Jeffery Hall and Vania Santoso from the UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab speak about U-Report.
Jeffrey Hall and Vania Santoso from the UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab speak about U-Report.

UNICEF has officially launched U-Report Indonesia: an innovative new platform that gives young people the chance to speak up on issues that affect their lives.

Hundreds of Indonesian youth attended the Jakarta launch event, where members of the UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab explained how the mobile phone technology works.

“U-Report Indonesia is a Twitter-based polling system that enables young people to share their opinions on topics ranging from education to violence to health to governance,” UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab Lead Jeffrey Hall said.

“Answers are then analyzed and this information is shared with key partners such as government. So we are helping make your voices heard. U-Reporters aren’t just sending Tweets, they are contributing to their communities and children’s rights.”

UNICEF also used the event to gather input on additional topics that participants want to discuss on U-Report. Young people brainstormed through an innovative methodology called ‘open space’ discussion. Topics that generated interest included smoking as an impending health crisis, challenges and opportunities for disabled youth, and the creative economy.

Pramuka, the Indonesia Scout Movement, was also featured at the event. UNICEF recently signed a partnerships agreement with Pramuka to scale up U-Report in Indonesia. Pramuka is the world’s largest Scout movement with approximately 20 million members.

U-Report was first launched by the UNICEF Global Innovation Lab in Uganda. It has since been adopted by 17 other countries. U-Report Indonesia has been in a development stage since 2014 – already amassing 40,000 U-Reporters during this time.

In 2015, UNICEF used U-Report to conduct a survey on violence against children. Participants expressed their views regarding government responsibilities on preventing violence, community awareness and the role of youth. The answers contributed to the government’s updated National Strategy on Violence Against Children for 2015-2019.

Throughout the event, the number of U-Reporters continued to rise as participants signed up and promoted the platform. These numbers look set to grow in the days, months and years ahead.

“We want to enable as many young Indonesians as possible to have a say in the development of their country,” Jeffrey said.

“It’s a very exciting time. The U-Report Indonesia story is only just beginning.”

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