Over the last few months the Eastern and Southern Regional Office has recognized the growing trend of Technology for Development (T4D) and Innovation projects across the region. Since T4D and Innovation are cross-cutting and cross-sectorial, which is challenging the traditional programme landscape within UNICEF, the Regional Office is striving to tackle this emerging challenge. Specifically, the Regional Office has identified three areas to support T4D:
- To assist the country offices with the identification, assessment, and integration of ICT into UNICEF programming
- To strengthen internal capacity to lead and support T4D related projects
- To maximize potential for T4D scale-up and roll out and increase portability from one country to another
To address the rising need in the region for T4D support and advancement we are raising awareness, formalizing processes, and creating best practices. We recently completed a survey in the region and collected information on over 60 T4D/Innovation initiatives in 18 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa. We have found that programme sections are using mobile phones (both smart and basic) to collect data, send reminders to pregnant mothers for prenatal care, deliver results of Early Infant Diagnosis HIV testing, and include youths in opinion polls.
Over the next couple of months this blog will be a repository for information. The idea is to include links to informative videos and sites and report what is happening throughout the region.
To begin here is a link to a great video that sets the scene about the opportunities and challenges within the T4D space: