Communication and healthcare delivery services has been redefined in Africa with the launch of RapidPro, an open-source app store launched by the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to enable governments and development professionals connect communities to life saving services while delivering real time information.
“RapidPro is essentially an ‘app store for good’,” said Dr. Sharad Sapra, Director of UNICEF’s global Innovation Centre based in Nairobi.
Sapra, who is also a former UNICEF Representative to Uganda added that the new app gives governments and development professionals new tools they can customize to connect citizens and critical services….”
The appstore was developed to solve the problem of unequal distribution of information, especially those that are very important to human lives.
Applications embedded into the RapidPro includes U-report, Project Mwana, RapidFTR and Edu Trac which help governments collect information about schools and monitor the status and progress of education outcomes in the country.
Some of the apps on the RapidPro app store will also be able to gather real-time data about people’s legal identity and other social development information like what schools are understaffed or what health centres are running out of critical supplies.
Developed by the Rwanda-based Nyuruka software development company and UNICEF’s global Innovations Labs; the RaipidPro app is currently used in Liberia through the Mobile Health Worker Ebola Response and Outreach (mHero). mHero is an application used in Ebola response, a disease that has already killed some 1,500 Liberians and sickened many more.
According to UNICEF, “mHero will report on new cases; broadcast messages about care and prevention; share training information; and allow for real-time coordination between the ministry and the health workers.”
Governments or development agents can download these basic apps and customize them for their own country.