Magicbox – Partnerships

Magicbox – Partnerships

Children holding each others arms

UNICEF is looking for partners that would like to join our efforts by sharing their data and expertise, including:

– Real-time data and historical data.
– Expertise and resources to work with UNICEF’s engineers and data science teams to build better ways to use and model data.
– Ongoing support to UNICEF’s programmatic responses: long-term, continuous global support beyond emergencies.

Combining more aggregated data sets and technical know-how from the private sector with UNICEF’s reach, development expertise and mandate will allow us to work better, and faster, for children.

Below are different data types (illustrated through categories) that we are using that provide interesting information. These are not the only possible categories and could change in the future.



Mobility data needed:
  • aggregated data documenting how people move, i.e. the number of people that travel between two different locations (e.g. cell towers, administrative – divisions, cities, airports, shops, ATMs, etc), which is valuable for modeling epidemics, understanding community structure and estimating employment.
  • Mobility data does not track or record individual details, but rather provides statistical information of movement that does not breach privacy regulations.
Mobility can be measured from:


  1. Mobile phone records recorded by the operators
  2. GPS traces from mobile devices
  3. Geolocated messages from social media services
  4. GPS traces from transportation
  5. Geolocated financial transact


Satellite imagery is able to provide mapping at high resolutions (up to 10m) taken with relatively high frequency (updated every few weeks or more). This can be used:

  • to measure attributes of the environment such as urbanization changes or infrastructure (water towers, schools, health centers, etc).
  • to estimate population density, poverty, development index, or mosquito breeding sites, through the use of images (daytime, nighttime, or infrared) and in combination with other data sources.
  • Satellite images being very large in size, require specialist expertise to analyze and interpret. Therefore collaboration in the form of technical support along with the data is preferred.
  1. Companies and research organisations


  • A population’s spending pattern is valuable information for estimating socio-economic indicators and/or community level resilience after disasters occur: e.g. to proxy food security or understand coping behaviours
  1. Mobile money payments through Telephone operators
  2. Online purchases
  3. Remittances
  4. Insurance


  • Characterising a person’s social network reveals information about their resources and behaviour, which is useful to understand specific situations and needs – e.g. during a crisis. It is sometimes the main tool used by people on the move.
  • The diversity of one’s social network has been found to correlate well with multidimensional poverty and can also measure epidemic risk and impacts of economic shocks.
  • Individual connections are not necessary – simply aggregate measures like the number of connections, or number of connections in a different city, will suffice.
  1. Large social networking sites
  2. Many platforms that offer other services, such as buying/selling or eLearning, incorporate some functionality to interact with other users and to connect to friends
  3. Calling and messaging patterns from telecommunication providers reveal social network structure

Content, goods or Technology Consumption

  • To measure the degree of information that a child accesses, important indicators are required, such as: understanding what information is available and their consumption patterns.
  • This information can also be used to indicate affected populations after exogenous shocks, by analysing the behavioral changes which could contribute to improved planning and optimisation of advocacy and communication campaigns.
  • The consumption, or lack of access to, content, goods and technology can give us indication of vulnerability and resilience of the population
  1. Internet searches and analytics
  2. Communication traffic, e.g. minutes of calls or tower traffic volumes, megabytes of consumption of internet traffic
  3. News and media

Contact us

Products and Partnerships Contact: ewheeler [at] unicef [dot] org