Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
The purpose of the “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project is to isolate people who are at risk of Covid-19 from crowded places and make a positive contribution to decelerate the spread of the pandemic and turning crowded places like public transportation healthy. Thanks to our project, which has been implemented through the infrastructure support by the Ministry of Health, the risk of transmission of more than one million passengers living in a city with a population of more than two million has been considerably reduced, thus pioneering for the applicability of this system throughout the country.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
The “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project pertains to the special category. The transformation was experienced in every sphere of life due to the Covid-19. The restrictions were reflected directly on the transportation services and indirectly on the transportation behaviors of individuals. During this period, rules such as the spread/transmission rate of the disease and social distance have been significant factors. The HES codes are integrated into smart cards, and it is ensured that the risk status of people using public transportation are evaluated and risk-free people travel in a safer environment for their health.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
Within the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals, the project is related to Good Health and Wellbeing as well as Sustainable Cities and Communities. In order to enhance the fight against COVID-19, which has affected the whole world, the project has contributed to mitigating the spread of the pandemic by improving service delivery methods and capabilities. Accordingly, the “Safe Travel with the HES Code” project has been carried out as a part of the transportation services. Thus, the project directly promotes the objectives of combating communicable diseases, provides early warning against global health risks, and reinforces the risk mitigation and risk management capacities. The health status of each passenger using public transportation is instantly quired during each boarding, and if there is no suspected case, they are permitted to use transportation vehicles. Individuals who are at risk for COVID-19 disease are not entitled to pass, and their location, boarding time, vehicle and, risky person information are concurrently reported to the Ministry of Health.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality diminishes the transmission of the disease by improving servicing methods and capabilities. Accordingly, the “Safe Travel with the HES Code” project is conducted. This online-based project is implemented with the integration of the Gaziantep Card system, which instantly quires the risk status of the passenger at each boarding. Various cities conducting similar projects are applying these projects offline due to inadequate infrastructures. Our project makes instant notification to the respective institutions of people violating the isolation and filiation rules even though they are "risky". The Provincial Public Health Board can rely on the assurance by the system.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
After the pandemic, which have been witnessed across the globe, the demand for public transportation has also declined. The mask, distance and cleaning factors that should be taken into consideration during the pandemic period have posed a profound effect on this decline. This application, which was not required before in public transportation, came into prominence with the pandemic, and not because of the incompetence of our Municipality, but due to the conditions and necessities, a change in the methods of providing services came into question. The application has enabled individuals using public transportation to travel in a safer environment in terms of their health and also to reduce the risk of transmission.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
The application covers all individuals.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
Thanks to the application jointly carried out by the Ministry of Health, the risk of transmission of over six hundred thousand passengers has been significantly reduced in the city of more than two million inhabitants, and this system was set as an example to be used throughout the country.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
All passengers who want to use public transportation are obliged to register their HES codes by logging into the “Hes.gaziulas.com” website. The information regarding this obligation is published through various social and printed media. The health status of passengers is quired instantly whenever they use public transportation and are entitled to pass if there is no suspected case. The transportation cards of people, who are tested positive or contact with the disease, are aligned with the unique code produced by the Ministry of Health in order to ensure healthy transportation of passengers using public transportation. In the event that the risky people try to use transportation vehicles, the devices do not approve their boarding and the location, boarding time, vehicle, and risky person information is reported to the Ministry of Health instantly.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The biggest challenge encountered in the “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project was the HES code registration of 2 million cards used in public transportation. In this respect, citizens are informed via various social and printed media, and persons who could not register their HES code are assisted one-on-one over the phone.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The necessary integration between the tailored electronic/smart travel card systems to be used in travels by all sorts of urban public transportation vehicles (bus, metro, metrobus, etc.) carried out by other relevant institutions/organizations, particularly municipalities, and the Life Fits into Home (HES) application initiated by the Ministry of Health is realized, thus a robust initiative has been taken in the fight against COVID-19. In accordance with the circular issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, all cities with an electronic payment system were imposed to transit to this system.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities around the world have called on people to avoid using public transportation and to provide transportation by car, bike or walking instead. During the pandemic, masks, social distance and cleaning have come into prominence, and accordingly, lots of cities have brought some changes to their services and common areas. In this regard, different policies have been adopted. The “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project was implemented in Gaziantep for the first time in Turkey.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project can be defined as the creation of a new public transportation service in response to changing needs by using digital opportunities so as to promote the control of the pandemic and ensure safe and healthy transportation. In this context, thanks to the service received from the Ministry of Health, HES (Life Fits into Home) code is instantly quired once individuals using public transportation scan their travel card.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
