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  • Billy Costacuta Dominique, 16, uses a mobile phone to make a geo-tagged photograph of a dark underpass, in the CitÈ Plus neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, the capital.
Mobile technology

UNICEF-GIS identifies unsafe zones

Dark or unlit areas, nightclubs, garages, hotels, bars and streets with a history of violence or abuse are classified under the Unsafe Zones category in the UNICEF-GIS application. Developed by UNICEF, together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the NGO Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters (InSTEDD). The creation and updating of the map through UNICEF-GISs real time data collection and content gene- ration, provides local, NGO and government actors, as well as UNICEF, with improved knowledge about these comm- unities and the risks adolescents face. The mapping process also offers adolescent participants the opportunity to better understand their own potential to effect positive change.

  • Young Ugandans gather around to use UNICEFís unique innovation the solar-powered Digital Drum, at Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, Uganda.
Information technology

Rural information access (digital drum)

The Digital Drum is designed to help rural communities in Uganda that have difficulty getting information about health, education and other issues. These computer kiosks, which come loaded with educational content, are made of locally available metal oil drums and built to be durable and rugged. It was designed by UNICEF Uganda's Technology 4 Development Unit in partnership with other companies.
In 2012, UNICEF Uganda will install an initial 50 units, with another 150 sites already identified.Young Ugandans gather around to use UNICEFís unique innovation the solar-powered Digital Drum, at Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, Uganda. The Digital Drum was chosen as one
of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2011.

  • Residents help lift a solar panel that will power a UNICEF-sponsored solar refrigerator up onto the roof of the Gbandiwlo health center in the village of Gbandiwlo, Kailahun district, Sierra Leone.
Solar technology

Using the sun to keep the vaccines cool

For safe storage of vaccines in countries with limited or untable power supplies. Uninterrupted refrigeration of vaccines is vital. UNICEF, UN partners, academia and industry have collaborated to develop an environmentally- friendly, affordable, battery-free refrigeration system. In March 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalified the SOLARCHILl, a refrigeration system which utilises the solar array to directly drive a compressor which cools or freezes a liquid, keeping vaccines safe.

  • A girl pumps water into a bucket, at a community handpump in the village of AmbidÈdi Poste in the western Kayes Region of Mali. Keep- ing drinking and cooking water safe from contamination is one of the essential family practices being promoted.
Water pump technology

The India Mark II

The water pump that has changed the lives of millions. It was successfully mass-produced with the help of UNICEF funding following severe droughts in India during the 1960s and '70s. The requirements for the pump included the need for a design simple enough to be manufactured in unsophis- ticated workshops, easy to maintain, and costing no more than US$200 (in 1970s dollars). By the 1990s, more than 1 million pumps had been installed across the developing world - in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Mobile technology

Rapid SMS

Using mobile technology to strengthen health services for mothers and infants. Rapid SMS scheme is a joint initiative between UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO. In Rwanda the govern- ment is giving out hundreds of cell phones in an attempt to save pregnant women and babies. Nearly 500 volunteer community health care workers have been given free phones so they can register and keep track of all the pregnant women in their villages. If there are questions, complications or updates, health workers simply send a text to their local clinic and receive a response within minutes. It is making a real difference in saving lives of children and pregnant women. RapidSMS is a free and open-source framework for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication, leveraging (SMS) technology - an ideal platform for a wide variety of use.

  • A boy drinks a solution of oral rehydration salts (ORS) at a tent clinic operated by a UNICEF-supported Haitian NGO, in RiviËre Froide, a mountain village on the outskirts of Port- au-Prince.
Medical treatment

Oral rehydration salts

In 1971, WHO and UNICEF began to promote the use of a standard formulation for the preparation of oral rehydration solutions - the ORS (formerly Oralyte). In 2006 a new improved formula meant better treatment for life-threatening diarrhoeal dehydration.

Mobile technology

Birth registration using mobile phones

Currently only one child out of five is registered at birth in Uganda. UNICEF is now working to increase this number to become four out of five children by 2014! Without birth registration, a child’s existence, age, and citizenship can be called into question. This makes it difficult to protect her/him from childhood-robbing problems like child labour, underage military service, child marriage, and being unfairly treated as an adult when in conflict with the law. In a groundbreaking move to keep children safe, the Uganda Government with support from UNICEF and our partner, Uganda Telecom, will implement a solution called MobileVRS that uses mobile phone technology to complete birth registration procedures in minutes, a process that normally takes months. By using MobileVRS and engaging with community-level ‘notifiers’, UNICEF aims to ensure that 80% of children under 5 are registered at birth by 2014.

School during emergencies

The School in a Box kit is developed to create a fast, portable learning environment that gather children together and give them something positive to focus on. In addition to basic school supplies, the box contains a wind-op/solar radio and exercise books useful for children from different cultures, supplemented by materials in local languages. The blackboard is created by painting the aluminium box with paint provided in the kit. Today’s kit is a vast improvement of the original kit, first used to provide classes for the children of refugees in Rwanda in the mid 1990s. Also available: The Recreation Kit and The Early Childhood Development Kit, created to strengthen the response for young children caught in conflict or emergencies.