UNICEF Innovation

UNICEF Ventures

UNICEF Ventures invests in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the one-to-two-year future. This investment comes from the recently launched UNICEF Innovation Fund, which is a pooled funding vehicle that invests in open source technology solutions coming from startups based in UNICEF’s programme countries. 

Below are a few examples of projects the Innovation Fund has helped support.

Supporting the Expansion of Apps that Help Children with Autism Learn to Communicate

Photo: UNICEF/Pirozzi

When it comes to creating access for children, inclusiveness is critical for all children – no matter where they are in the world or what their disability. Thanks to Star Wars: Force for Change’s support of the UNICEF Innovation Fund, UNICEF was able to provide a $30,000 grant that helped deploy the Yuudee app. Yuudee, which means little raindrop in Chinese, is a Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) application specifically designed to help children with autism that have difficulty in speech. Yuudee can also be used as a tool parents and teachers use to teach children communication and cognitive skills. Yuudee grew out of a collaboration with UNICEF, Peking University's School of Life Sciences, National Institute of Biological Sciences, App China, Inway Design, and G-Wearables, and is now being supported by UNICEF's Global Innovation Centre. More

Making Proprietary Software OpenSource in South Africa

Photo: UNICEF/Schermbrucker

MomConnect in South Africa is an SMS-based maternal reminder program for pregnant women implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Department of Health. MomConnect aims to strengthen demand and accountability of Maternal and Child Health services in order to improve access, coverage and quality of care for mothers and their children in the community. By using investment from the Innovation Fund, MomConnect stakeholders plan to support their move away from using proprietary software to the recently-developed “CasePro” dashboard, making MomConnect a promising open-source solution with additional functionality.



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