All cities with an electronic payment system were imposed to transit to this system in line with the circular issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The method applied is the same as the “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
The project can be carried out in any country/region that is capable of integrating the project into the card system used in public transportation and has sufficient infrastructure to operate online. On the other hand, any country/region with insufficient infrastructure will necessarily implement the system offline.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
Within the scope of the “Safe Travel with the HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project, system development and infrastructure works were jointly carried out by the Department of Information Technologies under the body of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and the Kentkart Electronic Fare Collection System of Gaziantep Ulaşım ve Bilişim A.Ş., a subsidiary of the Municipality. The project was effectuated with the hard work of our technical team and solution partners working within our municipality in a short period of time like 2 weeks, without posing any financial burden.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
At the urban level, local administrations are authorized to provide the most suitable services for their citizens. The importance of offering solutions at the local level against the problems experienced on a global scale was better understood with the COVID-19 pandemic. HES code query is not limited with the transportation, it is also started to be applied in social areas (such as private-public bodies, with/without tourism operation certificate, licensing administration). It is important to consider the demands of the people against the COVID-19, in making sustainable transportation policies and practices permanent that are under the responsibility of the Municipality.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
The application sends an instant notification to the Ministry of Health in case a risky person tries to use public transportation when they scan their HES code. Since a curfew is imposed on the risky people, penal action is filed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
In the reports regarding passenger boarding and HES code inquiry, it can be seen how many people try to use the transportation in a risky status and how many people successfully registered the HES code.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
There is technical staff with sufficient knowledge for the implementation of the “Safe Travel with the “HES (Life Fits into Home) Code” project and a system infrastructure that can send a notification to the Ministry of Health by instantly querying the HES code. The in-vehicle passenger information screens, billboards and digiboards are actively used for integrating the HES code to Gaziantep Cards and informing the citizens about the system operation within the scope of the project. The inclusion of 2.5 million cards in the application and the storage of this data without a security breach are among the difficulties for the system. In the discussions with the Ministry of Health, a decrease in COVID-19 cases was encountered. After this exemplary application, it has become mandatory to query the HES code in public areas.
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
The General Directorate of Gaziantep Ulaşım ve Bilişim Hizmetleri A.Ş., a subsidiary of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, stated that the individuals using public transportation are obligated to integrate HES code to their Gaziantep Cards and that risky people cannot use public transport when HES code COVID-19 risk information is shared by the Ministry of Health. This requirement was deemed fit by both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health conveyed the HES Code information to the Department of Information Technologies of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality.
Gaziulaş provides feedback to the Ministry of Health about the risk status by integrating the HES code information into Gaziantep Cards, with the information acquired from the HES code of people using public transportation. The Ministry of Health shares the information of risky individuals attempting to use public transportation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. A circular was sent by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to implement this application in all provinces after the initiative launched in Gaziantep.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
The Ministry of Health took part in the project by defining the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The Department of Information Technologies under the body of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality directed the services provided by the Ministry of Health.
The project was implemented by Gaziantep Ulaşım ve Bilişim A.Ş., a subsidiary of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, in the field of transportation.
The evaluation of the project and the implementation of penal action were performed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
It can be ensured that risk-free environments are not only limited to public transportation by installing the HES code query devices in hospitals, public institutions/organizations, schools and areas where collective events are held, in order to prevent people contacted with COVID-19 from being in crowded environments throughout the city.