Sparking Innovation Across UNICEF and Beyond
Meet the winners of the Innovation Spark Incubator and Awards
Spanning over 190 countries, UNICEF staff operate on the frontlines of humanitarian and development response. Collectively we share a vantage point to see opportunities, identify emerging trends and co-create transformational solutions to some of the most challenging issues affecting the lives of children and their communities.
Cultivating a culture of innovation is critical to leveraging life-changing opportunities that often appear in the most difficult circumstances or at times of dire need. The UNICEF Innovation Spark Incubator and Awards was developed with this in mind.
Igniting the innovative spark within UNICEF, the initiative equips colleagues to transform ideas into solutions that can impact lives. With resources, coaching and ring-fenced time during the work week, colleagues are equipped and supported to create bold, approaches and solutions.
“Our colleagues across the world are an incredible resource. Their expertise, experiences, and professionalism, coupled with the promise and potential of innovation can only lead to phenomenal outcomes. The UNICEF Innovation Spark Incubator and Awards is a catalyst to make this potential a lived reality beneficial to millions of children globally.”
The initiative launched with an organization-wide call from the UNICEF Office of Innovation for pitches of innovative solutions to challenges in three categories; humanitarian, climate change and UPSHIFT. About 2000 colleagues engaged with the process with about 117 submissions pouring in from over 60 countries.
Nine shortlisted teams with promising ideas progressed to a 5-day incubator programme and each team received seed funding and 3 months of coaching from subject-matter experts. Among these, three teams were assessed by a panel of judges and chosen as winners. Each one received additional resources and ongoing support from UNICEF to scale their initiatives across the organization and beyond.
Meet the winners of the Innovation Spark Incubator and Awards:
• Evalu-It (Humanitarian), State of Palestine – the trial of an integrated system for direct digital feedback on the emergency and humanitarian supplies UNICEF provides – including water, sanitation and hygiene and education kits.
• DroneBots (Humanitarian / Climate Change), Guatemala – an initiative designed to provide mobile phone and internet connectivity to communities in the aftermath of a disaster, while also collecting real-time monitoring and rapid assessment data to enable faster, more effective decision-making for emergency response and recovery.
• Acción Climática Joven (Climate Change), Uruguay – an initiative that aims to expand and strengthen the representation, participation, and influence of young Uruguayans in national climate and environmental policy.
To learn more about the Innovation Spark Incubator and Awards, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.