As the mobile phone becomes commonplace even in many of the world’s poorest countries, there is a new window of opportunity for technology—especially wireless communication—to play a vital role in developing solutions to long-standing international development challenges.
The following groups make up the core of the United Nations and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership’s support and operations.
Recognizing the potential of technology to drive global change, the United Nations Foundation and The Vodafone Foundation partnered in 2005 to form the Technology Partnership, a five-year, $30 million commitment in support of UN causes. The UNF-VF Technology Partnership is a leading public-private alliance using strategic technology programmes to strengthen the UN’s humanitarian efforts worldwide.
About the UN Foundation
The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations’ causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations. Through new and innovative public-private partnerships, advocacy and grantmaking, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
About The Vodafone Foundation
The Vodafone Foundation is at the center of a network of global and local social investment programs. Globally, our Foundations make social investments by funding projects which support disaster relief and preparedness or fund sport and music projects which benefit some of the most disadvantaged young people and their communities. Locally, our social investment is delivered by a unique footprint of 24 Vodafone Foundations and social investment programs.
The UNF-VF Technology Partnership funds the following non-profits and UN agencies:
DataDyne.org – Recognizing that mobile phones, along with the internet, have the power to revolutionize access to information throughout the developing world, the UNF-VF Partnership identified DataDyne.org as an innovative non-profit partner to help build and implement a digital health data surveillance system operating on mobile devices. Since 2006, the Partnership has committed $1 million to support the development and deployment of EpiSurvyeor, DataDyne.org’s free, open source software for mobile devices that is lowering the barriers to access to vital health data, even in resource poor environments.
Measles Initiative – The Vodafone Foundation is the largest private supporter of the Measles Initiative, a partnership—led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization—that provides technical and financial support to governments and communities on vaccination campaigns worldwide. To date, VF has committed nearly $8 million to support the Initiative’s ground-breaking advances in reducing measles deaths globally.
Rockefeller Foundation – The UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Partnership hosted a groundbreaking workshop on mobile health within the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation’s summer 2008 conference “Making the eHealth Connection: Global Partners, Local Solutions.” Mobile health (mHealth) is a critical part of the global eHealth agenda. The Partnership is committed to addressing the need to provide scalable, sustainable global access to open healthcare solutions by leveraging the transformational power of mobile networks and devices.
Télécoms Sans Frontières –The UNF-VF Partnership is a major supporter of Télécoms Sans Frontières’ work to provide communications in the aftermath of political conflicts and natural disasters. Through a $2 million commitment to TSF between 2006 and 2011, the UNF-VF Partnership supports up to four regionally-based TSF teams that are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deploy at the request of UN agencies involved in disaster relief. The Partnership’s support also provides funds for approximately 200 TSF “deployment days” each year, enabling TSF to deploy anywhere in the world within 48 hours of an emergency to establish emergency communications centers and, on occasion, humanitarian calling operations that provide 3-minute phone calls to affected populations.
UN World Food Programme – Since 2005, the UNF-VF Partnership has provided direct grants totaling over $5 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), to strengthen disaster relief and humanitarian works worldwide. In February 2008, the UNF-VF Partnership became WFP’s “Global Partners for Emergency Communications,” committing $4.3 million to WFP through 2010 (matched by $1.8 million of WFP’s own funds to create a groundbreaking ICT Humanitarian Platform in support of the entire humanitarian community (including UN agencies and NGOs) operating in emergencies.
Through this initiative, WFP is implementing an innovative ICT training program on 'Emergency Preparedness and Response Management' open to the global community of humanitarian relief organizations. UNF-VF support also enables the rapid deployment of WFP rapid response ICT teams in the immediate aftermath of humanitarian crises, the optimiziation and standardization of ICT solutions in emergencies and the establishment of a network of stand-by partners ready for deployment. For more information, visit http://ictemergency.wfp.org/home.
UN World Health Organization – Since 2005, the UNF-VF Partnership has provided direct grants worth over $1 million to the UN World Health Organization to support the scaling of a mobile health (mHealth) data program that uses wireless technology to more efficiently and effectively capture public health data. Funds are used to cover training, human capital, operations, evaluation and supplies, and empower decision-makers with the data necessary to improve public health and save lives.
The Partnership is grateful for the in-kind donations and support from the following: Nokia, Palm, Qualcomm, and TerreStar.
VF-UNF Partnership Video