Digital Champions 2015/2016: championing the rights of children and youth with disabilities
La Caixa Foundation, UNICEF launch new partnership to fight childhood pneumonia

By Pilar Lagos

Hi there UNICEFStories Readers. This was a busy month. In case you missed our latest blogs, here’s a recap of some of the top stories published on UNICEF Innovation’s blog during November. Click away:


Stories about the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit

  • Why 500 change-makers from around the world are coming to Helsinki to innovate for children, and why you should join
    On 9-10 November, UNICEF and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland convened 521 change-makers to discuss and come up with solutions that can solve challenges for the world’s children today as well as tomorrow. If you want to know what the event was all about, read this article.
  • Innovators determined to advance results for children
    Leading thinkers from the technological, academic, corporate, development and humanitarian world gathered in Helsinki to unlock the way new technologies can drive change for the world’s most vulnerable children.
  • How can tech help our children? Find out at the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit
    While children in countries like the United States are practically born with smartphones in their hands, it’s not the case for people in other areas of the world. In order to scale innovation, something more needs to be done. Read this article originally published on Digital Trends about why thought leaders from different industries met in Helsinki to innovate for children.
  • Get inspired by these youth innovators from Sierra Leone & Kosovo
    At the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit, Kate Pawelczyk, Voices of Youth Community Manager, attended a session where a group of young innovators talked about their projects. Kate asked them to share some of their thoughts on Voices of Youth on what inspires them and why innovation is important.
  • The future of data
    What are the entry points, the opportunities, and the potential bottlenecks that would promote or hinder our trajectory towards the future of data? Natalia Adler shares her thoughts on the Future of Data panel at the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit.
  • Q&A with participants at the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit in Helsinki
    To highlight the unique perspectives that speakers and participants are bringing to the Summit, we asked two questions: 1) What’s one innovation you expected to have by the time you were an adult? 2) If you could create/design one thing that would improve lives for children around the world, what would it be? Read their answers here.
  • Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit: Using technology to benefit the world’s neediest children
    From Helsinki, Dianne Penn from UN Radio talks to Gary Stahl, UNICEF Representative in Brazil, about the implementation of a mobile phone alert system to help keep millions of children in school.
  • Human-centered approach key to innovating successfully, UNICEF Global Innovations Summit, Day 1
    The first day of the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit in Helsinki focused on the future: during 30+ thematic sessions, participants explored which opportunities in technological and private sectors will have the biggest impact on children in the near future and brainstormed over how to turn these ideas into solutions for children. On one of the sessions, Fabio Sergio, Vice-President of Creative, frog, noted the importance of human-centered design and methodologies for innovation. “For a meaningful application of technology, it’s important to look at what people need,” he said. 
  • Taking innovative ideas and solutions to scale – UNICEF Global Innovations Summit Day 2
    The second day of the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit in Helsinki brought its participants back to reality. How do we know if our idea is viable and strong enough to scale? What are the biggest obstacles to scaling up? How do we ensure that an innovation is inclusive and will help reach individuals and communities with specific, niche needs?
  • From the lens of the UNICEF HIV Global Team: Highlights of the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit
    Check out some highlights of the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit from the lens of the UNICEF HIV Global Team.
  • UNICEF’s $5.6m Innovation Fund targets impact investments for the youth
    UNICEF, with its growing Innovation Fund targeted at making venture investments in impactful startup projects, believes that new technologies will drive change for the world’s most vulnerable populations worldwide.

Wearables for Good Design Challenge Winners

  • A digital necklace and a wearable soap win ‘Wearables for Good’ Design Challenge with UNICEF, ARM and frog
    Khushi Baby, a necklace that stores electronic health data to track child immunization, and SoaPen, a wearable soap that helps limit the spread of infectious viruses by encouraging handwashing, have won the Wearables for Good challenge run by UNICEF, ARM and frog.
  • Soap crayons for kids and a baby necklace that holds medical records: UNICEF unveils toddler technology it hopes can save lives
    Khushi Baby, a necklace that stores immunization records for children and SoaPen, a pen in the the form of a soap-crayon that encourages hand washing won the Wearables for Good challenge. Read more about them here. The original article was published on The Daily Mail.  
  • Medical record necklace Khushi Baby wins UNICEF’s Wearables for Good challenge
    Designed to change the perception of wearable tech from “nice-to-have devices to life-saving products”, the Wearables for Good challenge received 250 design submissions from 65 countries before selecting ten finalists from around the world. The two winning projects, Khushi Baby and SoaPen, are both joint India-US teams and were each awarded a $15,000 prize plus incubation and mentoring. Original article published on Wareable.
  • It’s A Necklace And It Could Be A Lifesaver: Wearable Health Gadgets
    Read this great profile of the Wearables for Good Challenge winners, Khushi Baby and SoaPen featured on NPR.
  • Denise Gershbein Knows Design Is A Pathmaker
    Denise Gershbein from frog design talks to Fast Company about how she realized she wanted to be a designer, why it’s important to understand all humanities in order to apply it to design— and the unique ability that designers have to bring together two worlds: that of social impact, where UNICEF works to help improve the lives of children and women and combine it with ARM technology to develop and create something new—and useful.

