On 30th of March 2022, Htee City Smart Water App is officially released to the public with the aim of supporting a more Water & Climate-Resilient Community”.
In November 2018, the Yangon Region Government and the Government of the Netherlands agreed on a 3-year collaboration program of the Partners for International Business (PIB) – Urban Water Logistics for a Greater Yangon. In this program, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Dutch Water Consortium jointly designed to deliver a locally grounded and practical plan to make Yangon City more climate-resilient regarding water supply, groundwater, drainage systems and flood resilience under Urban Water Theme. Ward 5 of Thaketa Township, one of the most water-scarce and flood-prone areas of Yangon, was ultimately chosen after careful deliberation given its strong and active community. The Thaketa Climate Adaptation Pilot Project, named the Yangon Htee City Program, aimed to establish an innovative community-driven stakeholder participation process for designing and implementing different types of climate adaptation interventions, based on the social innovation approach from one of the most successful innovative climate adaptation programs in the Netherlands: Amsterdam Rainproof (initiated by Waternet).
Since 2019, Yangon Htee City has been contributing to the improvement of urban climate resilience through tangible and practical interventions at a neighbourhood, street and household level, including household rainwater harvesting, drainage improvement, water quality monitoring, household water filters, and also through community-based actions such as awareness and education programs. However, according to the global outbreak of Covid-19, starting from early mid-2020, the project decided to more emphasize digital engagement and coordination for community awareness and education programs rather than on-ground campaigns by diverse knowledge-sharing platforms such as Yangon Htee City Facebook Page, Project-based education sharing website called Climate Lab Asia and finally, Htee City Smart Water Mobile Application.
Core Working Team
Starting from early mid-2021, the development of the Htee City Smart Water Mobile Application was initiated with a core team of four members from the project including Flore Bijker, a consultant from Infram as the team coordinator, Rob van Oudheusden, a product developer from Resilience as the app design and developer, Moh Moh Nay Wyun, a community engagement officer form Doh Eain as the community networking and workshops organizer, and Thandar, a junior project consultant from The Water Agency as the content development lead of the app together with the support of an external communication intern of the project, Khant Swe Htet.
What exactly is the Htee City Smart Water Mobile Application?
It is a user-friendly mobile application developed for the urban citizens of Yangon/Myanmar (Asia) aiming to give theoretical and practical support in increasing water and climate resilience under three main topic menus of
1. What to do when
A guide to you about seasonally actions to prevent or prepare for water issues focusing on practical information about the projects
2. Too Little Water
Knowledge on why & how water becomes scarce and of poor quality. It will guide you to scalable actions to tackle it.
3. Too Much Water
Knowledge of flooding issues. It will guide you on what you can do before and after the flood and how you can mitigate it.
Infographics,cartoons, a combination of text and pictures, visualized tips
This app delivers the contents in various forms such as infographics, cartoons, a combination of text & pictures, visualized tips, and tricks for any users to understand and take actions to build their resilience community very assuredly. For example, they will benefit from knowing of
-The importance of drain cleaning and actionable items to improve the drainage system before every monsoon.
-How you can improve solid waste management at your own individual or community level
-The practical guideline of building a rainwater harvesting system on your own and the maintenance and preparation plan before the rain.
-Awareness of good water quality, how to improve it and related health issues.
-Ways of conserving and valuing water and how to prepare for emergency water, etc.
Another main unique feature is language accessibility. Here, we are providing the contents both in Burmese and English Language even though this app mainly aims at the local community. We are sure the international community can also be advantageous with the provided English Language feature.
This first launching of the app is an Offline Android Version with a full load of practical content. You can download it from www.hteecitysmartwaterapp.com site for your android mobile phone and you can easily access the contents once you have downloaded the app without any internet/wifi at any time. However, for those who want to use the website version, you will need the internet.
Follow these simple five steps to download and install the app on your mobile phone.
1.Go to www.hteecitysmartwaterapp.com
2.Click on the “Download app” button in the pop-up box.
3.Click on the “Download” button on the next page
4.After it has been downloaded, go to the download folder in your phone and then click the app file and click the “Install” button. Here, you might need to enable “install from unknown sources”
5.After installing the app, you can see our Htee City app on one of your phone screens and now, you can start exploring all the information without the internet.
There will also be no sign-up option when you start opening the app. It will show you the main menu page directly. You can first change the preferred language (English or Burmese) then, easily navigate our three main menus and straight read the one you like to read under each main menu without any complexion. By clicking the Htee City Logo, you can explore our app.
What did we do - Activity at Pre development Stage?
In the mid-way of the content development & prototyping user design process as a pre-development stage around late November 2021, we organized a workshop called the Htee City Mobile Application Prototyping Workshop. This workshop aimed to introduce the app to the wider community and to get user feedbacks both on user design functions, content, and future possible promotion of the app. The workshop was organized virtually with 5 young-adult people who are former participants of the Yangon Raincraft Program Round II and with 3 project community members (Adults) in person. Through brainstorming activities and small assignments, we could get lots of insightful and inclusive perspectives both from young and old age participants on how they are looking up to the app, what they are expecting and what to improve for now and even for future development stages.
In-situ project site visit and app installation – Launching Stage
As well as we announced the app on the Htee City Social Media Platforms for the wider community, we also went site visit to our project area’s community and introduced the app to them and supported for installing the app on their phone.
What will be the possible future development additions to the app?
As for the target audience, to spread out to rural areas by sharing especially farming-oriented water-related practices, sanitation practices within Myanmar more than urban individual and household level practices. Besides for outside Myanmar, it can be to use the same set-up for other countries.
We are also looking for an opportunity to develop an online version of this app with the improved and new-added functions such as weekly/monthly articles by linking to other knowledge sharing & education platforms, local marketing and promoting daily use, a community platform in the app and a daily notification reminder function together with incentive quizzes.