Empowering children and communities to advocate for quality health care: U-Report

Launched: May 2015

In Liberia, new cases of Ebola emerged after the first declaration of the end of the outbreak in May 2015. U-Report was deployed to alert people to the new outbreak, identify users who had been to these outbreak areas, and measure the effectiveness of radio campaigns and the visibility of Community Mobilisation Coordinators (CMCs). In a single day, 43,000 people participated in U-Report and were informed of the new outbreak. In another poll, data from 26,000 responses was also received in 24 hours and used to redirect resources to areas most in need, with an increased focus in locations also reporting the highest absences of CMCs.

In Burundi, cholera broke out amongst the 226,000 Burundians who had fled across borders to escape the political violence engulfing the country in April 2015. U-Report was deployed to assess awareness on cholera and its prevention. The 30,000 responses received revealed that the main barrier to hand-washing was not the lack of cholera awareness, but the lack of access to soap due to its prohibitive cost. As a result, UNICEF and ICRC used this data to guide their cholera prevention programmes. In October, UNICEF responded to subsequent U-Report polls and hosted a community debate on Global Hand-washing Day, creating the opportunity for a U-Reporter to directly call upon the Ministries of Health in attendance for improved access to hand-washing.

In Uganda, UNICEF used U-Report in January 2016 to alert members of specific communities to an imminent mass polio immunisation campaign in their districts. U-Report issued an open-ended call to these communities for any questions about polio, and received 1,834 questions about appropriate age groups for vaccinations, signs and symptoms of polio, questions about logistics, causes of polio, and vaccine side effects. U-Report also measured the penetration of UNICEF’s radio advertisements (79% of U-Reporters had heard the advertisements), and asked users to confirm that they had been visited at home by vaccinators (72% of respondents confirmed visits).