Riyadh, SPA: The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, represented by the Baladi Platform, has won the Excellence Award at the World Summit on the Information Society 2023 (WSIS), which is organized annually under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at a ceremony held in Geneva.
The participation of the Baladi Platform came within the framework of its strategic endeavour to achieve aspects of digital transformation and to activate community participation. The platform received the award for the service it provided to all members of society for reporting manifestations of visual distortion in various cities and regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using artificial intelligence techniques through its "Snap and Send" service, achieving a percentage satisfaction rate approaching 86%.
The Baladi Platform was selected among many projects nominated for the award with the support of the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST) and the Digital Government Authority (DGA), following the platform's qualification for the final stage and progression to the public voting stage, to be selected by the team of experts concerned with the evaluation.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing for Digital Transformation and Smart Cities, Musaed bin Abdullah Al-Otaibi, said: "We are proud of this global achievement, which once again indicates the excellence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through its government services in the field of communications and information technology. It establishes the Kingdom's leading position in this field." He pointed out that this achievement highlights the excellence through which the ministry seeks to develop ways to provide its services with innovative, workable models that enhance the status of city dwellers and provide various solutions that contribute to raising the quality of life. The ministry also improves the efficiency and speed of operational processes in the municipal sector and provides comprehensive access to all regions of the Kingdom. It contributes to achieving a healthy life by enhancing the well-being of community members through the digital municipal services system, activating community participation, meeting the community's need for digital services, monitoring manifestations of visual distortion through the "Snap and Send" service, and employing artificial intelligence and emerging technologies in community service.
It is noteworthy that the Baladi Platform provides more than 200 digital municipal services that contribute to facilitating the needs of the sector at the level of the Kingdom for more than 3.5 million users through digital integration with more than 25 government agencies. It seeks to achieve the concept of a "smart" municipality to raise the quality of life in the cities of the Kingdom. The platform is in line with WSIS Action Line (c1) on the role of governments and all stakeholders in promoting ICT for development.
The WSIS Forum is one of the world's largest annual gatherings of the ICT4D community.