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UNICEF’s U-Report mobile platform hits three million responders in Nigeria

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it’s unique social media platform, U-Report on Tuesday morning surpassed three million registered responders in Nigeria.
The UNICEF noted that More than two out of five U- Reporters worldwide are in Nigeria.

The UNICEF in a statement explained that the U-Report uses simple SMS messages and social media to reach communities around the country and provides an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their opinions and drive positive change in the country.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative Mohamed Fall, said reaching three million Nigerians will empower the youthful population and increase transparency in governance.

The statement quoted Fall as saying: “Reaching 3 million U-Reporters in Nigeria is a huge step in empowering young Nigerians with information to transform their communities,” said UNICEF Nigeria Representative Mohamed Fall.
“U-Report provides a great opportunity for increased engagement and transparency as a direct channel of communication between leaders and the people they serve,” he added. 

The statement further explained that the U-Report relies on volunteer U-Reporters to provide critical information on issues affecting their communities through polls. It is also a valuable tool for sharing information through message alerts.
The U-Report platform reaches communities in 54 countries around the world and has grown to almost 7 million responders globally, since it was first launched in 2011.

It recalled that the first U-Report poll in Nigeria was sent out in April 2014 and since then, almost 300 polls have been run on the platform in Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Pidgin and English. Topics include health, education, safety and security, internally displaced persons, water and sanitation and violence against children, with results disseminated to Government and other relevant agencies.
The UNICEF said the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a partner, and key player in the recruitment of responders and all states in Nigeria are represented on the platform, with the highest number of U-Reporters registered in Jigawa State.
The statement added: ” the Office of the Vice President, Nigerian Senators and members of the House of Representatives are using U-Report to connect with their communities on critical issues to find out what needs to be improved or where the focus needs to be in service delivery in their states.
“A second U-Report platform was recently established in Nigeria: U-Report 24×7, dedicated to populations affected by conflict in the north-east states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Reaching about 60,000 over the past five months, the platform shares life-saving information with communities in case of emergencies, such as disease outbreaks.

“For the first time, UReport 24×7 employs voice communication alongside text messaging, to make the platform accessible to those who cannot read or write.”

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