United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, and partners have launched the U-Report, an innovative SMS-based platform that empowers Nigerians by enabling them to participate and engage in policymaking and governance and access real time information on key social issues.
In a press statement obtained from the office of UNICEF Nigeria, U-report enables those who voluntarily register, to speak-out on what is happening in their communities, provides a forum to amplify their voices through local and national media, sends alerts to key stakeholders about the issues their constituents are facing, and feeds back useful information to the U-reporters.
They were empowered to work for positive change and improvements in their localities. The platform provides decision makers a forum to listen to millions of voices through simple messaging.
According to the statement, in the last one year with support from Airtel, MTN, GLO and Etisalat the number of U-reporters has rapidly grown to about 200,000 with thousands joining every month from all parts of the country. It is expected to top a million by the end of 2015.
“Today more than ever before community journalism through communication technology can help engender good governance, accountability, social change and improve health standards,” the statement quoted Jean Gough, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
UNICEF Nigeria is working closely with its partners; the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, National Orientation Agency, NOA, the Scouts Association of Nigeria, Boys Brigade and Girl Guides, religious and traditional leaders, the media and telecommunication service providers to scale up registration and increase impact.

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