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UNICEF Innovation


The focus of UNICEF Scale is to identify and scale up proven innovative solutions, expanding their application by UNICEF and others to multiple countries and regions and millions of people. The Global Innovation Centre (GIC) is at the core of this work, a few examples of the GIC are highlighted below. 

Giving Youth a way to be heard through U-Report 

Photo: UNICEF/Naftalin

U-Report is a real-time social messaging tool that enables communication between young people and decision makers. It allows anyone from any community, anywhere in the world to speak out on issues that they care about, respond to polls, report issues on behalf of people in their country, support child rights, respond to humanitarian emergencies, and work as positive agents of change. U-Report is powered by RapidPro. It works over SMS on even a basic mobile phone. It is also available on social media and through a mobile app. As of April 2016, U-Report is live in 21 countries and more than 2 million people are sending or receiving messages every week. 

1000 Days Suite of Tools

Photo: UNICEF/Nesbitt

The first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical to ensure positive health outcomes worldwide. The UNICEF 1,000 Days Suite of Products collects real-time information and gives decision makers access to this information using dashboards to deliver results for children. By leveraging these dashboards, leaders from within the health sector can identify and respond to challenges in delivering essential services; provides support and guidance to community health workers in their daily work; directly engage parents and caregivers; enable multiple feedback loops at different levels; and provide greater transparency and visibility into the system itself and its performance. 

The 1000 Days Tool Suite strengthens health systems by working through priority use cases including birth registration, antenatal & postnatal visit reminders, citizen accountability, routine reporting, and supply & logistics support for essential medicines. It is built to be interoperable with major Health Information Systems used by governments. The suite follows WHO / UNICEF recommended interventions, standards and guidelines around maternal, neonatal and child health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS, and is informed by existing mHealth implementations across various countries. 

The 1000 Days Suite is built on RapidPro, UNICEF's free, open source communication platform that allows anyone to design scalable mobile services to reach users through multiple languages and channels, including SMS, voice, social media, OTT, applications and offline data collection. 

For more information on the 1000 Days Suite, visit:

Access to information through the DigiSchool

Photo: UNICEF Uganda

The DigiSchool is a multimedia tool to support education in and out of schools, with the ultimate goal of improving access, equity, and quality in education. Built into a portable suitcase, it is equipped with a solar-powered laptop, a low-power pico-projector and an audio system. School books, teaching videos and any other digital materials can be projected in the classroom or temporary learning space. The DigiSchool is equipped with the uPortal, an open-source content management system filled with open educational materials, videos and audio programs; relevant and appropriate health materials; and contact information for community and government services. uPortal was awarded “Best Digital Content” by the Uganda Communications Commission in 2013.

The latest model has been developed in partnership with Hunghe in China and is being field tested in Uganda. Initial results have confirmed the value of portable electronic equipment and internet access to educational settings in remote areas. Based on further results, plans for roll-out in different settings will be confirmed.



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