Ushahidi Via USSD

Angela Oduor | Ushahidi | October 3, 2013

The mobile phone has been at the core of Ushahidi’s strategy when building tools for citizen engagement. Its ubiquitous nature makes it the easiest tool to use and ensure that a vast majority of citizens can actively participate. We’ve seen this to be the case in many past Ushahidi deployments, such as Uchaguzi( deployment to monitor the 2013 kenyan general elections). Most of the reports that came into the platform during that time were largely from mobile phones.

Even as we ship out newer versions of our products and build others for use during emergencies, we maintain a mobile first approach.

What is USSD

USSD is something that isn’t foreign to mobile phone users in Africa. Its a service that is interacted with, probably, on a daily basis. In Kenya, we use it to reload prepaid phones with airtime, or even subscribe for data bundles. USSD is largely used for menu-based information services, prepaid callback services and mobile-money services.