U-report is a free SMS social monitoring tool and real-time information system for community participation

Product description Brand name and product description

U-report is a free SMS social monitoring tool and real-time information system for community participation, designed to strengthen community-led development, citizen engagement, and positive change.

SMS polls and alerts are sent out to U-reporters and real-time response information is collected. Results and ideas are shared back with the community. Issues polled include among others health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, disease outbreaks; social welfare sectors. Data received can be disaggregated by age, gender, States, LGAs, Wards and settlements in real time. Registration is voluntary with SMS free to the users across all networks.

U-Report relies on volunteer community members serving as “U-Reporters” on a free entry, free exit basis to provide information on issues in their communities.

Target region(s) Target region for distribution/implementation (listed by country if specified)

U-report started in Uganda in 2011 and has been deployed in 35 countries since May 2017. It has a global target.

Distributors/implementing organizations Organization(s) distributing/deploying this product directly to communities/individuals?"

UNICEF. U-report has been deployed in 35 countries since May 2017 and has more than 3 million active users. U-report is based on RapidSMS, a mobile polling open source software initially created by UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in 2007.

Market suggested retail price Price per unit or service price per usage/terms (USD). Subsidies noted.


Competitive landscape Similar products available on the market. May not be a comprehensive listing.

First of all, U-report is based on RapidSMS, an open source mobile polling software initially created by UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in 2007. RapidSMS is available too to use it directly or develop similar versions.

Other free services are:

Playsms: free and open source SMS management software. Comes with web-based mobile portal system that can be modify to fit services such as an SMS gateway, bulk SMS provider, personal messaging system, corporate and group communication tools.

FrontlineSMS: an interface through which users send and receive text messages. Keywords in incoming messages can trigger actions such as sending a pre-written message, adding a contact to a group or analysing answers as part of a simple survey.

Voto Mobile: is a mature SMS platform, Voto Mobile. Has also interactive voice response systems (IVR) and audio messages, useful in countries with low literacy rates. Voto Mobile focuses on Africa. However, it can be used worldwide through an aggregator or third-party Android app.

Other pay services are:

TeleRivet: system that enables users to perform all aspects of an SMS program. Telerivet has a data export options, usefull to work with survey data in other applications such as Excel. Test account (less than 50 SMS/day) is free. Standard accounts starts at 30 USD/month (limit: 5,000 SMS/day) plus SMS costs.

Magpi: Mobile data collection software with a strong data collection background which support basic two-way communication. Originally from the health sector. Cost: free account includes 10 free SMS. Pro accounts start at 500 USD/month and enterprise accounts at 10,000 USD/year.

SDG targeted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted with this product/application/service

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Target user(s) Target user/consumer base (country, income segment)

Local and national governments. NGOs

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