World e-Parliament Conference
Trends in citizen input to the work of parliament
María Luisa Sotomayor: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will provide a tool that connects
young people and authorities
• What’s U-Report
• Presence and outreach
• Purpose and goals
• Examples around the world
• Uses from governments and MPs
• Working together towards participation
We have all seen how participation is changing…. from this:
U-Report is a social messaging
tool designed to give young
people and communities a
chance to voice their opinions
and create positive change
around issues that they care
Weekly communication via
different channels: SMS,
Twitter, Facebook Messenger,
U-Report App, Telegram.
U-Report outreach today
Empower young people to
share opinions on issues that
matter to them.
Provide valuable information to
community members and
Reduce the distance between
government and constituents.
Use citizen data to improve
accountability and strengthen
Influence positive behavior
How U-Report works
U-Reporters opt-in and answer to weekly polls. Data is displayed in real
time in public websites, and then used to achieve change.
Users are mapped by location, gender and age, and can be addressed by
any of the fields at any time.
SEX 4 GRADES
In real time, that same question by
How can MPs use U-Report?
- Directly connect with constituents: send
out questions and respond to U-Reporters.
- Get constituents’ opinions before passing
- Connect with many without travel.
- Get real time information on a situation
as it evolves.
- Connect with other MPs on issues raised
How can MPs use U-Report?
How can MPs use U-Report?
What are the benefits of U-Report
Across the globe our U-Reporters are weekly engaging on a number if issues:
violence, protection, education, gender equality, disease outbreaks, HIV/AIDS,
vaccination, governance, security, to name a few.
And through U-Report our teams are able to…
audience / victims /
Influence policy and
Identify societal issues
U-Report is tied to SDGs
Declaration: (52) It is an Agenda of the people, by the people, and
for the people – and this, we believe, will ensure its success.
Follow-Up & Review
• 72. We commit to engage in systematic follow-up and review of implementation of
this Agenda over the next fifteen years. A robust, voluntary, effective, participatory,
transparent and integrated follow-up and review framework will make a vital
contribution to implementation and will help countries to maximize and track
progress in implementing this Agenda in order to ensure that no one is left behind.
• 74 (d). Follow-up and review processes at all levels will be guided by the following
principles...They will be open, inclusive, participatory and transparent for all people
and will support the reporting by all relevant stakeholders.
SCALE ENGAGE POSITIVE
We can work together in connecting young people and their governments.
We can channel new kinds of participation: real time data can mean positive change.
Work with UNICEF for bringing you even closer to your constituents.
If you want to connect with your U-Report team in your country e-mail María Luisa
This is not new, but something that we have been experiencing for a few years now.
We also are seeing how we are shifting from asking people their opinion, to asking people what they know – and this is where U-Report comes in.
Our big challenge is do we acknowledge this kind of participation, and how do we turn participation into information.
Yesterday: report: Encourage people to say what kind of parliament they want.
All parliaments able to evolve and adapt to citizen’s expectations.
Digital gives you a chance to re-think the process.
What is U-Report.
U-Report is a social messaging tool designed to give young people and communities a chance to voice their opinions and create positive change around issues that they care about.
It’s real time information conductive to positive change: young people opt in to participate via different channels (SMS, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, App), and weekly respond to polls on issues that affect them in their communities.
They decide to join / basic profile information is collected / they receive weekly polls / results displayed in a public website.
Collective results are visualized in a public website, and then country U-Report teams conformed with UNICEF staff and partners, look to achieve change with the information.
More than 2,100,000 U-Reporters have opted in to U-Report.
That’s more than 2,100,000 young people who want to have their voices heard in issues that affect their lives.
U-Report today has a live / active program in 23 countries. Will launch in other 11 during 2016. More exploring.
Together with dedicated country programs, there’s a global handle for anyone in the globe to join and voice on global issues.
The countries where we are currently live are: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Guinea, Indonesia, Ireland, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda, Ukraine, Zambia, Zimbabwe - UK for a couple of days now.
One of our purposes is to bridge the relationship between authorities and young people and their communities. We:
Empower young people to share opinions on issues that matter to them.
Provide valuable information to community members and government.
Reduce the distance between government and constituents.
Use citizen data to improve accountability and strengthen programs.
Influence positive behavior change.
We believe that the voices of young people can help shape programs, and can help improve their lives.
1) Young people opt in choosing one of the following: text the word ‘JOIN’ to a toll-free number, Follow on Twitter handle, download U-Report App available in both Android and IOS, or message U-Report through Facebook Messenger. Basic profile information is collected in the system.
2) Regular polls are sent out to U-Reporters in each country to gather their opinions on important social issues.
3) Incoming messages are analyzed, sorted and displayed on a dashboard (a public website that displays and manages the information collected). Dashboards allow incoming data to be visualized in real time, presenting trends and geographical patterns and highlighting areas of greatest need.
4) U-Reporters receive feedback and additional information regarding each week’s poll.
5) Results are broadcast via newspaper, radio, TV shows and the website.
6) Finally: in each country there’s a steering committee for running U-Report. Each ST is different but generally conformed by UNICEF, other agencies, covil society, Youth, government, global partners. U-Report steering committees look to achieve positive change with collected data.
What happens to this information? We send out a poll, and then what? Here’s an example.
In 24 hours, UNICEF had collected alarming results regarding sexual abuse.
Sex 4 grades outcome:
13, 000 Responses
Ministry of Gender Child Helpline inundated and offering support services.
Government meets with UNICEF to plan campaign.
Ministry of Education working with UNICEF Child Protection to plan improving long-term teacher accountability measures
Time Magazine pick up the story.
So… real time information achieving social change. We are channeling participation into outcomes, and we are connecting communities with their authorities for achieving social change.
Remember that we could aggregate data by location?
- Directly connect with constituents: send out questions and respond to U-Reporters.
- Get constituents’ opinions before passing on legislation.
- Connect with many without travel.
- Get real time information on a situation as it evolves.
Connect with other MPs on issues raised by people.
MOSTLY: Andy mentioned yesterday on the report: digital gives the opportunity to step back and rethink and improve processe. It’s real time!
DAC Conmemoration in Gambella
Ahead of the Day of the African Child, young people were asked to provide their opinion on this year’s theme of ‘conflict and crisis in Africa’.
A short survey was sent to 1.47 million U-Reporters in 9 countries:
Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic, Senegal, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Guinea.
Example: Nigeria asking about the knowledge on certain government programs: aggregate data by location / age / gender / statistics.
Victims: for example bullying (Ukraine) – influencing UNICEF education program / activating a campaign with government.
Government policy and programs – Nigeria / Uganda (connection with MPs) – Mexico / Cameroon (trash).
Through U-Report / poll to identify what young people need to advocate on.
We also addressed this yesterday – how parliaments are able to evolve today and adapt to citizen’s expectations.
Big questions: how do we make process be of the people, by the people and for the people? We cannot just “encourage” participation, but we need to be responsible in how we use the information collected through participation. Let’s remember that technology does not achieve change: humans achieve change.
Scale: Reach and enable as many young people as possible to join and participate. We believe the more voices we have speaking out, the louder they will be.
Engage: Once U-Reporters have opted in we need to ensure they are engaged by making sure the content is relevant and they receive feedback on how their information has been used. We also need to make sure we are working around issues and movements that are relevant to them, and that will help improve their lives.
Change: Ensure the information collected is used or applied to affect positivity social change as well as provide referral mechanisms and one on one advice where possible. Behind our polls is the ongoing goal of achieving change. Thus, we encourage participation for achieving change, and for that UNICEF works with partners in each country where U-Report runs.