LGUs see silver lining in Big Blue | Inquirer Technology

LGUs see silver lining in Big Blue

MANILA, Philippines—Tech giant IBM has launched a new website that will allow policymakers from different local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines to benchmark the performance and development of their respective cities or towns against others around the world.

The new City Forward site can be accessed at www.cityforward .com.

The site is meant to improve the quality of life in towns and cities by helping officials make sounder and more scientific decisions concerning basic services for their citizens.

“The site gives policymakers, citizen-advocates and the public a new perspective on how their respective cities are performing compared with others,” IBM said in a statement. “It serves up easy-to-use data to help them make more informed decisions that improve services and make their citizens and businesses healthier, happier, safer, more productive and prosperous.”

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The new site captures a city’s “vital statistics” on the performance of specific services such as education, safety, health, transportation, land use, utilities, energy, environment, personal income, spending, population growth and employment.

“People might log on to the site to compare their hometown with a noted success shown for another, comparable city. They can then devise strategies to replicate those successes,” said the tech giant that came to be known as Big Blue for the color of its logo.

The software also helps people spot unforeseen patterns and relationships between city life and government policies.

City Forward can tap into new or diverse measures of daily life, and help people examine how one issue may affect another, seemingly unrelated issue, IBM said. It can then spur new ideas and insights to assist people in predicting the results.

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Any citizen, advocate, government official and academic worldwide can then gather, compare, analyze, visualize and discuss statistical trends, giving them real-world insights that can help shape public policy before laws are amended or passed.

Official data that reflects a city’s well-being may be publicly available, but they are often scattered or exist in a hodgepodge of formats, making it hard to compare one city or service to another. Even within a single city, such data is often published independently by individual agencies, making it hard to see the bigger picture. City Forward addresses these issues by bringing useful statistics and graphing tools together in one place, offering easier and more insightful analysis.

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The new site was launched as part of IBM’s 100th anniversary celebration. That event seeks to highlight how the company’s corporate social responsibility projects have helped develop economies around the world.

Since 2003, the company said, more than 170,000 IBM employees have shared more than 11 million hours of service, transforming communities in more than 70 countries. The expertise and time shared during the period had been estimated to cost a quarter of a billion US dollars.

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TOPICS: Employees, Government
TAGS: Employees, Government

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