RapidPro is an open-source software used to power mobile-based services such as data collection. It is a framework designed to send and receive data using basic mobile phones, manage complex workflows, automate analysis, and present data in real-time. It allows for easy building and scaling of mobile services and uses multiple communication methods such as SMS, voice, USSD, and social media
It consists of a set of tools that can be customized to connect citizens and critical services, thus helping governments deliver rapid and vital real-time information and connect communities to lifesaving services.
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
UNICEF in partnership with Nyaruka
RapidPro enables anybody to set up or modify a complex application without a need for a programmer or technical knowledge on creating software. It is a cloud-hosted software that can be accessed online or hosted on a local server and uses SMS, voice, USSD, and social media to collect and send data. Key features include a flow builder which allows for setting up of interactions needed with users, a messages menu which tracks the messages that a user has sent, contacts for tracking people one is communicating with, campaign tool for setting up special interactions for selected dates, and triggers used to start flows based on user action or schedules. An analytics feature helps to analyze the data that is received and present it in an easy to understand format. The messages sent or received for each contact can be easily accessed. Flows use logic to build interactions that are triggered depending on schedule or input from messages, using a simple drag and drop interface. As an open-source software RapidPro can be installed on a server and connected to a communication gateway for SMS, USSD, and voice calls, or one can use the service from where it is hosted by UNICEF or Nyaruka. It also has an API to allow integrating a user's own solutions or building on top of the data collected using RapidPro.
Nyaruka offers a knowledge base available to anyone using RapidPro
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Manufacturer specified performance targets include:
- Building a mobile service through an easy-to-use interface.
- Reaching users in any language using SMS, voice, social media, and more.
- Easy scaling of users from just a few to millions.
- Easy integration with external systems using an API.
- Simplified analytics to help one understand the data.
Vetted Performance Status
In Zambia, RapidPro was used to facilitate communication between clinics and community health workers to significantly reduce the amount of time between collecting blood samples for early infant diagnosis for HIV and the return of test results to the originating health facility.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Iribarren S., et al., 2017, Scoping review and evaluation of SMS/text messaging platforms for mHealth projects or clinical interventions, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Volume 101, 2017, Pages 28-40, ISSN 1386-5056.
Fabian C., 2018, Un-chained: Experiments and Learnings in Crypto at UNICEF. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization
Volume 12 | Issue 1-2 | Summer-Fall 2018, p.30-45.
Compliance with regulations