Your voice matters
What is U-Report?
U-Report is a digital platform that empowers young people to share their opinion with decision-makers on issues in their communities. U-Reporters respond to polls on various topics, report issues and support child rights.
The data and insights are shared back with communities and connected to policymakers who make decisions that affect young people.
Information received can be disaggregated by age, location and gender and provide valuable insights in real-time. This way through opinion polls and sharing key information, youth are provided with a safe space to be heard.
U-Reporters respond to polls on various topics, report issues and support child rights.
U-Report is available on mobile phones but also aims to empower youth to expand their reach beyond devices they use every day. The results draw attention to urgent issues in shaping strategies and programmes, and establish the missing link with national and local governments.
Young people can join U-Report from anywhere in the world as the platform has scaled across 60 countries so far. It has been used effectively to engage with youth on issues of health, nutrition, education, child protection, violence, employment and many more, calling for citizen-led development and encouraging youth to speak out on matters they care about.
U-Report in Serbia
UNICEF is focused on systematically engaging young people in the decision-making within their schools and communities and influencing services, policy, legislation on subnational, national, regional and global levels. UNICEF in Serbia launched the U-Report platform in November 2019 with a growing number of young U-Reporters on national level.
Some of the key youth messages were included in the leading documents and policies:
- The voice of adolescents was amplified in the consultative process of drafting the National Strategy on Prevention of Violence Against Children;
- Young people provided their views on progress towards SDGs on education, gender equality and security issues, that were further reflected in the Voluntary National Report;
- Young people were consulted for the Situation Analysis of Children and the defining of UNICEF priorities for the next country programme cycle;
- The youth perspective was included in drafting the National Strategy for the Development of Digital Skills.
What young people in Serbia are saying through U-Report
Young people constitute 18.3% of the total population of Serbia. Through U-Report, they are saying that they do not have access to information, counselling, integrated, accessible, youth-friendly health and mental health services.
52% of U-Reporters label obesity as a leading problem when it comes to health.
They are disengaged due to lack of opportunities - a quarter of young people (24%) that were polled through U-Report Serbia, expressed they would like to see higher participation and influence of young people on development of the society.
U-Reporters pointed certain changes they would like to see prioritized in their society - less substance abuse (16%), better preservation of nature (15%), more education on health (12%), a more peaceful society (11%) and more opportunities for culture and recreation (10%).
98% of U-Reporters would like to have access to meaningful activities they can do in their free time.
U-Reporters lack support in career guidance and access to employment opportunities. 32% of young people think that unemployment is the issue number one that affects them most. 42% say that the companies in Serbia partially can help them to secure their future. 56% recommend that internships, mentoring and volunteering should be boosted and 32% that they would benefit from scholarships.
50% of U-Reporters think that women in Serbia do not have the same rights as men.
Key messages from youth call for various things:
- More attention should be given to our mental health, including psychosocial counselling to those who need it.
- We want to have more of a say in what our future will look like.
- We are worried about our future and whether we will later be able to do what we were schooled for.
- We want an education that harnesses creativity and critical thinking.
- We would like to feel more secure in our neighbourhood, school, on the internet.
- We would like more equal opportunities for every one of us.
- We need firmer prevention of gender-based violence and greater awareness on gender equity.
- Stop the brain drain of young people!
- We need to be better informed about sexual and reproductive health.
How we act
UNICEF will continue seeking and establishing close links between U-Report polls and enhanced use of the acquired data in policy-making and programming processes. Several partners have already joined hands with CO in designing polls such as the Scout Organization of Serbia, OPENS and Libero, with an ongoing call to any other stakeholders interested in tailoring the topics and establishing partnerships in future.
With the increase of U-Report users, additional opportunities for widening the platform for youth participation and advocacy arise as well. Multiplier programs were developed with the Friends of Children of Serbia and with the Scout Organization to boost the U-Reporters network alongside with a local video campaign, social media presence, specially designed Viber sticker pack and close collaboration with the Youth Board.
Through U-Report platform, UNICEF enables young people to engage in a nationwide initiative and communicate their needs and priorities to decision-makers.
The platform was presented and incorporated at various occasions including the Fundraising Congress in Novi Sad, Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Youth Council meeting, Youthilize E-Democracy Training, International Volunteer Day conference, Dialogue for the Future regional programme, the Fearless and Powerful publication on girls’ voices and the regional mayors’ meeting on child-friendly cities in Athens, to name a few.
Through U-Report platform, UNICEF enables young people to engage in a nationwide initiative and communicate their needs and priorities to decision-makers. This way, U-Reporters can improve accountability, highlight the injustice and draw attention to the most vulnerable.