Riseup Labs, a software development company in Bangladesh, signed separate contracts with Unicef Headquarter (New York) and Unicef ECARO (Switzerland) to design and develop U-Report mobile applications. Riseup Labs will work directly with members of UNICEF Global U-Report team, Unicef Latin America & Caribbean regional office and UNICEF Europe & Central Asia regional office to develop these applications and will also provide support and maintenance for the next 5 years after completion of development.
Purpose of the first application is to support U-Report OTM R4V implementing countries, specially in Bolivia, Brazil, and Ecuador, to reach more adolescents and young people and ensure continuous access to reliable, relevant and up-to-date life saving and life-improving information about their available rights and services. Whereas, purpose of the second application is to design and develop the complete user interface and functionality of an independent online based U-Report mobile app using the modern framework to support all U-Report programs globally.
U-Report, a youth engagement platform by UNICEF, is designed for youth and other community members. More than 14 million young people from 76 countries are participating as U-Reporters around the world at the moment. This is a widely used platform worldwide by UNICEF to strengthen community-led development and citizen engagement. This platform allows citizens to speak out via SMS and other digital channels – through polls and unsolicited messages – on what is happening in their communities. It also provides a forum to amplify their voices through local and national media, sends alerts to key stakeholders about the issues being faced in their communities, and feeds back valuable information to the U-Reporters, so they are empowered to work for change and improvements in their localities themselves.
Riseup Labs is also a LTA (Long Term Agreement) partner of Unicef Bangladesh and developed their first U-Report application in 2020 to meet the needs of adolescents and young people of the Rohingya refugees camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. While answering our questions, Ershadul Hoque, Founder and CEO of Riseup Labs, said successful completion and implementation of that U-Report application in Bangladesh helped them to get exposure from Unicef Global and other regional offices to meet & solve global demands.
Riseup Labs is the only company from the Asia region that is working on the U-Report platform for Unicef along with only a few other companies from Africa and Latin America regions. Local software development companies in Bangladesh are getting more scope to work with international UN organizations and have their strong footprint in the global IT industry. With proper nurture and good quality of work, the IT industry in Bangladesh can grow faster than imaginable.