For Every Child, Optimism & Innovation
Highlights from a year of collaborations toward discovering, co-creating, and scaling innovative solutions for every child, everywhere
Innovation is a key enabler for driving transformational change for children. From climate change to protracted conflicts and wars, this and coming generations deserve solutions that are equal to the era they live in — be they innovative systems design driving cultural and social change, or the adoption of tech solutions in ingenious ways.
In 2021, the adoption of a dynamic partnership architecture sparked a co-creation movement with like-minded supporters and collaborators, planting seeds of transformational change with the potential to yield significant returns.
Two years on, Impact Brief 2023 showcases - in both narrative and numbers - how UNICEF is unlocking the potential of innovation, for every child, everywhere.
In 2022, UPSHIFT, UNICEF's social innovator accelerator for young people, was operational in 45 countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, and Turkey.
In 2023, the innovation mindset is shifting to the education sector as the UPSHIFT delivery platform, accelerating our potential for scalable reach to untapped demand. The initiative is on track to impact 15 million young people by 2023. This underscores UPSHIFT's ambitious vision — to be embedded in education systems across the world, ensuring an increasingly inclusive curriculum for adolescents and youth everywhere.
Blockchain for Financial Inclusion
Rumsan, one of the eight startups in the 2022 UNICEF Venture Fund Blockchain cohort, developed Rahat, a digital cash and voucher assistance (CVA) management system. The mobile-based system uses blockchain tokens to manage and monitor aid transactions for emergency response and recovery programmes.
In Nepal, UNICEF ran a pilot of the CVA solution in the municipality of Jaleshwor Palika, a flood-prone area that was both economically and socially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The UNICEF Country Office tested the programme as part of efforts to increase financial inclusion, accountability, and transparency in the cash transfer process, and to allow for more efficient distribution and monitoring of aid.
"Despite anticipating a verification process that would take an entire day, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to withdraw my cash within just half an hour."
Giga is a joint UNICEF and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative to connect every school to the internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice.
“The internet benefits us. It helps with studying subjects that we do not know, such as computer science.”
“The use of the internet had a very positive impact on our students. It enhanced their participation and interaction in the classroom and increased their involvement in lessons.”
“Thanks to the internet, I was able to learn many more things. I can find out what’s happening now in Kenya and look at maps and videos. I’ve been able to learn more on topics like engineering and wildlife. When I grow up, I would like to become an engineer because there are very few in this county.”