NEWS
U-Report comes to Trinidad and Tobago
Feb. 5, 2018
BY PATRICK KNIGHT
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U-Report, the popular mobile application comes to Trinidad and Tobago from February 2018. By texting 8688 all young people in the twin-island republic will be able to answer weekly pills, share their views on issues that concern them and show peers and policy makers that the voices of the vibrant youth community matters. By joining U-Report, Trinidad and Tobago becomes the second Caribbean country to join the initiative following Jamaica a few months ago. In May 2011, UNICEF launched U-Report, a mobile application that enabled young people to become “U-Reporters” and text in their responses to particular questions and opinions about important topics that mattered to them. Uganda was the first country to introduce U-Report. The results collected from Ugandan youth were then relayed to decision-makers, such as Members of Parliament, who used the data to inform their policies. The take-up has been rapid and widespread with 37 countries and 3.5 million U-Reporters currently involved in this form of democratic participation. Many other countries are not at various stages in their preparation to roll out U-Report. UNICEF and partners were concerned that the voices and views of young people in developing countries were marginalized and their ideas and observations were not being sufficiently represented in discussions about the most important development issues of the day. This was the case not just in Africa, where U-Report started, but throughout the world where the platform is now energizing youth in many regions. UNICEF Eastern Caribbean identified Trinidad and Tobago as the first country in the sub region to which U-Report will be introduced. The country’s high mobile penetration rate of 157 per cent, the highest in the English-Speaking Caribbean, and the 450,000 youth between ages 14-29, which represents 34 per cent of the population, make Trinidad a key regional market for the roll-out of U-Report.

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