23 May 2023

Discussion: Child-lens Investing

As we approach the 2030 deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is critical now, more than ever, to place children at the center of efforts to close the US$ 4.2. trillion financing gap needed to achieve these goals.    Half of the world's 2.2 billion children are unable to access basic needs like safe water and nutritious foods. Revolutionary change is needed to make sure children do not inherit an inhospitable world, ravaged by climate change and underserved by fragile institutions and weak economies, with unconscionable levels of poverty.  UNICEF is leading the effort to develop a child-lens investing framework that enables investors to: positively impact the whole child ecosystem; consider the larger context in which children are raised; and complement existing investment processes and impact themes (i.e. climate investing, gender-lens investing, etc.). This discussion paper collates preliminary considerations on child-lens investing and the accompanying toolkit lays out approaches both asset owners and managers can adopt to operationalize investing with a child-lens.  These documents showcase UNICEF's preliminary thoughts on child-lens investing and will serve as a foundation for collaborative efforts with various external stakeholders worldwide to establish a comprehensive framework that harnesses finance for the benefit of children. If you are interested in pioneering the field of child-lens investing and would like to contribute to the development of this framework, please reach out to us at IF-Hub@unicef.org.
11 March 2019

Citizen-Driven Measurement of Sustainable Development Goals

In 2016, UNICEF Innovation began working with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy to answer research questions related to SDGs monitoring.  Member States are currently asking UNICEF and UNCTs for advice on how to measure SDGs in a number of countries.  The goals themselves have been categorized into three tiers with the third tier not having a defined methodology for measurement.  Meanwhile, member states have committed to a participatory approach in the 2015 SDG Declaration.  Against this backdrop, UNICEF has over 6.5 million people opted into a youth empowerment tool called U-Report, which has the capability to collect and analyse data in real-time across 55 countries and growing.  There is demand from Member States for support in data collection, a building body of literature supporting the idea of “perception data”, a written commitment from governments to listen to community and UNICEF with a competitive advantage as a key partner of a powerful citizen data collection tool that could potentially be used to meet these needs and keep children’s goals top of the agenda at the same time.   However, the tool itself (U-Report) is currently not widely used for goal monitoring and evaluation, but for awareness raising of child rights, behaviour change campaigns, providing virtual health services, and obtaining real-time beneficiary feedback on UNICEF programmes.  So the question arose: With the demand in place for a solution, how can UNICEF best utilise or adapt existing tools such as U-Report to meet the demand?