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Sep 28, 2018

U-Report Launches in Belize

Today, the U-Report was launched at the B.T.L. Park in Belize City. It is a free SMS social monitoring tool designed to gather information to address issues that affect youth.  Once the data is captured, it will be used policy and decision makers to tailor policies and programs to meet the needs of the population. The U-Report is open to everyone from thirteen years of age. We spoke with the UNICEF Belize Representative Doctor Susan Kasedde about the initiative and what it means for Belizeans.

 

Susan Kasedde

Dr. Susan Kasedde, Representative, UNICEF Belize

“U-Report is a mobile phone base platform that was initiated globally years ago by UNICEF to create an open and safe space especially for young people to capture their perspectives and voices, transform those voices and perspectives into data that is packaged to provide compelling insight to shape policies, programs, and services. Very simply that is what it is. You own a mobile phone, you can join and share your opinions through data polls and messaging and communication that is then packaged through this powerful tool for decision making.  Belize has one of the highest levels of mobile phone penetration in the world and we are benefitting from that by using this particular platform as an additional tool, an additional approach to reaching communities and getting their perspective. In addition, to using U-Report, we have programmes, for early childhood development, we work with the Ministries of Health, Education and Human Development, to go out to the communities through roving caregivers to reach families in the remote areas and provide the same information  that might be accessible through u-Report. What we need to have is an approach that saturates strategies for reaching the most vulnerable populations with information to educate and empower. Mobile phone is a really critical one; to take advantage of the presence of mobile in many places that we don’t reach through face to face interactions. But it is a strategy that complements services available in facilities and community outreach approaches.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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