16 May 2022

Project Play

The challenge, Play is critical for healthy childhood development, helping to build cognitive, social and physical skills. It is also an essential part of severe acute malnutrition treatment. According to the World Health Organization guidelines, psychosocial stimulation interventions are recommended as part of routine care to improve child development and…, Psychosocial stimulation interventions, WHO guidelines recommend  psychosocial stimulation interventions as part of routine care to improve child development and anthropometric outcomes for children under 5 years. An icon of a packet of RUTF, 8.7 million​, In 2022, 8.7 million cardboard boxes circulated the world as part of RUTF packaging.  An icon of a boy and a girl, 7.3 million children , UNICEF could reach an estimated 7.3 million children by repurposing RUTF carboard boxes into toys to support malnutrition recovery.​, The response, Inspired by a supplier initiative, UNICEF is broadening the concept and will print and pre-cut toys in corrugated cardboard cartons, repurposing boxes into toys to aid in malnutrition recovery and promote learning through play. ​ UNICEF offers a diverse catalogue of cardboard toys which help develop cognitive, motor and social skills in children…, The impact, Through this frugal innovation UNICEF will provide simple, fun and easy-to-use toys to children with severe acute malnutrition, increasing the likelihood of recovery. Additionally, providing toys and ‘how-to-use’ guides enables to raise awareness of the importance of play. By repurposing packaging and giving cardboard boxes a second life, UNICEF…, Project Play generates smiles and supports recovery for malnourished children in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, In 2023, Project Play was piloted in Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Uganda in partnership with three RUTF suppliers, integrating inclusive toy designs into the standard RUTF packaging and distributing them within ongoing nutrition and Early Childhood Development (ECD) programming in each country. In Uganda, the project helped to integrate play as a…, Sierra Leone, ©UNICEF/Sierra Leone/2022/Mason Child with mother playing with toys, Uganda, © UNICEF/Uganda/2023/Nabisere Mother with children playing with toys in Pakistan, Pakistan, © UNICEF/Pakistan/2023/Shuja Caregiver and child in health facility Child with mother playing with toys Mother with children playing with toys in Pakistan, PLAY YOUR PART, for our children and our planet       Join the fun and get in touch: innovateforchildren@unicef.org Blocks icon project play
20 April 2022

Six ways UNICEF is innovating to respond to the pandemic and build stronger health systems

COVID-19 wrought havoc globally. Health systems were overwhelmed, with many patients unable to access the life-saving medical care, oxygen therapy and vaccines they needed.    In response, UNICEF worked to rapidly find and roll out innovative solutions – not only to respond to the current crisis, but also to strengthen global health systems for…, 1. Rapidly deployable Health Emergency Facility to respond to future pandemics, Rapidly deployable Health Emergency Facility to respond to future pandemics Speed is critical to help prevent major infectious disease outbreaks from spreading further. UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières are developing an innovative Health Emergency Facility which can be rapidly deployed to provide screening,…, 2. Accessing real-time data to improve vaccine distribution and monitoring, A child receives the oral polio vaccine in Bomi County, Liberia. A child receives the oral polio vaccine in Bomi County, Liberia. COVID-19 proved the need for quick, efficient vaccine distribution – which was already a challenge for many countries before the pandemic. Vaccine distribution requires careful coordination, which assumes a clear and…, 3. Groundbreaking vaccine technology, without the need for conventional needles and syringes, A young boy in Samoa receives a measles vaccine. A young boy in Samoa receives a measles vaccine. UNICEF is also working with partners and industry to research and prototype a new vaccine delivery technology: Vaccine Microarray Patches (VMAPs) . These band-aid like devices have small micro needles that deliver vaccines via the skin.  While this…, 4. Developing and deploying tools to understand and monitor spread, In Indonesia’s remote East Nusa Tenggara Province, Vero Hegewati Kolin, 51, walks from her home to the local village hall on Solor Island to receive her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Indonesia’s remote East Nusa Tenggara Province, Vero Hegewati Kolin, 51, walks from her home to the local village hall on Solor Island to receive her first…, 5. Strengthening global oxygen systems, Six-month-old Nyameba receives life-saving oxygen treatment for pneumonia at a children’s emergency ward in eastern Ghana in October 2021. Six-month-old Nyameba receives life-saving oxygen treatment for pneumonia at a children’s emergency ward in eastern Ghana in October 2021. COVID-19 brought into stark reality the need to strengthen oxygen…, 6. Empowering innovators on-the-ground to contribute to stronger health systems, Brishty, 16, is looking at something on her mobile phone at their home during the COVID-19 situation. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated inequities in access to public health and health care services for children and young people, disproportionately affecting young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and futures. There is an urgent need to…
07 March 2022

