Country of Operation
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)Foreign aid agency or multilateral organization
SummaryIn Nigeria, RapidSMS was piloted in the first phase of a 70 million ‘long lasting insecticide-treated nets’ distribution campaign.
UNICEF first deployed RapidSMS in Nigeria in mid-2009 to track and collect data from the Immunization Plus days, a polio eradication initiative of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency. In order for RapidSMS to be used in the first phase of the bednet distribution program, new features had to be created, UNICEF’s local software developer. Because it was designed with flexibility and scalability in mind, RapidSMS is relatively easy to customize for specific projects with technical expertise. From 2011, The system was used to identify in real-time, centre-by-centre birth registration disparities, and prompt and facilitate appropriate action.
Key program components
Each Registrar has his/her unique ID and reports the number of birth registration cases every other week. Those reported cases are all updated on the RapidSMS dashboard which is accessible over the web.
This means that registration centres that are regularly registering births (and those which are not) become public knowledge. It is often very difficult to understand the mechanics of service delivery and what services are actually being delivered on the ground from the top of the three-tiered Federal government system of Nigeria. RapidSMS has made it easier for the Federal and state managers to see what’s going on on the ground. Once they determine which LGAs have lower birth registration rates, they can investigate ‘why’ this is the case. The information is also compiled within the following age bands:
Disaggregation (boys/girls) is done for all the age groups.
As a pilot activity, RapidSMS was used in Kano state to capture data of commodities from state stores to the Local Government Area (LGA) and distribution points using logisticians in 21 selected LGAs and 4 pilot LGAs for mobilization and distribution of nets. Distributors who were not reporting were able to be identified and contacted immediately to follow up on distribution problems.