Tuesday, 17 March 2015

U-Report Indonesia: The story so far

By Nick Baker, Communications and Knowledge Management Officer

The Give Voice to the Voiceless Campaign is increasing interest in U-Report Indonesia.
©UNICEF Indonesia/2015

What if it were possible to ask 67 million young people what matters to them? UNICEF Indonesia is keen to find out.

In 2014, UNICEF Indonesia piloted U-Report Indonesia – a new platform that encourages the country’s 67 million youth to make their voices heard on key development issues.

U-Report Indonesia is a Twitter-based polling system that questions young people on an array of important topics ranging from education to nutrition to child marriage to bullying.

The responses to the questions are then analyzed by UNICEF Indonesia. The idea is to share this information with government, development partners and civil society as a way of fostering adolescent and youth participation.

Children, adolescents and youth are at the heart of UNICEF’s work, so their perspectives are crucial to creating meaningful action. During its pilot phase, U-Report Indonesia has already asked a variety of questions including:
“Have you experienced or seen any discrimination against girls?”
“How can violence against children at home be stopped?”
“What should be the number one children’s priority for the new president?”

U-Report Indonesia has begun collecting adolescent and youth feedback©UNICEF Indonesia/2015

U-Report was first developed and used by the UNICEF Innovation Team in Uganda as a SMS text message service. To date, more than 250,000 young Ugandans have registered to the U-Report Uganda network. U-Report has since expanded rapidly and is live in 12 countries, with more than 500,000 registered U-Reporters. The plan is to expand to almost 20 countries and over 1 million U-Reporters by the end of 2015. 

What separates U-Report Indonesia from the other U-Report programmes is that UNICEF Indonesia was the first country office to utilize social media – specifically Twitter – as the main channel to send and receive messages.

As Indonesia has almost 30 million Twitter users,  social media was the ideal platform to bring young people more directly into national and subnational discussions on the issues facing children and youth. With support from US Fund for UNICEF’s Next Generation, U-Report Indonesia thus became a reality.

Spreading the word about U-Report Indonesia at the Indonesian Youth Conference (IYC) 2014
©UNICEF Indonesia/2015

To grow the Indonesian U-Reporter base and create a louder voice for youth advocacy on children’s issues, UNICEF Indonesia has begun promoting U-Report Indonesia at various events. This included highlighting U-Report Indonesia’s potential at the Indonesian Youth Conference (IYC) in November 2014.

During the IYC 2014, participants voted for the organization or project they wanted to hear more from during an open discussion session – U-Report Indonesia scored first.

UNICEF Indonesia begun 2015 by launching the Give Voice to the Voiceless campaign, which will seek to grow participation with U-Report Indonesia across the country. Look for the results of this exciting digital campaign at the end of March 2015.

To join U-Report Indonesia and help create positive change, follow @UReport_id.