UNICEF wants your ideas
All over the world children live in poverty and war, without access to education, medical care or a working health system. UNICEF has worked on improving the conditions of life of children for years. Since UNICEF is a non-profit organization and there is always a money shortage, they started the UNICEF Innovation Platform in August 2012 to further social change
Those affected and people who want to help can inform themselves about current projects on the platform. In addition to the relatively well-developed projects they will also find the so-called “challenges”. “Challenges” are projects that are still in the idea phase of development. Visitors of the site and members of the community can leave comments. They can also post their own solutions to the problems, for example how to supply furniture and equipment to schools in developing countries.
Anyone can suggest a challenge and work on a solution. : By outsourcing the creative potential, first steps and project development, UNICEF can save money and realize projects more quickly.
So far there haven’t been many comments in the forums, and most of the members of the community are experts who are working on the same topic for a different organization. It would be of particularly interest if those affected shared their experiences and gave an account of practical problems. To achieve this UNICEF will have to make the platform better known and those affected will need to become more involved. However this is probably where the scope of the interactive, Internet-based platform ends. People without access to computers or the Internet cannot get involved even if they want to.
Obviously, access to the Internet does not imply that everyone can post qualified comments about the fight against diarrhea or pneumonia in children. But the site provides various case studies about the projects and challenges. They give information about the scientific and social background of the problems and about the successes and failures. One last feature is a very clearly structured map with the various projects.
In general the idea of solving problems and developing projects together is good, but up to now it has been a rarely used tool. Let’s hope that awareness of the project will increase and that UNICEF will continue to work on it. A community needs good, well-balanced support to attract many members. Sometimes a good deed isn't enough.