UNICEF Activate



Using innovations in digital technology and results-based programming, UNICEF supports the government and its partners to build sustainable and scalable programmes that increase the quality and coverage of basic services for children.

These innovations use widely available technologies like basic mobile phones and text messaging service, and will make it easier to keep track of medicine stocks, upload and share information on the quality of community services, increase access to information for those who need it most, quickly register children’s births, and help the Government plan for better service delivery.

In addition, the innovations aim to help young Ugandans realize their right to participation, and are one step forward in ensuring transparency and accountability at the grassroots level.

Birth Registration using Mobile VRS:

Birth registration is compulsory for everyone in Uganda. However, only 30% of children under 5 had their birth registered in 2011. Not only were registration services geographically inaccessible to most Ugandans, but registration fees and other hidden costs (such as transport charges) made it too costly for families to register their children.

Being manual and paper-based, the registration system also had its challenges. It could take several months for a registered child to get a birth certificate, especially if the child was not born in a hospital.

This was because of a long trail of paperwork, which moved from the ‘notifier’ who recorded the birth at village level, to the parish chief, to the sub-county or town council for registration, before a birth certificate was subsequently prepared and sent back to the waiting parents through the same administrative structure.

However, all this changed when a new automated system – Mobile Vital Records System (Mobile VRS) – was introduced to ensure that all children in Uganda had their birth registered. Download PDF

For more information and to read poll results, go to 

EduTrac - School Performance Monitoring:

The Government of Uganda, with support from UNICEF, is working to improve the learning environment for children. This is being done, along with other interventions, by strengthening monitoring and support activities, and coordinating key activities related to major sector initiatives.

Access to timely, accurate data is critical to these activities. In the past, information about schools was limited primarily to the yearly, paper-based census, which focused on relatively static indicators, such as the number of classrooms in a school. Compilation and distribution of such data was slow, sometimes occurring a year or more after collection.

Without relevant and timely data, creating an enabling learning environment is challenging; the accuracy of planning and support activities is reduced, as is the ability to make data-driven strategy or policy recommendations.

EduTrac is an attempt to change this. Download PDF

mTRAC - eHealth Management Information System: 

Imagine walking into a remote health clinic in rural Uganda, shaking with high fever from malaria, and not knowing if you’ll see another day, only to find that thanks to an innovative system – eHMIS (Uganda’s electronic health management information system which merges mTrac and DHIS2) – you walk out alive and well, with all the necessary medicines you need in your pocket.

mTrac is part of a growing digital health revolution across much of the developing world, leap-frogging traditional infrastructural challenges to help impoverished communities receive the health care that they deserve.

Rapidly growing mobile phone penetration in Uganda (estimated at 65 per cent in 2015) is providing health providers, as well as the clients they serve, new opportunities to access and use real-time information to improve decentralized management capacity, identify disease outbreaks and service delivery bottlenecks as they occur, and strengthen citizen engagement and mutual accountability for results. Download PDF

For more information, go to 

Family Connect:

The first 1,000 days of life between a woman’s first day of pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier generations and more prosperous societies.

However, in many countries, including Uganda, there are challenges to ensuring that this critical period lays a strong foundation for health and wealth. Child and maternal mortality rates remain high in Uganda – 90 under-five child deaths per 1,000 live births and 438 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Among children under 5, more than a third are stunted and under-nutrition contributes to four in 10 deaths.

These child deaths are caused by preventable diseases such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea, which often manifest as a result of chronic and systemic problems in health service delivery and use.

A particular challenge in Uganda is inconsistent service coverage along the continuum of care, and low uptake of reproductive and child health services in public health facilities.

One key way to leapfrog these hurdles is through the use of digital technology. Basic mobile services and broadband access are rapidly increasing in Uganda. Sixty-five per cent of Ugandans own a mobile phone and network coverage is one of the best in Africa. Therefore, there is a unique opportunity to use digital technologies to improve health service delivery and ultimately save lives. Download PDF


Uganda has the second youngest population in the world. More than three quarters (78 per cent) of its citizens are below the age of 35, and this youthful population is projected to double in the next 25 years.
As a result, stresses on the education, health, and protection systems designed to support healthy children and youth will only grow.

Luckily, young people in Uganda today are accessing information through digital technology like never before, and using it to make their voices heard. This has opened opportunities for greater citizen engagement. There is growing recognition that in order to create an inclusive and responsive society in
Uganda, citizens, and especially the youth, need to be at the centre of policy-makers’ considerations; not just as targets, but also as agents. The aim is to develop policies and design services that respond to individuals’ needs, and that are relevant to their circumstances.

Uganda, with support from UNICEF and other partners, has been able to make use of innovative communication technologies to promote an open and collaborative relationship with its citizens.
Interactive web and mobile tools are being developed to promote stronger dialogue on nearly every aspect of civic life, and enabling powerful two-way communication between Uganda’s leadership and constituents. Download PDF


New technologies are now responsible for huge growth in the volume and types of data available, creating tremendous opportunities to inform and transform societies around the globe. This new world of data, in which data is bigger, faster and more detailed than ever before, is called the data revolution.

However, governments, organizations and people are at risk of being excluded from this revolution due to a lack of resources, capacity or opportunity. There are huge and growing inequalities in access to data and information and in the ability to use it.

Despite considerable progress in recent years, whole groups of people are not being counted and important aspects of people’s lives are not measured. This can result in the denial of basic rights for people, especially children and women. In addition, existing data are often not well used because they are released too late or not at all, not well documented and harmonized, or not available at the level of detail needed for decision-making.

As Uganda embarks on its journey to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and localize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it needs to urgently harness the data revolution in order to monitor progress, hold government accountable and promote sustainable and equitable development without leaving anyone behind. One way to do this is through uSurvey. Download PDF



 Email this article

unite for children