Sunday, December 8, 2013

UNICEF Innovation: Innovate for children

UNICEF has always been committed to innovative programming to reach children and young people all over the world, whether they are in remote areas or fragile situations, to protect and advance their rights in society. Innovations are a cornerstone of the organization’s work - whether it was the first midwifery kit developed in the 1950s to help women in developing countries give birth in safer conditions; the Oral Rehydration Salts for children with Diarrhoea; the World Summit for Children in the 90s or the Rapid SMS platforms in recent years; UNICEF through innovation has created new ideas and solutions for children.

Building on this legacy, UNICEF has been developing an ambitious network of Innovation Labs, recognizing that to provide solutions that are quick, viable and sustainable, there must be a thorough understanding of the complexities, challenges and opportunities that exist at the grassroots level. By involving the local community and building collaborative networks within the country, UNICEF aims to help and support the local adaptation and use of new technologies and approaches to identify and solve problems and provide solutions.

UNICEF Innovation Labs are dispersed all over the world. They are physical spaces that allow for collaboration between young people and private sector, academia, technology specialists and civil society. In countries like Kosovo, Burundi, India and Uganda, the Labs have become spaces that enhance and encourage youth participation and involvement in the life of their society. UNICEF Indonesia is now starting an Innovation Lab in the Jakarta Office. It will apply the Lab principles, processes, and protocols to provide a space for innovative ideas to be conceived, created, tried out and tested - both technical and otherwise - to generate creative solutions that can improve the lives of children and young people in the country.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ending Violence in School - Positive Discipline training in Papua

By Devi Asmarani



A teacher supporting a student with learning in a classroom in Jayapura, Indonesia. A year after starting the Positive Discipline programme, the atmosphere in the classroom has changed completely. Students are not afraid of their teachers anymore. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2013/Esteve.

Fifth-grade teacher Darius Naki Sogho has been a teacher for 24 years, and for most of those years, he taught with an iron fist—and a rattan rod.

“I used to hit my students when I thought they were being bad, or when they weren’t paying attention,” he says.

Over the last year, however, Mr. Naki Sogho has been learning to contain his anger in class and to teach in a way that neither hurts nor intimidates his students.

He did this by applying the Positive Discipline approach, a method that he and a select group of teachers in the Indonesia province of Papua have been trained to adopt as part of a joint programme managed by UNICEF and the local government that aims to put an end to corporal punishment and other forms of violent behaviour in the classroom.