Uterine Balloon Tamponade

The challenge, Post-partum hemorrhage – severe bleeding in childbirth – is the largest direct cause of maternal mortality globally, taking the lives of 130,000 women every year. ​  Many of these deaths can be prevented with commercially available products and interventions. However, these are often not accessible in low- and middle-income countries, where 99 per…, 130,000, An estimated 130,000 mothers lose their lives from post-partum hemorrhage every year, which remains the largest direct cause of maternal mortality. An icon of a woman breastfeeding a baby, 46x, A newborn whose mother dies in childbirth is 46 times more likely die within their first month of life.   An icon of a uterine balloon tamponade, 95%, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire found a 95 per cent success rate in UBTs stopping post-partum hemorrhage.  , The response ​, UNICEF is now working with UNFPA to increase access to medical UBT devices. This includes introducing a medical UBT into the UNICEF and UNFPA Supply Catalogues and creating inter-agency technical materials, such as training guides and job aids, to support sustainable integration into health programmes. ​  Both agencies are also working together to…, The impact​, Through increased access to UBTs, UNICEF can save mothers’ lives and lower maternal mortality rates, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing. ​  Greater access to UBTs will help prevent unnecessary disability and hysterectomies in women who suffer post-partum hemorrhage in childbirth. ​  UNICEF will also be able to…, Case study: Local innovation leading the way, A woman gives two baby boys a bath in a blue plastic tub outside UNICEF/UN0241796/Dejongh Fatoumata survived post-partum hemorrhage thanks to the use of a UBT. She’s pictured giving her three-month-old twins Zoumana and Karim a bath in front of her home in the North of Côte d'Ivoire. Côte d'Ivoire: After giving birth to twins, Fatoumata (pictured…, Resources, Stories and media coverage
13 January 2022

Oxygen System Planning Tool

The Oxygen System Planning Tool (OSPT) is an excel-based, customizable tool that can be used to plan oxygen delivery systems from source to patient. This tool can be used to support high-level healthcare budgeting and planning needs related to oxygen, including health and procurement specialists and oxygen technology stakeholders.   The tool uses…, Subscribe for updates and support , UNICEF regularly updates and improves the Oxygen System Planning Tool and also provides technical assistance and training resources. To ensure you receive information on updates, access to current and future training courses and other technical assistance, please subscribe to the OSPT mailing list. We may also contact you to further understand…, Key outcomes, Estimate oxygen demand at health facilities, The OSPT estimates oxygen demand at individual health facilities using data on facility type, number of patients and disease prevalence. The tool can then create health facility archetypes to aggregate oxygen demand for a full geographical area or at various levels of the health system. ​, Generate health facility-level recommendations for appropriate oxygen source options, Based on oxygen demand, the tool will then calculate and recommend the most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective oxygen source solutions for different health facilities. This often involves a combination of cylinders refilled from centralized plants, on-site PSA plants or oxygen concentrators., Automate the calculation of distances between health facilities and oxygen plants, The tool also automatically calculates the distance between known oxygen plants and health facilities to inform when cylinder refilling from a centralized PSA or liquid plant may be the best oxygen source solution., Generate equipment lists, The OSPT provides procurement lists for each health facility, covering oxygen source equipment, consumables, and diagnostic devices. It can also quantify which consumables and equipment will need to be replaced across a specified timeframe, when reordering is needed and the ongoing budget required., Estimate the capital and operating costs, The tool estimates capital and operating costs (e.g. electricity) broken down into categories for each health facility. It can then aggregate costs for different administrative levels or nationally for a given time period. This can help governments, donors or oxygen suppliers understand the full and long-term costs of establishing and operating an…, Aid in planning placement of new PSA oxygen plants, The tool can also support users to plan the optimum placement of new PSA plants, based on oxygen needs and distance to other health facilities that could benefit from cylinder refilling., Testimonials, “We didn’t have the basic devices. When we even diagnosed a person, we couldn’t actually treat the person. We were referring most of our cases. We were supplied with devices like the pulse oximeters, oxygen concentrators. It makes diagnosis and treatment quite easy. [Now] we are confident that we can actually treat them here. We can reduce under-…, Resources and training guides
26 November 2021

