Uganda, 6 November 2013: World Bank and UNICEF partner to innovate for development in Uganda
KAMPALA, Wednesday, November 6, 2013 – The World Bank and UNICEF in Uganda today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on utilizing innovations to enhance Uganda’s development.
The partnership will ensure that innovations developed by UNICEF to improve the protection of children’s rights are used to support the World Bank’s interventions to improve accountability across several sectors, including health, education and agriculture.
“While significant progress has been made in all sectors, great inequities among children and youth across Uganda remain,” said Dr. Sharad Sapra, UNICEF Representative in Uganda. “This partnership with the World Bank will ensure that innovations are more broadly used to realize the possibility of enhancing service delivery to vulnerable children and women in Uganda thereby accelerating the country’s equitable development.”
With this Memorandum of Understanding, the World Bank and UNICEF in Uganda agree to collaborate on refining open source information and communication technology tools for the purposes of both organizations.
“The vision of the World Bank is, by 2030, a world where the percentage of the extreme poor - those living on $1.25 a day or less - is less than 3% and where the remaining bottom 40% have achieved economic well-being in a sustainable way,” said Ahmadou Moustapha Ndiaye,World Bank Uganda Country Manager. “These goals cannot be achieved without fully embracing the transformative powers of technology and innovation.”
UNICEF has developed a range of innovative tools using custom-made hardware and open source software to improve service delivery to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and women in Uganda.
They include U-report, a free SMS-based, social reporting program that gives Uganda’s youth a platform to highlight community development issues and demand accountability for social service delivery. Currently, nearly 250,000 U-reporters have been recruited onto the program across the country.
mTrac, another UNICEF-supported innovation, is a nationwide SMS-based disease surveillance and medicine tracking system for over 20,000 health workers at all 3,500 government health facilities, while EduTrac, an SMS-based school monitoring data-collection system, is designed to track key issues such as absenteeism, violence against children, school budget allocation, and water point and latrine functionality in schools.
Devtrac is an innovative tool being developed to ensure that national demographic data and real-time information about development projects are accessible via a user-friendly online platform for immediate program response, analysis, accountability, and advocacy.
Mobile VRS is a web- and mobile-based system developed to enable health workers and local government officials to report births with simple verification and printing of certificates at the sub-district level while RapidFTR is an innovation developed to facilitate family tracing and reunification of children and families by aid workers in emergency situations using mobile phones.
Lastly, the MobiStation is a multimedia tool to support education in and out of schools and to assist teachers improve access to and quality of education.
“The ICT tools developed by UNICEF are free, open source and intended to be shared services/web services,” said Mr. Ndiaye. “The World Bank plans to continue leveraging the existing innovative ICT tools developed by UNICEF to enable Line Ministries to integrate ICTs and real-time data into all development activities, build on the existing platforms and help move these activities toward national scale.”
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