Women use a mobile phone, on Île de Fitiné, an island and fishing village in Lake Chad, Lac Region. Lake Chad – once one of Africa’s largest freshwater lakes – has shrunk by some 95 per cent since 1960. Consequently, many fishing communities find it difficult to maintain their traditional way of life. The shrinkage is also linked to water shortages, food scarcity and malnutrition.

In April 2011 in Chad, malnutrition – a preventable condition – remains one of the greatest threats to children’s right to survival and development. One out of every five of Chad’s children dies before her/his fifth birthday. More than 100,000 of the country’s children aged 0–5 are malnourished, and 1 out of every 10,000 dies each day. Though chronic food insecurity is the main underlying cause of malnutrition, widespread poverty, rising food prices, desertification and climate change all play a part in this silent emergency. UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to improve community-based interventions structured around 205 nutrition centres throughout Chad’s Sahel belt. Between January and October 2011, these centres treated approximately 56,000 under-five children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The effects of chronic malnutrition have only been exacerbated by conflict – both internal and external – that has left hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons as well as refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic dependent upon aid for survival. In addition to nutrition, UNICEF is also supporting programmes in other vital sectors, including education, health care, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and child protection, for both Chadian and refugee communities. UNICEF is requesting US$46.4 million to continue ongoing assistance for the country’s most vulnerable in 2012.

Q&A with participants at the Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit in Helsinki

By Pilar Lagos and Kate Pawelczyk #uinnovate UNICEF kicked off the first Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit, co-organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. An incredible mash-up of speakers and game-changers convened in Helsinki to unlock the way new technologies can drive change for the world’s […]

Photo: UNICEF Indonesia

Mobile Phones Saving Lives

Kedoya Utara is one of the poorer neighborhoods in Jakarta. Sitting between megamalls and skyscrapers, this area struggles with makeshift living conditions, polluted waterways and unreliable electricity. There is one subject of particular concern in Kedoya Utara – immunization rates among children are very low. This puts them at the […]

On 14 January 2015 in Liberia, Michelle Abika, holding a poster, inputs information into mobile telephones, in the West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, the capital. Michelle, a ëU-Reporterí, is helping to raise awareness in the community about Ebola virus disease and how to prevent its spread. U-Report is a text-based communication platform developed by UNICEF and deployed as part of the social mobilization strategy against Ebola virus disease (EVD). Using Short Message Service (SMS) messages, it allows individual subscribers to ask questions about issues, to get real time answers and to share information with other users ñ ëU-reportersí ñ across the country. By giving people a new and effective platform for communication, it is intended to strengthen community-led development, citizen engagement and behavioural change.

Why 500 change-makers from around the world are coming to Helsinki to innovate for children, and why you should join

By Dana Zucker and Pilar Lagos, UNICEF Innovation Communications #uinnovate The world is changing fast. To meet the challenges all children are facing, we need innovations from the ground-up, developed by the people they aim to serve. We also need new types of partnerships and collaborations for scaling startups and […]

The Innovation Lab and El Bluff: an experience of multi-sectoral catalysis

The Innovation Lab and El Bluff: an experience of multi-sectoral catalysis

By Ana-Julia Van Bilsen Irías, Innovation intern for UNICEF and the BICU Innovation Lab “It’s amazing, we can finally speak and give our opinion concerning the problems that affect us” Young students from “Instituto Nuevo Amanecer” (INA). The Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua has the lowest indicators compared to the national […]

Challenges For Emerging Markets’ MNOs

Challenges For Emerging Markets’ MNOs

“Challenges for Emerging Markets’ MNOs” featured on Developing Telecoms: Connected Citizens, Managing Crisis, August 2015 issue. Written by Christopher Fabian. To download the complete issue, click here. Chris Fabian’s interview is featured on page 54.  In this discussion with Alec Barton, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Developing Telecoms, Chris Fabian of UNICEF talks about some […]

Nutritional Surveillance – Malawi

Nutritional Surveillance – Malawi

Originally posted on in 2013.  UNICEF Malawi deployed RapidSMS to address serious constraints within the national Integrated Nutrition and Food Security Surveillance (INFSS) System, which was facing slow data transmission, incomplete and poor quality data sets, high operational costs and low levels of stakeholder ownership. Health workers now enter a […]

Ministry officials played an active role in sensitizing the district level education authorities gathered in Bangui.  © UNICEF CAR 2015/KIM

Utiliser les SMS pour atteindre les écoles en cinq minutes dans un pays touché par le conflit

Traduction post de blog en français. Cliquez ici pour lire l’article en anglais.  EduTrac est un système innovant qui utilise SMS pour le suivi des situations des écoles en temps réel. Afin de fournir de meilleurs environnements d’apprentissage pour les élèves, EduTrac appuie le Ministère de l’Education Nationale et de […]