Citizen feedback via SMS in Uganda


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UG Uganda
Web http://ureport.ug/

In development

About the project Edit

Launched by UNICEF Uganda, uReport is a free SMS-based system that allows young Ugandans to speak out on what's happening in communities across the country and work together with other community leaders for positive change.

Anyone with a mobile phone can become a "uReporter". Simply text "join" to a specified toll-free number and enter basic information about yourself.

The uReport project is threefold and includes:

-Weekly SMS messages and polls to and from a growing community of uReporters
-Regular radio programs that will broadcast stories gathered by uReport
-Newspaper articles that will publish stories from the Ureport community

As of July 2012, the uReport community had grown to 129,437 members with as many as 500 new members daily.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

This project is unique in its SMS-based community consultation process:

"The UNICEF uReport team and a group of nine partner organizations meet regularly to determine the issues to be discussed with Uganda’s youth who make up the majority of uReporters. Topics have included female genital mutilation (FGM), outbreaks of disease, safe water, early marriage, education, health and inflation.

Once a topic is determined, UNICEF sends an SMS text question to uReporters who can respond with a simple menu-based reply or with a personal message. The UNICEF team analyzes and interprets the responses, shares the results and often follows up with additional questions or suggestions."

What is the social value of this project? Edit

uReport offers a cost-effective, easy-to-implement means of ensuring accountability by tapping community knowledge to learn about the local and personal impact of policy and development schemes, health interventions and outbreaks. Because it is SMS-based, communities with no Internet access can still communicate their needs and opinions to leaders. No need for expensive smartphones or special training.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

UNICEF is now working to increase access to the technology by creating versions of the app in Luo, a language spoken in northern Uganda, and in Karimojong which is spoken in the north-eastern region. The initiative is also working with telecommunication companies to equip phone booths with uReport services for those without access to a mobile phone.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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