transparency


Mayor of Athens Georgios Kaminis, said the app enhances transparency in the administration of the city and the municipal services, and provides a participatory forum for citizens, “which is the answer to the lack of representativeness of our times”.


Across the first three-month phase the city trained 140 employees. All citizen requests, whether received by the call centre, the city’s website or the Novoville mobile app, are recorded in the Novoville dashboard in real time and assigned directly to the appropriate municipal service.


"Our successful collaboration with the City of Athens represents an important milestone for us, especially due to the scale of the challenge,” said Fotis Talantzis, CEO and co-founder of Novoville.


“The Novoville platform complements the municipality’s digital strategy and contributes to better communication with and service to citizens. We are thankful for the trust the local government showed us, and look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation with them".


The Novoville app is free to download for iOS and Android devices.


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