Implementers


Appfrica’s mission is to offer opportunities and work experience for East African software entrepreneurs so they can then use their talents to bolster the growing local markets by offering products and services. Appfrica picks up where East African colleges leave off by offering hands-on experience in programming languages like Java, C++, C#, Ruby on Rails, Django and Python, CouchDB, PHP, Perl, Kannel. These skills are highly valued around the world and professionals in these areas helps to make East Africa a more attractive place to develop software, not only locally, but also for international companies. Appfrica provided software support for the UNICEF Rwanda project in September 2009.

Caktus Consulting Group, LLC

Caktus Consulting Group, LLC is a team of extraordinary software engineers with years of experience developing Django web applications-and now RapidSMS projects-for organizations of all types, across the globe. Caktus team members actively participate in both the Django and RapidSMS development communities, and the company works closely with UNICEF Innovation on Project Mwana, a maternal and newborn child health project based on RapidSMS.


For more than 60 years, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs has been educating professionals who work in public, private and nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the world. Through rigorous social science research and hands-on practice, SIPA’s graduates and faculty strive to improve social services, advocate for human rights, strengthen markets, protect the environment, and secure peace, in their home communities and around the world. Collaborating with UNICEF Innovation and UNICEF Malawi, SIPA workshop students were instrumental in deploying RapidSMS for use in the Child Nutritional Surveillance project in Malawi.


Dimagi is an award-winning, socially-conscious technology company that helps organizations deliver quality health care to urban and rural communities across the world. Its team of physicians and engineers apply their experience in global health care delivery and technology development to further personal and public health. Dimagi worked closely with several other implementers to lead the development of the RapidSMS framework, and also works with UNICEF Innovation on Tostan’s Jokko Initiative.

Foundation  for Innovative New Diagnostics
An independent non- profit Swiss foundation based in Geneva, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) is a Product Development and Implementation Partnership (PDIP) devoted to developing and implementing diagnostic tools for poverty-related diseases. FIND focuses on a disease portfolio covering tuberculosis, malaria and human African trypanosomiasis. FIND first deployed RapidSMS in late 2009 in two districts in Uganda (Gulu and Kabale), working with Health Centers to submit and map weekly epidemiological, malaria case management and ACT stock reports.


A project of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the United Nations Development Programme and Millennium Promise, the Millennium Villages project offers a bold, innovative model for helping rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty through community-led development. Each Millennium Village takes an integrated approach to development to demonstrate how the eight Millennium Development Goals can be met in rural Africa. The Millennium Villages project developed a customization of RapidSMS called ChildCount, which was used by community health workers in Kenya.


New York University Interactive Telecommunications Program (NYU ITP), founded in 1979 as the first graduate education program in alternative media, has grown into a living community of technologists, theorists, engineers, designers, and artists uniquely dedicated to pushing the boundaries of interactivity in the real and digital worlds. This semester ITP is offering the course “Design for UNICEF” in which students examine some of the design challenges UNICEF faces, and work in groups to research and prototype possible extensions to existing efforts.


The Open Mobile Consortium is a thriving community of mobile technologists and practitioners working to drive open source mobile solutions for more effective and efficient humanitarian relief and global social development. OMC aims to implement joint mobile solutions in the field, maximize interoperability and data-sharing capabilities between our technologies, and streamline development, deployment, and use of open source mobile technologies. UNICEF is one of the founding members of OMC, which provided an early forum for RapidSMS.

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Created in 2007, Pivot Access is a Rwandan software company that was created to meet the needs of utility (electricity) users by providing efficient, user-friendly and permanent accessible service. Pivot Access supported phase two of the Antenatal Trackin /Birth Registration and Alert system in Rwanda.
ThoughtWorks is changing the way that enterprise software is delivered by gathering the best and brightest software development practitioners in six countries to serve clients through a mixture of consultancy, project delivery and tools. ThoughtWorks has and continues to support UNICEF on a number of RapidSMS deployments.

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Toyola Engery Limited manufactures and sells energy efficient cook stoves in urban and rural Ghana. The stoves use standard charcoal but are 40% more efficient than the traditional stoves used in the region, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions and saves families money on coal. Michael Benedict in conjuction with E+Co and Winrock International created an application called ASSIST using RapidSMS to allow Toyola traveling sales people to update a sales database directly from the field via SMS.


Tostan is an NGO based in West Africa dedicated to educating and empowering Africans who have had little or no access to formal schooling. Tostan works primarily in rural regions to provide basic education and increase community engagement in projects related to health and hygiene, child welfare, human rights and democracy, the environment, and economic development. Tostan is working with Dimagi and UNICEF Innovation to use RapidSMS in its Jokko Initiative to improve literacy in West Africa.


UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. UNICEF has the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. With the belief that nurturing and caring for children is the cornerstone of human progress, UNICEF works with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. RapidSMS is being deployed for UNICEF projects in Ethiopia, Iraq, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia and Uganda.

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UNICEF Innovation seeks to connect young people who have access to information on the Internet to those who do not, through innovations in technology and program initiatives that are educational and inclusive. UNICEF Innovation finds ways to integrate appropriate technological systems into existing UNICEF working practices to augment and improve the effectiveness of its operation. Along with other implementers, UNICEF Innovation led the development of the RapidSMS framework and has helped customize it for use in several UNICEF country offices.

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