For academia, international organisations, civil society organisations, and drone companies interested in more information: Please fill out this form and we will contact you when applications become available in early 2017.


What does UNICEF want to do with UAS or drones?

UNICEF responded to close to 300 emergencies in 2015 and buys a third of the world’s vaccines. We are exploring the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, or drones) to support our programme work including in humanitarian response and community development. UAS can be piloted autonomously and programmed to do tasks that a manned aircraft cannot do. Though they are a new technology, we believe their potential use in imagery, connectivity, and transport situations will be integral in supporting humanitarian response. UNICEF sees drones as being helpful, for example, in mudslides in humanitarian flooding and earthquake situations, by extending cell and wifi connectivity to disconnected areas and for transporting life-saving medical supplies and vaccines to hard-to-reach places.

What are the conditions for working in the corridor?

UNICEF’s mandate is to help the world’s most vulnerable children. UNICEF’s work in innovation is bound to a developed set of principles, which is supported by multiple other groups, including other UN agencies and global NGOs. The partners testing in the corridor will be assessed on a scale of numerous criteria, including: degree to which the pilot project will help children in Malawi; path toward open-sourcing their data; and positive connections in the technology space including absence of military ties. The principles of design can be found here:

What is the timeline?

The corridor will be announced in December 2016. Call for applications will begin in early 2017. We expect multiple rounds of testing periods followed by publishing the lessons learned from the endeavor.

Will there be any employment opportunities?

Multiple positions are being created, both out of the New York Headquarters and also stationed at UNICEF Malawi. The UNICEF positions will be posted at

Is this related to military drones?

No. The UNICEF mandate dictates there will be no development for military or defense purposes. Companies must be vetted by our corporate screening process which will eliminate those with military ties. Should you have any further queries please contact us.

For academia, international organisations, civil society organisations and drone companies interested in more information: Please fill out this form and we will contact you when applications become available in early 2017.

For additional drone-specific inquiries:

For press/media inquiries:

For partnership inquiries:

About UNICEF Innovation

UNICEF Innovation is an interdisciplinary team of individuals around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling technologies and practices that strengthen UNICEF’s work. Through our presence in 190 countries, we build and scale innovations that improve children’s lives around the world. For more information about UNICEF’s work in innovation, visit: and


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

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