U-Report Malawi: Things that I do

By Charlie Hartono - 2:53:00 am

Time has passed fiercely! It has been exactly 9 months since I left Jakarta for taking my first international role within the UN. Some of my friends have asked me what do I do actually in Malawi? Well, I know that every time I tell them my role as a U-Report Manager in UNICEF Malawi, they will frown their forehead and clueless about what I really do.

Okay, let me try to explain it succinctly here that U-Report is an opinion polling platform for young Malawians based on SMS. The main objective of this system is to give the opportunity for Youth in Malawi to voice out their aspirations through certain polling questions that sent through their mobile.

U-Report was officially co-launched together with the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports, and Manpower Development on 28 March 2018. It began with the first 1,000 young people registered in the platform, and now it is heading to 71,000 U-Reporters.

After the launch, I realized that the fastest way and furthest to reach more U-Reporters joining the platform is through SMS broadcast sent to people's mobile phone. And this will never happen without a solid partnership with mobile provider in Malawi.

So, I started to introduce U-Report Malawi to the public through one of the most well-known Football matches in Malawi called TNM Super League. At the opening launch of the match, U-Report gained its first brand awareness. A giant banner was paraded around the soccer field with more than 20,000 spectators. Players from both teams also wore U-Report Malawi t-shirts produced by TNM for the warm-up session. At the event, the MC also encouraged the stadium’s spectators to sign up to U-Report by texting the word JOIN to 1177. Four senior players also recorded video messages, encouraging fans to join U-Report.

It has been exactly 2 months 20 days since the platform was introduced to the public and I am glad that I just hit my yearly target getting 60,000 U-Reporters registered. The journey has just begun and I am enjoying what I am doing to nurture my baby's project. My biggest hope is that this platform can be sustainable and bring real impact for Malawian Youth.

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