According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2013, Pakistan ranked at a staggeringly low 127 among 175 countries which, both ironically and sadly, is still the best ranking we have been able to achieve so far. Since our last government, the statistics have improved a little, but there is still a need for more drastic measures to be taken on a government scale.
The goal of this project is to provide a technological means for solving the aforementioned issues in our country, and to hopefully collaborate with the KPK provincial government to aid us in implementing this project in future. The aim is to improve transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of government institutions and processes, and moreover, to allow for easy communication between the government institutions and the poor and marginalized people.
What it does
Ikhtiyaar is an initiative to address the corruption and transparency issues prevalent in our system of government. It's a prototype for website where users can give their feedback by posting their issues/complaints online and keep updated about other people’ problems and concerns in their area.
Facebook Graph API is used to get information about the user posting the complaint. Users can simply login using their Facebook IDs, saving them from remembering extra passwords. An additional option for posting anonymously can be added later on.
While filing complaints, users have the option of including up to 5 photos with the complaint. They also have to select a category and provide their location. A partial voting system is included through which users can vote on complaints increasing their priority.
How we built it
For the front-end, we've used the popular and well-tested CSS framework, Bootstrap. jQuery plugins we've used include: geocomplete, Dropzone.js and Lightcase. Fonts used are Open Sans and Crimson Text.
Back-end is coded in PHP. We've used a third-party library Ultimate MySQL library for database communication. Facebook Graph API is used to integrate the social login feature. Images are resized on-the-fly using timthumb.php library.
Challenges we ran into
A major challenge was to incorporate AJAX in posting complaints. Integrating the Dropzone plugin was another task difficult to implement for us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We've paid special attention to the usability and practicality, and we're quite happy with how our design has turned out to be.
What we learned
Nothing of significance really, except that this website has no practical use without the involvement of the government.
What's next for Ikhtiyaar
Future work in Ikhtiyaar may involve adding a comments and proper system of voting. Other features would include:
Admin panel: Administrator should have access to a dashboard where they can view all complaints, sorted into relevant categories. The admin should be able to respond to a complaint, and change its status once the issue is resolved.
SMS integration: An SMS service could be added, to enable users to post complaints using only their cell-phones without the need to visit the website. Users would have the option to select how and when they should receive notifications about any updates.
Complaint statistics: Statistics could be generated on the website, for example, on daily, weekly or monthly etc. basis, with the option of filtering by category and location.
Integration with Twitter: Tweets by the government officials to be automatically displayed on the website, integrating their current mode of communication with our system, making the process of posting updates effortless for them.
The website is dependant on the following libraries:
Facebook PHP SDK v4(https://github.com/facebook/facebook-php-sdk-v4)
Guzzle, PHP HTTP Client(https://github.com/guzzle/guzzle).
The dependancies are defined using Composer. Simply run the following command in the project root to install both of the libraries:
Please note that Composer has to be installed in the system first.