Scaling up for impact
Scaling up efforts that UNICEF and partners undertook in 2019 range from product and construction innovation to vaccine procurement, among others.
In 2019, UNICEF annual procurement of goods and services for children reached a record $3.826 billion.
As one of the largest United Nations procurement agencies, UNICEF is uniquely positioned to leverage its reach, supply expertise and purchasing power to support governments across 150 countries to deliver results for children. Through its strategic procurement and influencing market approach, UNICEF achieves substantial savings for across a range of products. In 2019, we surpassed our target for the year by 25 per cent and achieved $363.3 million in savings for governments and donors.
Within these figures is a wide array of fit-for-purpose supplies and innovative approaches to deliver those supplies, at scale, to children. From education materials to therapeutic food, vaccines to medicines, soap to insecticide-treated mosquito nets – the supplies that support the health and well-being of children each have a unique story of scale up.
This year we highlight a range of examples of how UNICEF, in collaboration with governments, partners and the private sector, is scaling up to reach children around the world with the supplies they need, when they are needed.
Innovate and pioneer
UNICEF collaborates with industry and partners to drive the development of innovative products that meet specific needs and bring those products to market. From the redesign of High Performance Tents to incentivizing the development of rapid diagnostic tests for Zika, UNICEF is spearheading and scaling innovations to better serve children, young people and their families.
Innovations also extend to our approaches. With the support of donors, UNICEF has scaled up special financing mechanisms that support countries to overcome budgetary constraints and ensure the timely delivery of supplies to children.
Ambition to improve efficiencies is another ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of scaling up. A new mobile app for warehouse staff facilitates real time management of supplies and exemplifies how UNICEF is harnessing technology to improve operations. real-time data to facilitate a faster elivery and improved management of critical supplies like mlean water tablets, mosquito nets and nutritional supplements
Build and sustain
One of UNICEF’s largest examples of scale up is reaching the world’s children with the range of vaccines to protect against preventable diseases. Each individual vaccine requires a tailored strategy to align supply and demand, developed in close collaboration with manufactures and partners. Upgrading the cold chain infrastructure across tens of thousands of health care centres to safeguard these vaccines also demonstrates how collaborations are working at scale.
Prepare and respond
Core to the UNICEF mandate are preparedness measures, which are a critical to scaling up response in emergency situations, whether caused by natural disasters, conflict or disease outbreaks. This year’s report includes a retrospective of how UNICEF has built on lessons learned following the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, to be better prepared to respond to health emergencies.
As 2020 unfolds, UNICEF is facing perhaps the greatest health emergency and scale up challenge in its history: to respond not only to the immediate needs of countries in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the secondary effects that the pandemic is having on nearly every aspect of children’s lives.
Just as the needs of children change over time, the supplies and strategies to meet those needs must also shift and evolve. Drawing on our global footprint, technical expertise and convening power, UNICEF will continue to mobilize with agility and determination to deliver supplies for children.
Director, UNICEF Supply Division