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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Yecas, the platform mobilizing Argentine communities

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Collaborative management and citizen participation are what Yecas wants to foster with its social mobility platform.

Hailing from Argentina, the app allows citizens to improve their quality of urban life through becoming active community members. A very simple process that provides great rewards to society-at-large.

What is Yecas? 

You best believe it, but Yecas is a social platform that’s 100 percent capable of improving the quality of life in your city. Like it says on the website, Yecas is a social network of collaborative management and citizen participation aimed at promoting the urban concept “live the city you live in.”

Potentially serving as a future model of urban planning, the startup wants people to concentrate on actually living in a city rather than simply consuming all of its resources. Conceptually, this allows citizens to embrace leadership roles in their respective community.

As Yecas users, community members have the liberty to create campaigns for efforts that they deem relevant. To accomplish this, they snap photos of any sort of problem or issue that they encounter around the city.

Yecas arose from the need to visualize the problems of neighborhoods and cities. The need to have better public spaces and put them in value.

Pablo Bicego, Founder at Yecas

Once they’ve identified something that they want to improve, they upload the image to the platform. From there, they see if there’s enough support to bring the matter to the Town Council for a resolution.  

A platform for the community 

One could call Yecas a “city intelligence” app where community members can report any “yecas,” meaning problems or inconveniences in the city. Linguistically, it’s a play-off of the word “quejas,” meaning “complaints” in Spanish.

For an added level of democracy, citizens get to vote on the issues that they care about most, especially when it comes to improving public spaces. However, to properly function, both the citizens and Town Councils must be subscribed to Yecas

Yecas for citizens

Everyday citizens like you and I must download the app on their phones. Another option is accessing Yecas over a desktop. Pretty much the only tasks for you to fulfill involve creating an account and taking some initiative within the community! 

Over the platform, users get to participate in polls and report on matters worthy of a resolution. A quick photo will suffice when it comes to mobilizing the community’s support and attention. This way, later down the road, authorities can more effectively address issues that are backed by the community.

Due to its geolocation feature, every yeca gets sent to the corresponding council, depending on where the community is registered. Also, in order to give a yeca more relevance, other community members vouch for it over the app. Anything from a car crash, astray animals or a broken streetlight can be reported. 

Additionally, people can create groups and communicate with each other in private conversations. Another layer of transparency is given through the ability to communicate with the Town Council through a private chat, too. 

Yecas’ services are free for single users. Even though it is only available on Android, currently the team is working on creating an IOS app. Meanwhile, iPhone users can access it on a laptop or computer.

Yecas for Town Councils

At the end of the day, the platform aims to apply micro-based solutions. With it, councils can do a better job at solving what the community truly wants or needs. Thanks to Yecas, authorities can also be more aware of the day-to-day problems or inconveniences around any given city. 

First, the Council needs to complete registration with an official email account. After that, access to a control panel will be given. Following this, the government will have access to every yeca made around the city. With an easy interface, they can review each case in a faster, more efficient manner.

When receiving any complaint, somebody will be sent to appraise it. If manageable, the Town Council will post a before and after photo to depict how the problem was solved. Even better, there is the possibility to create area managers to take care of different parts of the city. 

Another great thing about the platform is Town Councils members get to create their own profiles. Just another way to get people more connected with the community.  For interested users, there’s a 90-day free trial to try it out!

How Yecas was born

One day, I opened the door of my house and saw a mountain of garbage in the street, I called the municipality several times and they never responded.

Pablo Bicego, Founder at Yecas

Pablo Bicego started noticing issues around his municipality and hence, came up with the idea of creating a platform to solve these issues. That’s how in 2010 he created Propu. However, due to work-related reasons the project was suspended until Septembre 2015.

Later on, in July 2016 the first version of the platform was ready. But still, Bicego wasn’t quite happy with the results. In order to improve it, Bicego restructured the concept and invited his partners to join project.

A year later Yecas’ MVP launched for the first time in the municipality of Maipú. Followed by the districts of San Rafael, Lujan de Cuyo, San Martín, La Valle, Mina Clavero, Catriel and Villa Regina.

Business Model

Yecas’ currently manages a subscription model where the Town Councils are the clients. Nevertheless, the team realized depending on these government entities might not work in the long run. That’s why the startup is now working on implementing a new business model.

What is the yecas team currently doing? 

Lately, Yecas has been working on adding more features to its expanding platform. Some of these include ad campaign creation, survey development and publishing, in addition to unlimited municipal alerts.  

Another thing the company wants to provide in the future is more dashboard features. These include management reports regarding zones, more categories, response times, not to mention area managers.

Since Yecas is all about creating a better ambiance in the community, it’s open to any suggestions from both Town Councils and citizens.

Thoughts 

Personally, I think Yecas could be the perfect solution for the ever-so-common miscommunication that occurs between local governments and their constituents. With Yecas, a collaboration between the community and the authorities certainly becomes more of a reality. 

-CZ

Carolina Zepeda
Journalist and currently a marketing student. I'm always up to date with what's happening in the world and enjoy writing about it. Also, I love art and pizza.

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