IPKO and UNICEF innovate for children and youth in Kosovo
PRISHTINA, Kosovo, July 2012 - UNICEF strongly believes in the power of partnership and has a long history of working with the corporate sector worldwide. Increasingly in recent years, UNICEF has been exploring ways in which innovation for development could change the lives of children, especially those living in areas that are most difficult to reach. In this direction, UNICEF has been working in close collaboration with many partners to leverage the power and ubiquity of mobile technology for the benefit of children, particularly where geographical remoteness of constituents, limited infrastructure and slow data collection are prevalent.
In Kosovo, the lack of data and cost-effective means of communication readily available for use by Kosovo institutions, as well as the limited participation in civic life of children and young people, significantly constrain the potential for development, particularly in a context in which over 50 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. Mobile technology can play a major role to fill these gaps.
In this direction, UNICEF has been partnering with Kosovo’s institutions, the University of Prishtina, the private sector, open-source developers and Kosovo youth to see how innovative use of modern mobile communications solutions could improve data exchange, link institutions and their clients, and enable greater participation of Kosovo’s children and young people in advocacy and decision-making processes.
In this context, UNICEF Kosovo and IPKO Telecommunications Inc. are proud to announce a new partnership. At the heart of this exciting collaboration is the joint commitment to implement the Mobile Communications Innovations for Kosovo Children and Youth initiative, a project aimed at supporting the realization of rights for all Kosovo children and youth through innovative uses of mobile technology. In particular, the partnership will focus on the use of mobile technology to instantly transfer data and information to and from all corners of Kosovo. Some of the key areas of work will include support to health and education data reporting, and improved information exchange between Kosovo’s institutions and the communities they serve.
IPKO is in a position to effect change in the lives of Kosovo’s children and young people through innovative uses of mobile technology and collaboration on technical and strategic levels. IPKO has offered to support the implementation of the project by providing in-kind access to its SMS and GPRS platforms, as well as the required technical assistance to UNICEF, its partners and beneficiaries. The partnership further aims at addressing the potential for young people, using mobile technology, to be monitors of their rights, as actors and shapers of their world, and participants in defining their own futures.
UNICEF aims to provide youth with access to the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to make informed decisions and have the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their lives and their futures. Through the partnership with IPKO and the use of innovative application of technology, we hope to create this opportunity.
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