Bringing the RapidPro Tech Development Community Together

RapidCon 2016 connected vendors and partners with the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre

Evan Wheeler & Katharine McFadden
On 4 June, a health worker looks at cholera alerts on a mobile telephone in Nyanza Lac, a cholera endemic area in southern Burundi. The information is being provided via RapidPro, a free SMS-based system developed with UNICEF support, which allows local health workers to send alerts to a central database as soon as a new cholera case is detected, track and monitor new cases and report on progress in hospitalized cases.
UNICEF/Burundi/Yves Nijimbere
15 December 2016

RapidCon is a conference that brings together technology vendors and partners with the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre to discuss the technical evolution of RapidPro's architecture. RapidCon provides a way to orient new vendors on LTAs (long-term agreements for services) to the RapidPro ecosystem and to identify vendor strengths, interests, and opportunities to engage with RapidPro and related products.

Since last year’s RapidCon, there have been over 800 pull requests which correspond to new features, performance and bug fixes, and about 95% test coverage. An additional 12 vendors are on LTAs for software development services.  

This year’s conference took place in Amsterdam after the Django Under the Hood conference, which many vendors, suppliers, and partners were already planning to attend.

John Cordiero discusses Ilhasoft’s use of RapidPro within smartphone apps.
John Cordiero discusses Ilhasoft’s use of RapidPro within smartphone apps.

24 participants representing 11 companies participated in this year’s RapidCon including a mix of RapidPro experts and developers who were new to the platform. The conference opened with overviews of various products and platforms (RapidPro, CasePro, TracPro, Surveyor, U-Report public website, U-Report smartphone apps, the U-Report data warehouse project, Vumi, Junebug, Aldryn), to sharing projects such as the USAID flow interoperability and tools used like UNICEF’s eTools.

Additionally, plenary discussions included versioning, cloud and local hosting, the community, and postgres scaling while also having break-out sessions held on GCM/Firebase channel for RapidPro, CasePro, and primitives/ multimedia messaging.


Outcomes from RapidCon


  • A Firebase channel for RapidPro
  • A new repository ( maintained by the open source community that builds docker images versioned off of git tags published in and uploads them to Docker Hub. With Docker, it will be easier to people to deploy locally hosted versions of RapidPro.
  • Identified and scoped work on the additional development of TracPro and CasePro