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UNICEF: Solutions for Children with Disabilities Featured

How can we improve lives of children with disabilities, enabling them to play, learn, navigate and participate in public life and spaces?

About the challenge

All children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential – to the benefit of a better world.

There is a powerful case for investing in the lives of children with disability. Children with disability are valued less than their peers, are seen as being less capable of, or needing love, affection, humour, friendship, play, cultural and artistic expression or intellectual stimulus. They are commonly segregated, marginalised, and not registered for critical public services. While progress has been made, critical issues of access and inclusion remain.

We believe that these barriers present exciting opportunities for new problem-solvers – product and service designers, technologists, frontline workers, health and education experts and business leaders - to positively impact the lives of vulnerable children.

UNICEF Malaysia is looking to invest in innovative, open-source assistive devices and technologies that improve the lives of children with disabilities – enabling them to play, learn, and independently navigate and participate in public life and spaces. We seek to support second-stage solutions that have been designed and tested directly with end users, to support independence and participation in the following areas:

  • Mobility: Manipulation of utensils that require fine motor skills; navigation of public spaces
  • Hygiene and sanitation: Personal grooming, use of public facilities
  • Education: in-person and remote classroom participation


Collaborate with us to positively impact the lives of Malaysia’s most vulnerable children and potentially:

  • Receive up to USD100k seed investment
  • Receive contract for pilot implementation within context of data driven field trial
  • Benefit from access to issues-experts and end-users for further product development and testing
  • Link with national and international distribution networks
  • Gain global visibility for your product and company, and a powerful impact story to share

Criteria / Eligibility

  • Early-stage product development or technology start-up which are registered as a private company
  • Able to create a working prototype that complies with UNICEF’s Innovation Principles and demonstrates promising results to positively impact the lives of children with disabilities
  • Proof that product or service has been developed with (vs for) end users
  • Willingness to open source under the following licenses or their equivalent
    • for software, a BSD license,
    • for hardware, a CERN license and
    • for design or content, a CC-BY license.
  • Possesses identified consumer market; viable marketing and distribution plan


  • Date Start: 2017 Jun 09
  • Date End: 2017 Nov 30


UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) is an international intergovernmental organisation established by the General Assembly of the United Nations by resolution No. 57(I) of 11 December 1946 as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information on UNICEF’s activities and impact across the globe, visit us here.

For more information on the work of UNICEF Malaysia, visit us here.

For more information on UNICEF’s child-focused innovation, visit us here.

To find out more about our Global Innovation Fund and apply under one of our portfolio areas, visit us here.

day(s) left

Assistive devices

up to USD 100k seed investment