School Furniture Guideline Scale-Up

Procurement guidelines ensure new innovations are captured and available

UNICEF Innovation
With his teacher seated beside him, a boy takes an English reading test kneeling in front of a blackboard that is propped against an outside wall at Chadza Primary School in a rural district near Lilongwe.
18 December 2015

The project is currently in scale-up phase after having successfully reached two milestones. Firstly, there has been the completion of the new, furniture designs which are built locally with locally available materials, which are easy to assemble, requires low maintenance, and are strong, durable and child-friendly. The following images below illustrate the final designs.

(click here to get a 360° animation view of the final designs)

Design 1 - Double Receptor
Design 2 - Frame
Design 3 - Receptor
Design 4 - Reinvention

The second milestone is the completion of a local procurement guideline for UNICEF colleagues that covers all aspects of furniture planning such as design, production, delivery and maintenance. The procurement guideline will ensure new innovations are captured and made available to CO’s through a portfolio, as the project scales.


It is UNICEF’s hope that the new designs together with the procurement guideline will enable some of the following:

  • Sustainable growth:

There will be an efficient use of raw materials in a low resource setting that has a positive impact on the environment. Furthermore, local production of furniture will also help build local capacity of manufacturers and reduce reliance on importing ready made goods. While boasting local economy, local production makes maintenance a lot easier and lengthens the life span of furniture.

  • Facilitate learning and teaching:

Studies have shown a direct connection between comfortable school furniture and increased learning and development. Similarly, teaching methods can be facilitated with the new, easy to move, light weight modular furniture which is designed to give teachers better access to each and every student in the classroom.

  • Easier transportation:

Flat packed furniture can be easily transported, handled and assembled resulting in huge cost savings in transportation, low carbon emissions and reduce incidents of damage during transit.


The videos below provide a 360° view of the final designs. (Frame) (Receptor Single) (Receptor Double) (Reinvention)


More information including technical drawings of the school furniture is available on the United Nations Global Marketplace.

For those interested to receive more information on UNICEF’s school furniture procurement guidelines or technical specifications on standardized furniture designs, please contact: