OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

BeTwin Cities

Creating an online platform where municipalities can reveal their potentials, needs and experiences, and partner for local development.

Photo of Fon Brunstead
6 4

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The wave of decentralization in Africa has generated important perspectives for African local governments and organizations. One of such is their ability to cooperate with counterpart municipalities and sign development agreements on behalf of the populations they represent. In Cameroon for example, there is an increasing tendency for local municipalities to search for partners in more developed countries, with whom they can exchange experiences and share knowledge to tackle specific development problems. As much as Cameroon local governments have the intentions to cooperate, there is, however, the problem of not knowing how to find partners or not finding partners with whom they can engage in a win-win cooperation based on responsiveness to demand and potentials to supply.

'BeTwin Cities' project falls within the domain of the 'platform economy'. The aim of the project is to create a website and later on an application displaying the names, geographical features, natural resources, social characteristics, local experiences and also local problems of selected Cameroon municipalities. Both platforms would serve as self-regulatory systems. The central idea is to showcase local governments not only in terms of their weaknesses and needs but also to promote their social, economic and touristic potentials in order to foster sustainable partnerships.

So, how does it work? Let's say a council in Cameroon needs a partner for a water project. The council adds its profile on the platform's database; highlights its potentials (cultural, touristic, or specific local knowledge in a certain domain)and describes its development problem and the kind of expertise it needs. The platform remains visible to potential partner municipalities and organizations abroad. This will be supported by manual searches for municipalities or organizations with necessary expertise and interests. Twinning is done, cultures are bridged, change happens!

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The project identifies two beneficiaries
1. Local governments (councils) within the English speaking parts of Cameroon
2. Grassroots Non-Governmental Organization’s working in the domain of agriculture
However, the final beneficiaries will be the local populations of the above institutions who will also be directly involved in the planning and implementation of cooperation projects.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

‘BeTwin Cities’ seeks to reinvent the practice of development cooperation by transforming it from a concept based on cash transfers between governments to the transfer and exchange of knowledge, skills and cultures between local actors of different civilizations in the fight against poverty. By so doing, the idea aims to address issues of peace, prosperity and planet at the same time. The Intercultural Alliance for Development (ICAD) has been for over seven years now at the forefront of promoting intercultural dialogues and programs for peace among grassroots communities in the West Region of Cameroon. The goals of “BeTwin Cities’ thus fall directly with the organizations domain of expertise.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Intercultural Alliance for Development aims at bridging cultures and fostering social cohesion through grassroots cultural enhancement projects in Cameroon.
http://www.icadorg.com/

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

In 2012, I stumbled upon Samuel P. Huntington's book. "the Clash of Civilizations" in which he predicts that the problem of the future generation would be essentially cultural than economic. This caught my attention and prompted me to develop stronger interests in topics that aim at fostering globalization and the consolidation of spaces. Cooperation and especially cultural cooperation became essential in my reflections. This idea is the fruit of such reflections.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace: by promoting multiculturalism and the exchange of skills and technology, the idea would set a new trend for social cohesion between peoples of different backgrounds while building new horizons for friendliness
Prosperity; the exchange of skills and knowledge and the transfer of knowledge would build capacities and provide local populations in poorer regions the ability to take control of their development.
Planet; By bring cultures together, human values become easily diffused, democracy is enhanced, and sustainability is easily attained.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The main partner of the project will be the United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (UCCC) which is the umbrella organization for Cameroon local governments. The project will also partner with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, and the National Institute for Statistics for data collection.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Cameroon local governments are already familiar with the idea of municipal cooperation. The desired project would give them a solid platform to enhance their practice and knowledge

Geographic Focus

Municipalities in North West and South West regions of Cameroon

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

24

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

6 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Christophe Parot
Team

To years ago, I proposed a project to build relationship between schools.
One school in Europe could collect aluminium folder and send these pieces in Cameroon where another school could build a solar cooker.
https://www.mindmeister.com/fr/683732679/recycle-aluminum-foil-into-solar-cooker

Photo of Fon Brunstead
Team

Hello Christophe! Amazing initiative. I will like to hear more about it; how successful it was and the challenges faced

Photo of Christophe Parot
Team

It has faced the challenge of all good ideas that nobody knows with no means to develop them, they stay at the idea stage ! I need a well known partner to communicate about this idea and try it. OpenIDEO is the perfect place to find partners.

View all comments