Shaikh Mohammad with the team from New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYU Abu Dhabi) who were awarded Dh1 million for their app ‘RoadWatch’ in the Students category. A team of five students developed the traffic app. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The winners of the Best m-Government Service Awards were honoured on Wednesday by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the third day of World Government Summit 2016.

The annual event, now in its fourth edition, aims to honour governments from all around the world that have created apps that make a difference in people’s lives.

Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, also presented the awards to the winners.

This year, two new categories were added to the existing list of eight: the ‘one-stop app’ category and ‘smart wearable technology’ category.

Other award categories include health, education, environment social affairs, safety and security, tourism, trade and economy, and transportation and infrastructure.

Among the winners was a team of five students from New York University in Abu Dhabi who were awarded Dh1 million for their App, ‘RoadWatch’.

“Our app is a virtual driving assistant that can be accessed on a phone or smart watch. The app, which is available in 15 languages, tells users where there are accidents and congestion. It also warns users if they exceed the speed limit. Our app aims to reduce the rate of road fatality,” said Emirati team member Maitha Al Memari, who is a second year student studying social research and public policy.

Ling Zhang, another team member who is from New Zealand, said the app also encourages users to drive safely and rewards them with points. “The more rewards and point[s] they get, the higher level they reach. It becomes like a fun game,” he said.

The team also included Kai-erik Jensen from the US, Quan Vuong from Vietnam and Kenny Song from China. The team designed the app in collaboration with the ministry of Interior and won the Student App category.

The other winners included:

The International Winner of the smart wearable technology is T. Jacket from Singapore, a bodysuit system for children who suffer from hyper activity and autism. The national winner was the Dubai App, which can be accessed on an Apple watch. Users can view and pay their fines through this app.

The international winner of the one-stop app was ‘MobileOne’ from India, which provides services from multiple states. On a regional level, the Kuwait Official e-gate app, which allows its users to access governments services and data won. Meanwhile, the national winner of this category was Dubai Now, which allows users to access all governmental services in one stop including traffic fines and Salik tariff to name a few.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Duba Police Chief, felt honoured to have won in the best smart app for the third time in a row and the smart wearable app for the first time. This, he said, is part of their quest to provide all its services to the public and to people with disabilities in particular, through smart phones or wearable electronic solutions.

In the health sector category, the international winner was Force Fit from New Zealand, which helps users get fit. Regionally, Morroco won the prize for their app, which manages hospital rendezvous, appointment schedules, etc.

The national winner was the Haad Abu Dhabi app, which allows users to find out about services in the field of health. Haad refers to Health Authority — Abu Dhabi.

In the economy and commerce category, the international winner was Occupation Outlook from New Zealand. It allows students to make career choices. The regional winner was Ministry of Economy and trade from Qatar App, which allows its users to renew their trade license and follow up services.

The national winner was the Minister of Labor app, which provides services for employees.

Energy Watch was the international winner of environment category of the award. The app from Sweden allows users to control energy levels and provide information on payment of bills and services.

The regional winner was the water and electricity services in the Qatar app, which allows users to pay bills via phones. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dewa App also won for the same reason.

In the transport sector, international winner was ID Pass from France while AdM mobile from Morocco, which helps people drive on highways, was the regional winner. At the national level in this category, RTA app was declared the winner.

In the education sector, international winner was School A to Z from Australia. Regional winner was Safeer from Saudi Arabia app, which gives higher education follow-ups. At the national level, Wajehni, the app from Ministry of Labour, was declared the winner.

In the Social Affairs sector, National Relay Service from Australia (app for the hearing-impaired) was declared the international winner. On the regional level, How do I pay Zakat from Oman was the winner. The app helps calculate Zakat. The national winner was Awqaf, Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, for direction of Qibla.

In the Safety and Security category, Spain’s AlertCops was declared the winner. The app allows users to report security issues to police stations. Regional winner was Royal Oman Police, whose app provides services about traffic, fines, etc. The national winner was the Dubai Police app.

In the Tourism category, the international winner was My Hong Kong Guide while Visit Jordan was the winner at the regional level and DTCM’s Visit Dubai bagged the award at the national level.

In the University apps, national level winner was NYU Abu Dhabi RoadWatch, an interface that shows the situation of roads and traffic and issues warnings.

Detector Rats

The winner of the Edge of Government Innovation Award was also presented on the third day of the summit, based on three main criteria: novelty, impact, and replicability. The evaluation of the award was done by distinguished jury comprising leading experts from international organisations.

The winner was Detector Rats from Mozambique and Tanzania. Both countries have taken a novel approach to dealing with the health crisis caused by tuberculosis, and the threat to public safety and development posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war. The government of Mozambique worked with non-governmental organisation (NGO) APOPO to address both humanitarian challenges by training rats called HeroRats to sniff out TB in human sputum samples and detect buried landmines. The African giant pouched rats have a highly developed sense of smell, are trainable, and easy to handle.