Holding the 2nd Focus Group with Municipalities in the Gaza Strip
  • 21 July 2020
  • General

A focus group entitled: “Seeking Innovative Hi-Tech Solutions for Important Challenges of Gaza Organizations was held with the attendance of municipalities in the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the focus group was to discuss the most important challenges and problems for which innovative solutions can be developed using hi-tech trends/ tools. Twenty-six IT and GIS professionals representing 14 municipalities were present. The workshop started with a brief definition and presentation of techniques such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things, e-Commerce, Financial Technology, and Blockchain. Then, the attendees were distributed into three small groups to brainstorm for 45 minutes for the “FUTURE SCAN” tool sheet which is an ideation chart that was designed to help imagine some products and services that might be needed in the world as it could probably be in the future. They were asked to use it for inspiration and to ask themselves: “How would we tackle our specific challenge in this future scenario?”  Then, 15 minutes were given to fill the MATRIX of the challenges and problems and also the cross-sectional potential hi-tech tool to solve them. Finally, group presentations and discussions were held for 45 minutes.

The Focus Group Results in a Nutshell:

  • 30 challenges were gathered from the 11 municipalities that filled the MATRIX. The other three were contacted by email to fill and they expressed interest and collaboration.

The following problems and challenges are among the most common and frequent problems among municipalities:

  1. Citizens not paying their water bills, and accumulated debt. Also managing financial accounts.
  2. Identifying and monitoring sites and roads that need maintenance.
  3. The difficulty of controlling and managing wells and water tanks during peak periods, which leads to the problem of water outages and inequality in water distribution between neighborhoods.
  4. Following up the consumption of the water network, operating it optimally, and monitoring thefts and leaks.
  5. Managing and tracking the movement of the municipal's vehicles.
  6. Identifying mechanisms that need maintenance and check on them.
  7. Following up on the municipal mechanisms and managing waste collection efficiently.
  8. Developing intervention techniques that will allow the municipal to take immediate action during disasters whether natural or any other kind of disaster. Also developing tools that will help give them early warnings.