Nigeria drives growth of UNICEF empowerment tool

July 17, 2015 2:53 pm0 comments
U-Report is an entirely new model for engaging young people, empowering communities, and holding governments more accountable

U-Report is an entirely new model for engaging young people, empowering
communities, and holding governments more accountable

LAGOS, (CAJ News) -  U-REPORT, the groundbreaking text-message based
innovation aimed at empowering young people in developing countries, has
reached 1 million active users.

Nigeria accounts for more than half of users of the innovation.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed the milestone.

“U-Report started out as a local innovation to help young Ugandans engage
on issues that affect their lives and futures.  Today, young U-reporters
from 15 countries, mostly in Africa, are using it every day to voice their
opinions, connect to their leaders, and help change the conditions in
their communities,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake.

Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, where the platform is
helping UNICEF workers share critical information about Ebola, polio, and
newborn care with families living in remote areas that health workers
cannot easily reach, hailed U-Report’s impact.

“U-Report is an entirely new model for engaging young people, empowering
communities, and holding governments more accountable,” said Gough.

To become a U-Reporter, users equipped with even basic mobile phones text
the word “join” to a toll-free short-code.

In Nigeria, there are 529 197 U-Reporters.

U-Report has been engaging with Nigerians on issues such as early
marriage, water and sanitation, and safety in schools.

During the Ebola outbreak last year, U-Report was used to spread
information that helped to dispel rumors and increase the community’s
awareness during the response.

U-Report is reaching young people through the National Youth Service
Corps, as well as community based organizations and the media.

By the end of this year, UNICEF’s U-Report platform aims to have at least
one million responders in Nigeria.

With the new Government and its call for accountability and community
engagement, U-Report is seen as an opportunity to contribute towards
nation building in Nigeria.

In the Federal Capital Territory, Niger and Nasarawa States, U-Report is
testing a system to gather information about immunization stocks and
equipment at health facilities. 

– CAJ News

 

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