Illiteracy in Public Services


   Cairo, Egypt

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How can we ease the communication and obtaining services for illiterate persons in public services?

Would you like to improve the life of illiterate persons in Egypt? Would you like to help us enhance the quality of public services provided to 25% percent of the illiterate population? In collaboration with GIZ, we are looking for creative solutions that make public services more accessible and inclusive for the illiterates on a daily basis.

Make an impact by helping design an application geared towards illiterate persons! The application should focus on guiding them through obtaining a supply card from the supply offices (Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade) and assist them in obtaining the information they need without the need of constantly asking others for help.

We are looking for tech geeks, developers, computer and software system engineers to design and implement a creative app that eases the communication of illiterate citizens while using supply card office public services. If you’d like to partner with us, please read on for more details!


Currently, around 25% of the population in Egypt are illiterates, all of whom are most likely to use government public services and attend to public care. Illiterate citizens have a great effect on the flow, overall speed, and quality of public services provided to both them and the general public since their main source of information is through word of mouth or asking others for help. This process creates communication barriers which lead to citizens exerting greater efforts to obtain timely services due to the large amount of paperwork to be read and information to be written to complete the process. It also makes it difficult for illiterate citizens to keep track of their documents and have the correct forms necessary during different stages of the procedure.

The Challenge

To create a mobile application that assists illiterate citizens in managing and preparing required documents while dealing with the supply offices services in Egypt such as initiating, editing, and replacing supply cards, etc.

Both the proposed and final solution should clearly demonstrate the following criteria:

● Assist the illiterate persons to fill forms.

● Assist the illiterate person to prepare the required documents for selected services provided by the supply offices (e.g. issuing or renewing a supply card).

● Assist the illiterate person to navigate inside the offices independently.

● Reduce the time spent by an illiterate person in a public service office by half. This should help minimize time loss, confusion, and miscommunication in information that is transmitted by word of mouth.

Upon successful selection of the winning solutions, GIZ shall link the awarded providers to the relevant entities hosting the implementation of the solutions. Potential entities include a selected municipality in Cairo or Monofeya (e.g. Shoubra, Maadi, Ashmoun or Shebin El-Kom) or a local supply office in Cairo Governorate.

For additional useful information on some of the supply card office services and their processes please click here.

How to participate?

  1. Submit a complete application form before the deadline of April 30th 11:59 pm EST.This application should clearly demonstrating how the outlined criteria will be met. Please also include a demonstration of the app architecture such as wireframe or any similar diagramming method.
  2.  Three shortlisted candidates will be chosen based on the innovativeness of their solutions and will be invited to present their ideas to a committee consisting of GIZ members and government officials in a pitch competition.
  3. A winner will be chosen to sign a contract with GIZ to implement their solution in full effect. The innovator(s) will be responsible for designing and creating the full app and committed to providing technical assistance to deal with any problems that may occur within the first year after delivery of the solution. The final product should include the following traits:

○ High interactivity and functionality

○ High-quality visual designs

○ High navigation and robust structure

○ Have an Arabic interface

○ Cross-platform: can be used on multiple platforms: iOS and Android

○ Specifically addresses illiterate or low-literate citizens


The three shortlisted candidates will have the opportunity to present their ideas in a pitch competition attended by GIZ members and government officials and will gain exposure within the development community.

The winner from the pitch competition will receive:

- A reward of 80,000 EGP (inc. taxes) provided by GIZ/IPSP to implement the solution with their collaboration. The reward will be given in instalments in accordance with milestones set by the innovator(s) according to their plan of action. Winners will also receive:

- Recognition and support from GIZ/IPSP across their networks.

- The possibility of future collaboration with GIZ.

- Acknowledgement of the winner amongst GIZ partners.

As per our platform Terms and conditions and in case the intellectual property rights are not registered, the innovator should not disclose any sensitive unprotected information. Meanwhile they should include all technical details required to judge the technical validity and feasibility of the solution. The intellectual property of the well-developed app will be to the government and GIZ.

You can submit a solution at any time. Before doing so, we strongly recommend you read the rules and FAQs.

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