Innovations by UNICEF in South Asia

"If we want to reach every child, everywhere, then we need to do things differently, and using innovation as a means to do things differently is very important. I'm not only thinking about the electronic and the digital era, I'm also talking about simple things we can do differently."

Karin Hulshof
Regional Director
UNICEF South Asia

"The key is to find new and effective ways to address identified problems and one of the principal goals of UNICEF is to keep our eyes open in the field"

Stephen Adkisson
Deputy Regional Director
UNICEF South Asia

"What we figure is that often the best way for us to bring them that technical advice is to pilot ideas, and test interventions, that can demonstrate results, that can then be taken up to scale with their own funds and their own capacity and resources"

Joaquin Gonzalez-Aleman
Chief of Policy, Planning and Evaluation

They are promoting sanitation and hygiene at school...with their peers and they are working at the community level. As a group of children they visit the households and they promote sanitation and hygiene. So they are working as change agents"

Namaste Shrestah
WASH Manager

UNICEF innovations in South Asia

UNICEF ICO Piloting and Scaling Up Innovations and Good Practices

Madhya Pradesh - India
Saving mothers and infants

UNICEF has piloted a series of interlinked interventions in two districts with high maternal and infant mortality rates. We are ensuring that women give birth under medical supervision and getting the care they need. Five years on, the impact has been so dramatic that these districts have recorded the lowest maternal mortality rates in the entire state. UNICEF is working with the authorities to replicate these interventions elsewhere, and other Indian states have already come to Madhya Pradesh to copy and adapt this approach.

The school-led
sanitation campaign

The Nepal government has set 2017 as the target for making the country 'open-defecation free,' and UNICEF is supporting community efforts to persuade people to build and use toilets. This is not simply a question of resources, but about persuading people to change their behaviour, which is a hard thing to achieve. We are now encouraging, and helping, school children to play a leading role in tackling this issue. The idea is not only to make schools cleaner and healthier places, but also to support the children into becoming 'change agents,' who can spread the appropriate messages among their relatives and neighbours.

Storing safe drinking water

For half the year - during the monsoon - the people of coastal Bangladesh have too much water. But for the rest of the year it is hard for them to find anything safe to drink. The rivers and ground water are heavily saline, and there is no rain water to collect. Working with scientists from the Netherlands and Bangladesh itself, UNICEF has now come up with an ingenious solution to this problem. By pumping rain water into the aquifers underground during the monsoon, a large supply can be safely stored until the dry season, when it can simply be pumped out again. Since 2010, 20 test sites have been established, and in September 2013 the Bangladesh government agreed to extend the project to 100 locations in total.


UNICEF South Asia



UNICEF Bangladesh

Contact Jean-Jacques Simon Twitter unicefrosa Facebook UNICEF South Asia
Mobile +91 9910532314, +977 9801030076 Credits Photos and videos © Mark Dummett