SMS Reporting Through Ushahidi

SMS Reporting Through Ushahidi, originally uploaded by whiteafrican.

This simplified graphic was created to show how SMS messaging moves through the Ushahidi system – it’s a 2-way communication cycle.

  1. An SMS gets sent to a local number
  2. It passes through FrontlineSMS
  3. This syncs with Ushahidi
  4. The message shows up on Ushahidi
  5. Admins can decide to send a message back to the original sender

We use FrontlineSMS so that we can provide local numbers in areas where the larger SMS gateways don’t operate. For instance, if you were to try to run this in Zambia, you’d probably get a UK phone number if you went through Clickatell. However, we do use Clickatell for the messages that we route back to the original sender due to cost savings. They also have a very nice, easy to use API.

8 Responses to “SMS Reporting Through Ushahidi”

  1. If FrontlineSMS can sync its incoming messages to a server, why not also retrieve outgoing messages from the server to be sent from that same phone that the message was reported to?

    I imagine local outgoing rates would save even more money than Clickatell does and it would be more intuitive for the reports to get ‘bouncebacks’ from the same number they send to.

  2. Yes, I too agree with you, please provide a plug-in or something which is able to sync with the Frontline SMS.


  3. If we have some details related to Animal related incidents, which I was unable to find in this link (, how can we report them. As an example, if we want to check the deaths of Tigers in a particular forest, how we able to retrieve that information from your syste?

  4. Hello. i want to use the SMS gateway to collect bribe reports. Is it possible to recieve messages and the i get to pay the sender’s bill instead? Thanks