U-Report PakAvaz' Journey

From 30 to 660 U-Ambassadors speaking out for positive change

UNICEF Innovation
In Pakistan, Lueza Rehmat, 11, a 5th grade student, stands stand in a classroom in the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Tehsil Lilownai, Shangla District
25 July 2016

U-Report PakAvaz is UNICEF’s flagship program in Pakistan. U-Report is a free SMS-based system that allows young Pakistanis to speak out on issues within communities across the country and work together with other community leaders for positive change.

Establishing U-Report in Pakistan initially, we selected thirty young individuals between the ages of 18-24 from 20 districts (high-risk, vulnerable), who were trained to mobilize communities taking into account their local cultures. They were taught how to work with young adults, how to handle a difficult and large audience, how to enhance their presentation and grooming skills, how they can reach more people, physically and how to utilize social media and online platforms.

The purpose of the training was to equip them with necessary skills and knowledge about conducting “youth camps” in their local neighborhoods. After the training, these young individuals became our “U-Ambassadors” and started the leading registration drives via these youth camps in local universities and schools in order to encourage more people to sign up as “U-Reporters”. Furthermore, our U-Ambassadors organizes U-Reporters to get together and help them develop a poll of interest which will then be launched the next day within their community.

U-Ambassadors also facilitate community dialogues within a panel of stakeholders from government representatives, social activists, civil society partners to other influencing members of the community. In the presence of an audience of U-Reporters, these dialogues create meaningful discussions around the district’s poll responses and U-Report’s potential.

These dialogues become a powerful collective voice that enables policy makers to listen about U-Report and how it can benefit the society at large.

At present, Pakistan has a pool of 660 U-Ambassadors already and counting.