Ugandan Innovators Design Civic Engagement Platform for Cities, Urban Centers

A team of Ugandan young innovators, Sparkplug, has developed a platform for city dwellers to engage and set agenda for dialogue to change their cities as well as connect with their community to take concrete, collective action.

Named Urb, the mobile based platform allows the user to report and share complaints and concerns about the issues facing their city as well as post appreciation for excellent service to abet smart, inclusive and environmentally-friendly growth.

According to a McKinsey report, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030 and 95 per cent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing world.


Sparkplug’s product designer, Ray Besiga argues that with the population surge in developing countries and the rapid rate at which the world is urbanizing, the number of people with limited access to basic social services and needs will only grow.

He observes that cities have a role to play in providing these services and simultaneously, they must achieve growth that is sustainable and inclusive; a reason he thinks technology is the best bet.

“City authorities and governments will enjoy improved service delivery through technology innovation. Many cities suffer with complex communication systems, and hard-to-understand complaint forms. With our user-centered platform, users can send data directly to the city,” he says.

“City leaders can leverage their teams to be accountable for their actions. This creates opportunity to fashion stakeholder consensus with the local population and business community,” he adds.

The platform is also in line with United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goal 11 which roots for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The team invites people for an early signup for the product. This will help them create a special community of people who will have the opportunity to impact future changes to the product through providing honest feedback. Get early access here.