United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

ISG, in partnership with Development Gateway, have been selected by UNICEF to undertake a review of technological innovations applied to program monitoring, real-time monitoring systems, citizen engagement processes, and strengthening of national systems in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.

In 2007, UNICEF began exploring innovative approaches and tools to advance the rights of children, specifically in the area of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). The Eastern and Southern African Region, led by the Rwanda and Uganda Country Offices, pioneered the design, development, and scaling of ICT4D initiatives across multiple programs. This work ultimately identified entry points for ICT4D solutions within traditional systems, and initiatives have been taken forward in health, nutrition, education, and youth engagement, particularly in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

As the tools and approaches evolved over the last seven years, they have been increasingly adopted and applied in other country offices in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region and beyond. While there has been significant progress in the development and application of ICT4D solutions in Eastern and Southern Africa, a comprehensive assessment of these solutions has not been conducted. Therefore, the UNICEF Field Results Group (FRG), the Global Innovations Centre (GIC), and the Eastern and Southern African Regional Office (ESARO) selected ISG to review ICT4D solutions that have been implemented in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia in order to determine how ICT4D solutions impact programming.

The purpose of this review is to create an evidence-based document that can be used by Country Office Program Sections to decide whether or not the application of an ICT4D solution will enable more effective and efficient achievement of program results. ISG aims to provide UNICEF with a holistic overview of the selected ICT4D solutions and a regional perspective of key opportunities afforded by ICT4D activities to country programs; the impacts of ICT4D solutions on in-country programs and systems; efforts made and lessons learned in generating national ownership of ICT4D solutions; country-level sustainability efforts including national government participation and contribution to ICT4D solutions; and the business case for investment in ICT4D solutions.