14 August 2023

UNICEF Funding Opportunity for Health Tech Startups

The UNICEF Venture Fund is looking to invest in Open Source frontier technology solutions that have the potential to create radical change in children’s health, nutrition, and mental health. We are offering up to US$100K in equity-free funding for early stage, for-profit technology start-ups that can improve the lives of children. If your company…, The Challenge, Every child has the right to survive and thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on global health, nutrition and mental health indicators for children. It has also amplified the persistent inequities in access to quality healthcare, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Factors such as where a child is born, their gender…, What we're looking for, UNICEF’s innovation portfolio approach prioritizes addressing the most challenging problems faced by children and young people through nine thematic portfolios, including maternal, newborn, child & adolescent health, nutrition, mental health, youth, and humanitarian response to reach the most vulnerable populations. These portfolios prioritize…, Background, UNICEF’s Venture Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Venture Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology  so that UNICEF can both shape markets and learn about and guide these technologies for children. We…
16 December 2022

Innovation Portfolios: Problem Statements

A problem-driven approach to innovation, At UNICEF, innovation is a key driver for transformational change. It's not a quick fix to the massive challenges the world’s children face rather it is a strategic approach to solving problems and the effective management of three key resources: time, investment and talent. With a robust process of  portfolio management  across all types of…, Problem Statements, Climate Change, Climate/environmental policy development lacks meaningful engagement from children and young people.   Assessing demand and shaping the market for resilient services (e.g., climate resilient schools and health facilities). Quantifying impacts of environmental degradation and identifying the most vulnerable children. Climate resilience and disaster…, Gender, Girls – especially adolescent girls – have less access to skills, learning and relevant employment activities. Girls’ voices and feedback are not part of policy decisions and programme design. Gender-restrictive norms and stereotypes perpetuate inequalities that affect girls both online and offline. Adolescent girls consistently lack access to…, Humanitarian, Community-led first responders to humanitarian crises face barriers to accessing and ensuring availability of localized materials, hindering operational preparedness. There are limited investments in sustainable energy in fragile contexts, which undermine the delivery of services that children rely on to meet basic needs (food, water and…, Immunization, A lack of quality data presents challenges for the management of vaccine demand and supply, for informed decision-making that meets the needs of zero-dose communities and for the logistics response for ‘last-mile’ deliveries.   Without a data-driven approach, progress toward the zero-dose agenda is at risk.   Behavioural science and people-centred…, Learning, Parents and caregivers need support to prepare children for school.  Delivering basic literacy and numeracy skills requires innovative approaches.  Learners need skills and training to be prepared for the future of work.  All learners face challenges in equitable access to quality online learning.   Children with disabilities require solutions…, Maternal and Child Health, The lack of quality and timely data and the limited use of data for decision-making across health system functions present barriers to strengthening people-centered health services for women and children.  Traditional approaches have been ineffective in supporting primary health care platforms that reflect and address equity challenges and promote…, Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing, Insufficient data on child and adolescent-specific mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS).  Limited and constrained access to MHPSS services.  Low capacity of MHPSS workforce to support and sustain mental health and psychosocial well-being. , Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Lack of adequate and climate-sensitive groundwater mapping leads to poor drinking water quality, challenges in locating sustainable water sources, and impedes progress towards child development and Sustainable Development Goals, especially affecting Small Island Developing States. Insufficient climate-sensitive data and understanding of…, Nutrition, A lack of quality data hinders the development of effective interventions for preventing overweight and obesity in children and young people, especially in lower-middle-income countries. , Youth, Adolescents and young people face unequal opportunities for participation and civic engagement in making decisions that affect their lives and in creating positive social change.  Empowering adolescents and youth with skills they need to thrive and take positive action  Adolescents and young people do not have access to accountability mechanisms…