Empowering and connecting young people around the world to engage with and speak out on issues that matter to them
U-Report – COVID-19 outbreak response
In February 2020 the U-Report for Humanitarian Action initiative, a joint effort of Office of Innovation , Programme division , Communication for development and Office of Emergency programmes developed a U-Report Information chatbot to support COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE).
As of 20th June 2020, U-Report’s Covid-19 bot has been
- Accessed by over 6 million people
- Across 52 countries
- Over 7 million interactions
- Over 20 million young people and communities engaged on COVID-19 through U-Report
Today’s evolving political, economic and social challenges make it increasingly difficult to implement structural reforms.
Policymaking must therefore go beyond prescriptive statements regarding the future of children and youth by engaging directly with young people on the issues and services that directly affect them.
That means establishing innovative partnerships among UNICEF, governments and the private sector that facilitate access to various data and contribute the skills needed to interpret massive data sets. Given the emergence of new infectious diseases, health partners in particular will need to work across sectors to effectively use and apply health data to save and improve lives. We also know that including the voices of affected people is critical to designing effective and predictive responses.
It works by gathering opinions and information from young people on topics they care about – ranging from employment to discrimination and child marriage. U-Reporters respond to polls, report issues and support child rights. The data and insights are shared back with communities and connected to policy makers who make decisions that affect young people.
U-Report is now active in 68 countries, benefiting over 11 million users all over the world. Country U-Reports are run by UNICEF and partners on the ground, including local government, non-governmental organizations and young people themselves. U-Report is available via numerous messaging, social media and SMS channels, and even works on a basic mobile phone. It is free, anonymous and easy to use.
The U-Report Dossier explains the issues U-Report addresses, its alignment with UNICEF’s programme priorities, and the strategy and pathway to scale.
Case Study: Hurricane Irma, Jose, and Maria
When a natural disaster is on the horizon, we can activate U-Report to send short, sharp, simple messages to those living in the path of the storm, and keep in touch with U-Reporters in real-time.
A great case study -- alert came from UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean regional office that a large hurricane was brewing. With a huge global effort, within 24 hours we had sent ‘how to stay safe’ messages to 2,500 people: 48 hours later, that number stood at 8,500.
Case Study: Flooding in Abidjan
To alert families, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire used U-Report, a messaging system via SMS and social media, to share vital information. Accessible 24/7, a BOT or automated information center, provides information on actions to be taken before, during and after floods, as well as contacts in case of emergency. The information center launched during the floods that struck Abidjan in June 2018 was consulted more than 25,000 times by young people in less than two weeks.