UNICEF handles all submitted innovation details with utmost care and confidentiality. Due to the commercial nature of UNICEF's activities, there are strict rules on ethics and integrity.
Therefore, your submitted details will only be shared and discussed by the relevant UNICEF staff members, who will decide on the relevance of the product, service or project and its possibilities within UNICEF.
UNICEF cannot, however, be held responsible for any faults or lost details during the uploading or submission process.
Innovations must be either new to the market, new to the user or both.
Clear Link to UNICEF’s mission. Innovations must lead to positive impact on the survival, protection and
development of children.
1.3 Fit for purpose
Innovations must be based on a clearly envisioned and researched user study and user context, to ensure the
product or service meets a clearly defined demand in developing countries. It is key to UNICEF that the end-
user is involved throughout the different stages of the product development process.
Being a worldwide organization, UNICEF’s work is carried out in different environments.
Innovations should therefore respond to issues such as adaptability to extreme geographical environments, cultural differences, shipping and storage needs.
As a non-profit organization, UNICEF has a fundamental obligation to ensure cost-effectiveness.
UNICEF and Innovation Collaborators will openly discuss a product pricing approach that can result in a
widespread adaptation to market needs.
UNICEF is responding to a big market and urgent situations, and products procured by
UNICEF Supply Division should be able to handle growing demand and the need for being
UNICEF collaborations with private-sector companies and academia must recognise the facts of urgency and
priority. Every year, UNICEF Innovation Drivers define fields of innovation to be given high priority by the
organization and its collaborators.
UNICEF emphasises the importance of products being both socially and environmentally sustainable.
Solutions should where relevant:
- be long-lasting
- be biodegradable
- minimise their environmental footprint (CO2 emission and waste minimisation)
- be easily accessible
- build on capacity in countries
3 General innovation partner policies:
3.1 Open Source
As a UN organization with a strong humanitarian agenda, UNICEF encourages transparency through the
sharing of knowledge, technology, products and services developed through Innovation Collaborations.
UNICEF’s role and integrity on the world market – procuring supplies for urgent situations and for the needs
of children in developing countries – means that UNICEF seeks neutral partnerships and multi-sourced
Clear definition of roles, responsibilities and expectations.
In all cases, the relationship between UNICEF and its collaborators must be clearly defined through an
appropriate written document or agreement.
UNICEF procures relevant supplies for children's needs. UNICEF is not a producer of its own supplies and does not produce or buy ideas. Similarly, UNCEF does not test ideas and prototypes for collaborators.
3.5 Duration of partnerships
UNICEF partnership policies vary from case to case, but generally we look for long-term partnerships.