Introduction to the Drones for SDGs Toolkit

Since 2018, UNICEF’s Office of Innovation has been exploring the application of drones across three main application areas: imagery, delivery, and connectivity. Our work has led to the establishment of four humanitarian drone corridors; funding seven drone companies creating open source digital solutions for humanitarian use; and supporting UNICEF Country Offices in using drones for medicine and vaccine delivery. All of UNICEF’s investments in drones are open source, and under an open license for non-commercial use; the Office of Innovation supports these solutions including by growing their reach through the UNICEF Global Drones Technical Working Group and by making promising solutions available to the UN system through Long Term Agreements (LTAs).   Leveraging UNICEF’s position as a global leader in drone innovations, the Office of Innovation has developed the Drones for SDGs Toolkit, which is a collaborative repository for the sharing of drone software, open data, open AI models, standards, courseware, and guides that address the SDGs, all of which are or are eligible for nomination as a digital public good. The Office of Innovation and partners, such as the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) and UNICEF’s Supply Division, will seed the repository by contributing the foundational assets.   The toolkit, after launching, will continue to expand with contributions across the following categories:  Analytics: Open Source AI and data  Guides: Policy and How-To guidelines  Learning: Open source learning material and online courses  Regulations: Standard operating procedures and model regulations  Software: Open source drone software  Startups: Long Term Agreements and UNICEF-funded drone startups  This deck introduces the Drones for SDGs Toolkit and how it can be accessed and used. Submission and review guidelines are also be covered.
03 June 2021

Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box

The challenge, Access to oxygen can be the difference between life and death for patients with severe COVID-19. It is also a critical treatment for children with pneumonia, which remains the leading infectious killer of children under 5 years, claiming over 800,000 lives every year . The COVID-19 pandemic has turned an existing oxygen gap in many low- and middle…, The response ​, UNICEF worked with industry to rapidly develop an innovative emergency solution: the Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box. A fully functional Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plant, the package includes everything needed to produce large volumes of medical grade oxygen, including accessories supplied in the right quantities, installation of equipment, pre-…, 135, cylinders (20-litre bottles) can be filled in a 24-hour period. An icon of an oxygen plant, 720,000, litres of medical oxygen can be provided in a 24-hour period. An icon of a boy and a girl, 100, children with severe pneumonia or 50-60 COVID-19 patients can receive round the clock oxygen treatment at once. , The impact​, UNICEF worked with industry to take the package from idea to reality within just months. Now Oxygen Plant-in-a-Box packages are on their way to support countries as they respond to the ongoing pandemic.  This innovation will help save the lives of thousands of patients. With oxygen a critical treatment for COVID-19, as well as children with…, Resources, Stories and media coverage
26 April 2021

