UNICEF: Innovation That Delivers

Interview with Thomas Davin, Global Innovation Director, UNICEF

Presented by Microsoft

Learn more about Microsoft's engagements with the United Nations.

Microsoft and the United Nations

The UN Brief interviewed Thomas Davin, Global Innovation Director, to speak about how they have reviewed their innovation initiatives to focus on delivering educational tools that address the immediate needs of children and adolescents in post-conflict areas and in developing economies.

UNICEF embarked on a global evaluation of their innovation programs in the last two years, looking to think in a more disciplined way, meaning, identifying the challenges and then seeking the solutions instead of just “letting at thousand flowers bloom”. We spoke about how they are using AI and machine learning, and how they are bringing children worldwide to the digital age with a program in partnership with Microsoft and Cambridge University, the Learning Passport.

UNICEF is also working with the International Telecommunication Union to deliver connectivity to schools all over the world, through the Giga Connect project. These and many other initiatives are underway. From drones to deliver medication in remote areas after extreme weather events, to computers and digital tools to bring schools to the 21rst Century, UNICEF is leveraging private sector partnerships for the greater good and in this way accomplishing its mission towards children and adolescents everywhere.

“1.6 billion children having been affected by school closures. We’re talking about 463 million children without remote learning, 150 million more in poverty than before, and 200 million people likely to be displaced due to climate change. We need to really be a lot more disciplined, a lot more focused, a lot more driven.”