Multi-Country Independent Review of Technological Innovations in ESAR

UNICEF | Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia

In partnership with the International Solutions Group, DG reviewed information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) initiatives for UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region.

UNICEF first began exploring innovative approaches and tools to advance the rights of children in 2007, and ESAR country offices pioneered the design, development, and scaling of several ICT4D initiatives across multiple programmes. This project sought to: (i) assess the cost effectiveness and sustainability of selected ICT4D solutions; (ii) identify characteristics of an enabling environment for effective adoption and scale up of ICT4D solutions; and (iii) propose recommendations for the adoption, scale up and maintenance of ICT4D solutions.

The review found that an enabling environment exists for the adoption and flourishing of ICT4D initiatives in all four countries included in the study. Other UNICEF country offices can apply the learning from each of these environments to determine which, or whether, ICT4D initiatives are appropriate for a particular context.

DG conducted field visits to Zambia and Malawi to interview participants, and met with officials from government line ministries, CSOs, and NGOs to understand stakeholders’ data and technical needs. In addition to qualitative data analysis, the Project Team evaluated 10 ICT4D initiatives, many of which focused on health outcomes for vulnerable mothers and children or patients suffering from HIV/AIDS.