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UNICEF Innovation

Innovation at UNICEF

UNICEF Image: A mother displays her child's short birth certificate generated by Mobile Vital Records System (Mobile VRS), at Mulago hospital.

In 2016, innovation is vital to the state of the world's children. Challenges have never been larger, or coming faster – urbanization, climate change, lack of employment opportunities, broken education systems, increased disparities, and digital divides.


However, a new global infrastructure is being created that has potential to address these challenges. This is an infrastructure of openness, of collaboration across borders, of exploration, and of innovation for equity.


We see, in 135 countries around the world, young people pushing the boundaries of the possible and creating a future they want – and the future is appearing in the places that UNICEF works before it happens in the "global north."

From innovations like mobile birth registration in Nigeria, to using drones in Malawi to transport blood samples for early infant diagnosis of HIV, to using SMS to support mothers in Mexico – the connected world that we live in is generating and sharing opportunities in a fundamentally different way than it ever has before.

Access to information is essential to innovation for equity. The biggest change that we need to foster, and that is happening already in some places, is the push to connect the world's most marginalized populations so they have access to information, to opportunity, and to choice. This underlies a great deal of the innovation agenda – because without access to information and connectivity young people are stifled and put at risk.



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