High Performance Tents
The High Performance Tent is a new and improved multipurpose tent used in emergencies to meet various programmatic needs in education, health, nutrition, and child protection.
During emergencies UNICEF uses multipurpose tents for schools, health clinics, nutrition facilities, distribution points and child-friendly spaces. The current tents have served the organization well for many years, however, new emergency contexts demonstrate a need for improvement. Some challenges include difficulties in transportation and installation, collapsing due to strong winds and rain, and poor internal climate that doesn’t suit extremely hot or cold environments.
UNICEF looked to the market for a solution, but couldn’t find it, so took it upon themselves to drive product development through an innovation process.
First, UNICEF communicated the needs to industry through consultations and the launch of a Target Product Profile, indicating over 1,000 requirements including resistance to high winds, heavy rain, snow, and hot/dry environments; hard flooring; electricity; more spacious area; and improved installation and transportation practices. Interested manufactures engaged with UNICEF to find a solution to meet the indicated needs.
Through a trial and error approach, prototypes were developed and tested in labs and the field to understand the usage in emergency contexts in different climates: Uganda for hot/dry, the Philippines for wet/humid, and Afghanistan for cold.
The final product - UNICEF’s High Performance Tent - includes a series of new innovations such as new/durable anchoring systems, straight-wall design, improved installation guidance, and packaging into smaller bags to enable transportation to hard-to-reach locations. In addition, there are a number of add- ons to suit various programmatic needs and climatic conditions, including hard flooring, electrical & solar kits, and winter liner.
The new tents will provide safe environments for children coming from devastating situations such as conflict, earthquakes, or extreme weather events like cyclones and heatwaves. They offer improved environments for learning, play, and accessing health, child protection, and nutrition services.
They will have a significant impact to emergency programming worldwide, bringing a higher quality and efficiency of services with a fit-for-purpose and value-for-money product. UNICEF is now working to scale the product globally to improve humanitarian responses worldwide.