Finalists selected in Global ‘Wearables for Good’ Design Challenge to Transform Children’s Lives
Why a million little teaspoons are exactly what we need

By Pilar Lagos

Hi there UNICEFStories Readers. In cased you missed them, here’s a recap of the stories featured during the month of August on UNICEF Innovation’s blog. Click away:


U-Report Nigeria Reaches More than 1 Million Responders

Nigeria has become the first country to reach one million responders on U-Report, the SMS- and social media- based social messaging tool that enables two-way communication between young people and their community’s decision makers. To join the global movement visit: and follow @UReportGlobal on Twitter

Researching Innovation Labs

Check out this series of 5 guest blog posts from Louise Bloom and Romy Faulkner, Researchers at Oxford University’s Humanitarian Innovation Project, which revolve around the trend within the UN of establishing ‘innovation labs’. These blogs unveil what types of labs exist, what motivates UN agencies to establish them, and what kind of impact they are having on both the agencies and communities they seek to serve.

I See… But do you Really?

Natalia Adler, ‎Divisional Planning Specialist – Data, Research and Policy at UNICEF, who writes as “I’MPOSSIBLE POLICY,” and is one of our ongoing bloggers, wrote the second piece of her experience working in Nicaragua to implement empathy-driven policies. In this blog post, Natalia explains how the use of the Photographic Point-of-View (POV) exercise among children aged 7 to 13 from different communities revealed through photos what they liked and didn’t like about their communities.

The Ethics of Innovation and Devices for Good

As part of a blog series surrounding the Wearables For Good Design Challenge, Blair Palmer, UNICEF Innovation Lab Lead: San Francisco interviewed UNICEF Humanitarian Policy Specialist, Sibi Lawson-Marriott to discuss the ethics of innovation and how UNICEF and partners work to ensure that good ideas truly yield good results for children.

Are Open Source Business Models Viable?

UNICEF Innovation convened representatives of Kaltura, Kickstarter, RedHat, Rochester Institute of Technology, the Tikkun Olam Makerspace, Union Square Ventures, and USAID Global Development Lab to explore questions as well as conditions that are critical to operate in the open-source space. Read the story here

Indonesian U-Reporters Speak Out on Violence Against Children

More than 4,000 young U-Reporters participated in the first major Twitter-based survey, were they had the opportunity to give their views on violence against children. The questions focused on the Indonesian government’s previous strategy on violence against children. Findings will be used to provide input to the updated National Strategy on Violence against Children for 2015-2019. To join the global movement visit: and follow @UReportGlobal on Twitter.

Talking RapidPro at New York University with World Food Programme

In July, RapidPro Global Product Manager, Kidus Asfaw spoke about RapidPro to a group of Master of Public Health students at New York University’s College of Global Public Health and World Food Programme (WFP) Programme Directors from 11 countries taking a course on “Systems Approach to Food Access.The session revolved around data, technology and how RapidPro is helping advance nutrition programmes.

How Mobile Phones Are Changing the Developing World

The potential for two-way communication is changing the face of international development. Through mobile phones, for example, governments are able to make decisions based on results gathered via text message polls using U-Report, mothers can receive alerts on nutrition through pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life, and farmers are encouraged to use mobile money to save during the harvest’s bounty so they can afford fertilizer when the next season starts to maximize their profits.

How UNICEF Invests in Technology to Empower Underserved People

Chris Fabian and Erica Kochi chatted with Grace Dobush, a freelance journalist who writes for Consumers Electronics Association about our current projects and how the UNICEF Innovation team works. Our three main classifications of projects include: generating real-time information, empowering youth and creating access to information. The hundreds of projects are in various stages of testing or deployment  which aim to tackle one or more of UNICEF’s seven pillars: child protection; education; health; HIV and AIDS; nutrition; social inclusion; or water, sanitation and hygiene.

#YourVoiceMatters with U-Report Mexico (original story in Spanish)

As part of the International Youth Day celebrations, UNICEF Mexico participated in an event where hundreds of young Mexicans shared ideas about how to face challenges in education, health, economic well-being and social coexistence. With the implementation of U-Report, young Mexicans will be able to join the more than a million U-Reporters that are already making their voices matter.

Using SMS to Reach Schools in Five Minutes in a Conflict-Affected Country

When Ye Ra KIM, Information Management, Monitoring and Evaluation and Communication Officer arrived in the Central African Republic (CAR) in February 2014, CAR had just gone through a devastating conflict which left thousands of people dead, wounded and displaced. The Ministry of Education was frustrated because its IT facilities were destroyed or stolen. Most of the education data was lost. As a solution, UNICEF’s EduTrac was proposed to help rebuild part of an education data management system. Now, information that used to take up to five months to get from a school to the Ministry arrives in just five minutes with EduTrac.

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Finalists selected in Global ‘Wearables for Good’ Design Challenge to Transform Children’s Lives
Why a million little teaspoons are exactly what we need