Team SoaPen: From Paper to Prototype
The 4th Global Innovation Center Advisory Committee Meeting: Shaping More Effective Services and Solutions on the Ground

Hi there UNICEFStories Readers. It’s been an exciting 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.


UNICEF Innovation Fund

On 15 November, 2016 – UNICEF announced its first portfolio of venture capital investments and opens the next round of applications from technology start-ups developing open source solutions. The Fund eyes to invest in 20 – 40 more in 2017.

Learn more about the first 5 tech start-ups who make up the UNICEF Innovation Fund’s first portfolio of companies receiving investment from the Fund.

Venture investing in symmetry, fairness, and global collaboration: Launching the UNICEF Innovation Fund

Chris Fabian shares how UNICEF’s Innovation Fund is not just a new investment vehicle but also a narrative of change – building a network of individuals, companies and solutions that can help address the evolving challenges that children face, globally. Read more here.

Information Poverty

Creating an “information healthy” society

Establishing certain data points like the number of calories a child needs per day is important as these data help inform governments and policy makers make informed decisions and allocate resources efficiently. What if we could determine the minimum amount and type of Kilobytes a day a child should consume to be ‘information healthy’? UNICEF is working on a solution – building a tool to measure a child’s access to information and help us identify information poverty globally.

Scaling Innovative Solutions

uSurvey: An open source mobile tool that blends IT and programme skills to improve UNICEF’s work for children.

Developing new opportunities to deploy surveys remotely while providing results in real-time, UNICEF Uganda, in partnership with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), developed uSurvey – an open source tool that collects data on social indicators in various areas including Health, Nutrition, Education, and Water & Sanitation.

Advancing The Birth Registration System in Tanzania: Providing Under-Five Children their right to protection

The government of Tanzania with the support of UNICEF and Canadian Government funding, launched a decentralised birth registration initiative for under-five children. Within just four weeks of the launch, this initiative has registered more than 220,000 under-five children in Iringa and Njombe regions.

Leveraging the Potential of Youth in Azraq Camp, Jordan

An Innovation Open Day in the Azraq Camp, Jordan invited young innovators encouraging them to think creatively about problems affecting their communities. Read more here.

I just found the Internet of Good Things, and I liked it!

Tanisea Campbell shares her insights after using the Internet of Good Things (IoGT) – a set of free, mobile-ready web-based resources and applications that bring good to life and education to children with no internet access.

Improving data-collection tools in Kenya through design-thinking workshops

UNICEF Kenya, Ona and Ministry of Devolution and Planning conduct design thinking workshops in order to effectively improve the existing data collection tools in Kenya. Read more here.

All aboard: A mission to Addis Ababa to align stakeholders in the process of improving a diagnostic aid for pneumonia

The Acute Respiratory Infection Diagnostic Aid (ARIDA) project is set to test an improved diagnostic tool in Ethiopia. To safeguard that this project runs smoothly, a mission to Addis Ababa is important to ensure all ARIDA stakeholders are aware, aligned and involved – every step of the way.

From Fail to Scale: catching up with the field workers

There is a misperception among many that tech or innovative developments are being introduced from the national level downwards. Read why it’s important to create solutions with users and understand the existing ecosystems and opportunities within the community here.

SMS reporting helps saves lives in Sierra Leone

Mapping community health workers (CHWs) with satellites has enabled Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation and UNICEF to build a database that will help the government to effectively plan, manage, and evaluate CHWs in the future.


Empowering children and communities to advocate for quality health care: U-Report

From the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, to the issues of cholera in Burundi, data from U-Report, a social messaging tool, has helped advocate and improve quality health care programmes. Read more here.

“Hi friend…” – a closer look at the SMS BIZ / U-Report counselling programme in Mozambique

The U-Report counselling programme in Mozambique has developed a two-way communication channel –empowering young people to ask questions and enabling volunteers to respond to those questions around issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, sexual and reproductive health, early marriage or violence against children.

Team Spotlight

Embed Values in the Design of Technologies So They Are Not Just for the Haves

Erica KochiCo-Founder of UNICEF Innovation, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) joins the closing session of the World Economic Forum’s Closing Plenary: Shaping Future Systems. She shares “how technology has the opportunity of opening up closed systems” and “can be an accelerator of taking away obstacles to change.”

How to stop your chatbot falling into the “uncanny valley”

With the increasing number of open source tools and free data available, UNICEF Global Innovation Centre’s Evan Wheeler shares how it’s an exciting time for bot creators and users. Read more here.

UNICEF Innovation Team Spotlight: Jonathan Howard-Brand

A product designer by trade, but more of an engineer who knows how things works rather than make them look pretty. Meet Jonathan Howard-Brand, Supply Specialist (Innovation) at the UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Team SoaPen: From Paper to Prototype
The 4th Global Innovation Center Advisory Committee Meeting: Shaping More Effective Services and Solutions on the Ground