Academic Partnerships

Academic collaboration involves a wide range of UNICEF staff in working with students to explore new ways of solving problems. These collaborations have produced vibrant new staff members, different ways of thinking about key commodities and systems, and compelling research.


New York University

UNICEF staff co-developed and co-teach the Design for UNICEF class at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. A number of projects, including RapidFTR, have come out of this class.

Aalto University

 Aalto University

Aalto University has sent students to Uganda to work in collaboration with Makerere University as well as end users in the field. Aalto students explore solutions for water, sanitation, and other areas of UNICEF interest.

Art Center College of Design

 Art Center College of Design

Art Center’s Designmatters Department has a long standing partnership which has included projects and classes developed with UNICEF, as well as an annual student fellowship with the Innovation Unit in New York. In 2012, the Field track of Art Center College of Design’s Media Design Practices MFA launched a groundbreaking partnership with the Innovation Unit and the UNICEF Uganda country office and Innovation Lab, to educate a generation of design students for whom issues of sustainability, scalability, and equity are at the foundation of their practice. In Media Design Practices/Field, students work in a real-world context where social issues, media infrastructure and communication technology intersect.  More information about the ongoing collaboration here.


City University of New York

CUNY’s Design for UNICEF Challenge is based on the user-centered design principles developed in the NYU courses, but open to CUNY’s 270,000 students, and aimed at solutions to stop some of the world’s main killers of children.


Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

A short, 1-week version of “Design for UNICEF” was taught to IIT, Delhi graduate students. The university is also exploring plans to develop a UNICEF Innovation Lab aimed at exporting open-source solutions developed locally.

Makerere University

Makerere University

Makerere University‘s ongoing relationship with UNICEF Uganda Country Office supports joint events such as the RapidSMS / FrontlineSMS Learning Fair and the World Bank Institute sponsored WASH Code Jam.


Singularity University

UNICEF and Singularity University will be working together to challenge Singularity graduate students around issues of global impact, and then situating dynamic problem-solvers in the UNICEF Innovation Lab network in the field.


Stanford University

Stanford University’s Mechanical Engineering 310 course has been focused on innovations in child survival – particularly looking at community health workers and delivery of services at the last mile. A group of students from Stanford was hosted in UNICEF Nigeria, and continued its work with the UNICEF Country Office.