In Jordan, like in most societies, conversations among friends and family frequently turn into complaint circles with long lists of frustrations directed at the local and national governments, unresponsive banks, damaged roads, and corrupt officials. In September 2008 four Jordanian technologists developed Ishki to serve as a complaint brokerage which collects and organizes complaints from local citizens about the public and private sector. Their goal was to eventually expand the mission of the project so that the complaints would lead to conversations, solutions, and finally to better policies and responsiveness by companies and government officials. The project was active for about a year, but co-founder Waheed Al-Barghouthi says that they had a difficult time attracting new users and no complaints have been submitted to the site since the third quarter of 2009. Al-Barghouthi blames the site’s inactivity on the fact that they did not invest time or energy in spreading awareness about the project. He also wonders if some potential users might feel hesitant attaching their names to public complaints about powerful institutions and individuals.
Waheed Barghouthi is @waheedi on Twitter.