Other Stories

Tech world hits refugee crisis wall
The entrepreneurial community has struggled to connect the dots with others working to ease the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict and persecution from Eritrea to Syria. Read what Chris Fabian, co-lead of UNICEF Innovation has to say about how the best and most creative solutions often come from those living in precarious situations. Chris was in Dublin, where he attended the Web Summit.

Mobile Phones Saving Lives
In  Kedoya Utara, Indonesia, immunization rates among children are very low. Learn how RapidPro technology is helping health workers obtain information directly from the community to understand the reasons for poor attendance rates and how health workers now know where and how to focus their efforts.

6 UNICEF Innovations: From strengthening health systems in real-time to empowering youth to speak up
For us, innovation at UNICEF means doing something different that adds value. This also means that we need to be agile so we can adapt to the evolving challenges affecting all children. Read about some of our innovations that are reaching global scale, and some that are scaling up.

AGOO: Ghana’s interactive mobile platform to educate about Cholera, Ebola – and a catchy song!
To prevent protracted outbreaks of Cholera in Ghana, as well as address issues pertaining to other water-borne diseases, and to educate about Ebola, UNICEF Ghana partnered with the Government of Ghana and the private sector to create ‘Agoo‘. The multilingual platform offers three distinct services: (1) a call center with trained agents responding to callers; (2) an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and (3) Short Messaging Service (SMS). All services are provided in all of Ghana’s main languages. Read this great story here.

Guinée Gagnant – completes National Nutrition Survey with mobile devices despite EBOLA crisis
The Guinea National Nutrition Survey 2015 was designed to provide critical information on the nutrition status of children and women of reproductive age and health service delivery as the Ebola epidemic recedes. To ensure the collection of timely, robust and quality data, survey teams entered data into ODK forms on smart phones. The introduction of this innovative approach was skillfully supported by UNICEF Guinea and partners including ACF, HKI, WFP, and Terres des Hommes.

Princeton-Fung Global Forum identifies approaches for dealing with ‘modern plagues’
On the campus of University College Dublin, nearly 300 public health experts and practitioners, government officials, scholars and students gathered to discuss the lessons learned from the Ebola crisis as part of the third annual Princeton-Fung Global Forum.  Christopher Fabian, co-lead of UNICEF Innovation participated on the ‘Disease and the Information Highway’ panel. To watch the panel conversation, click here.

The case of Prospera Digital: Digital tools and data driven strategies to transform the largest social program in Mexico – Part 1
Did you know that Prospera is the largest social program in Mexico and the second largest Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) in the world? Learn how UNICEF Mexico is implementing Prospera Digital using RapidPro technology to help improve maternal and newborn health programs in Mexico.

The case of Prospera Digital: Digital tools and data driven strategies to transform the largest social program in Mexico – Part 2
The second component of Prospera Digital is to use an automated two-way SMS communication to reinforce the financial education to Prospera Digital’s beneficiaries.

Why budding designers should keep social impact in mind when designing
Blair Palmer, UNICEF Innovation San Francisco Lab Lead and I chatted with Raja Schaar, Lecturer & Design Instructor at Georgia Tech about her teaching methodologies and how she challenges her students to build wearables keeping social impact in mind.

Equity = universal access to information
Guillaume Michels share his thoughts on the importance of bridging the digital divide and providing quality education and vital messages to help children grow and develop to their full potential.

Digital Champions 2015/2016: championing the rights of children and youth with disabilities
La Caixa Foundation, UNICEF launch new partnership to fight childhood pneumonia