The Mexican Red Cross, in partnership with UNICEF, is using a new, innovative social monitoring tool designed to increase community participation and address issues that are important to them. U-Report provides the opportunity to respond to a poll or survey accessible through various social networks and platforms about a topic. Real time-responses are then mapped on the U-Report website.
In return, reporters will receive important information and alerts about the issue, as well as the results once the poll has ended.
So far over 250 Red Cross volunteers have registered as U-Reporters in Mexico, and are reporting on the issues that are important to their communities. The plan is to extend the use of U-Report with a particular focus on building community resilience.
UNICEF presented U-Report at the Mexican Red Cross National Convention where volunteers identified many ways in which the platform could be used to highlight key problems in the country, and the information could be used to inspire change through improved programming and coordination. They also said it could offer greater awareness of the rights of vulnerable communities.
U-Report relies on voluntary participation, which volunteers said could help to increase contact and communication with the local communities. They saw potential operations that could promote the importance of clean rivers to prevent flooding, create targeted health campaigns, and help highlight the impact of other social problems such as violence, inequity and insecurity in the community.
Many of the volunteers said it would be useful in building up the skills and experience of Red Cross volunteers, so that they can better understand the needs of their communities and help them become more resilient.
The U-Report platform currently has over 3 million members and is accessible at https://ureport.in/