Faecal Sludge and Wastewater Management in Emergencies – Treatment Products

The challenge, During the onset of an emergency, UNICEF quickly deploys products to support sanitation services, including latrines. But what happens when the latrines fill up? A critical step is to ensure the safe treatment and disposal of human waste. UNICEF has no products that are easy to deploy as a response to humanitarian emergencies and that can be used…, 20x, Children under five years living in conflict zones are 20 times more likely to die from diarrhoea due to unsafe water and sanitation, than from direct violence associated with the conflict. An icon of a boy and a girl, 48 million children, In 2018, UNICEF estimated that 48 million children across 51 countries were affected by war, natural disaster or other types of emergencies. FSM icon, No ‘out of the box’ solution, UNICEF has no ‘out of the box’ system that can treat faecal sludge and wastewater., The response ​, As UNICEF continues to respond to conflict situations and rapid onset emergencies, there is a need to have product options that treat faecal sludge and wastewater, that are quick to set up and make operational, and could function as a temporary solution or as a stop gap for longer term situations. The product(s) will be pre-positioned and/or…, Examples of suitable solutions could include, Existing treatment products that work well and fit with UNICEF’s needs Adapt and improve existing treatment products to fit UNICEF’s needs Design and innovate new treatment products. Products will need to be able to offer treatment solutions in challenging conditions, such as where it is not possible to dig a pit or in areas with limited space…, The sanitation value chain, A series of icons that show six key steps in the faecal sludge management chain: 1. Access to toilet, 2. Containment, 3. Emptying, 4. transport, 5. Treatment, 6. Disposal. Emptying, transport and treatment are circled as the innovation focus. The Sanitation Value Chain and the scope of this project. The main focus area is treatment products. In…, Faecal sludge management in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, A child runs through muddy water in a refugee camp UNICEF/UN0227737/Brown In August 2017 hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled Myanmar for the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in Bangladesh. The initial absence of comprehensive faecal sludge management in the camps placed the already vulnerable population at risk of major disease outbreaks. Human…, The impact​, UNICEF is on the ground before, during and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with life-saving aid and long-term assistance. The development of a pre-packaged deployable product/s or kit/s will help UNICEF and partners rapidly respond to sanitation needs in sudden onset emergencies.  The innovation project aims to reduce the…, Resources
15 January 2021

Children’s masks

The challenge, To limit the transmission of the COVID-19 disease, many governments are requiring children over 12 to wear masks in schools. Throughout 2020 more than 50 countries have made mask-wearing upon leaving home compulsory, and the policy landscape shifts depending on the need in a given place. At the same time, there’s a general lack of understanding…, 756,000, 756,000 children’s masks have been bought so far as a result of the UNICEF children’s masks innovation project., 950,000, 950,000 more children’s masks are still required. Where children require masks in order to attend school UNICEF will work with government partners to ensure children can access education, but more funds are needed., The response, UNICEF is taking a three pronged approach to ensure appropriate masks for children are available and accessible to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Publishing  the first guidance on children’s masks  (UNICEF and the World Health Organization, Aug 2020).   Establishing a product innovation project in Cote d’Ivoire to support the local innovation and…, UNICEF’s unique positioning & partnership potential , UNICEF is uniquely positioned to understand children’s needs for mask-wearing due to the role the organization has played in developing the global guidance. In addition, UNICEF’s expansive network of offices that support governments with education programming and supplies for over 50 years is well positioned to offer a fast and effective…, Stories and media coverage
07 December 2020

Resilient Oxygen Concentrators

The challenge, Every year,  over 7  million children  suffering from severe pneumonia in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) urgently need oxygen to survive. This life-saving gas helps patients breathe when they cannot do so on their own – whether it is children with pneumonia or hypoxemia, newborns and mothers with birth complications, or patients with…, Every 43 seconds  , a child dies from pneumonia. Many of these deaths are preventable An icon of a boy and a girl, Over 7 million children, with severe pneumonia in low and middle-income countries need oxygen to survive each year  An icon of an oxygen concentrator, 15,000+ oxygen concentrators, were procured in 2020 as part of UNICEF’s COVID-19 response  , The response, UNICEF’s  Oxygen Concentrator Innovation Project  aims to develop a more durable, energy efficient, state-of-the-art oxygen concentrator to work in such challenging settings.    By working with innovators and health technology companies, UNICEF is driving the development and scale of a new concentrator with the following features:   Up to 60% more…, The impact, The project goal is to make oxygen available in primary healthcare facilities with power supply challenges, extreme climates and lack of maintenance expertise on site. UNICEF aims to fill the technology gap to ensure this life-saving gas can reach the 4.2 million children with severe pneumonia who require it to survive.   , Resources, Stories and Media Coverage