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RapidSMS

An open source framework for allowing any mobile phone to interact with the web via SMS text messages for data collection, logistics coordination and communication.

 

Background

Dimagi, along with UNICEF’s Innovation group and other partners, led the development of the open source platform. RapidSMS is a SMS text-based framework that manages data collection and complex workflows. Mashing diverse functionality like remote health diagnostics and monitoring with emergency supply chain tracking, RapidSMS supports the creation of limitless personalized interdependent platforms for diverse use-cases. Because one size does not fit all, this highly flexible system was designed to be customized for the specialized needs and constraints of governments, multilateral and non-government organizations, and development practitioners.

Using RapidSMS

  • It’s built and tested: The RapidSMS framework was created not in an isolated lab but by programmers in the field working directly on actual project implementations. This ensures that the system is practical and simple enough to meet real world needs. RapidSMS is compatible with even the most basic mobile phones, leveraging already existing infrastructure to increase replicability and scalability.
  • Building from RapidSMS: The RapidSMS framework has led to multiple subsequent features and frameworks.  UNICEF also now supports RapidPro, which allows for visual building of SMS workflows.  In addition, CommCare support extensive SMS interaction that can be linked with data from mobile applications as well.
  • RapidSMS Support: While Dimagi does not provide direct consulting support on RapidSMS any longer, one of Dimagi’s partners, Caktus Group, provide excellent support for RapidSMS projects.
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