with location based media and civic engagement.
UNICEF-GIS is an information and communication technology which promotes civic engagement and connects with social media to create community change. It is used exclusively by UNICEF trained adolescents and young people (12 -18 years old) to gather data about their community. The information is verified by UNICEF and shared through social and civic media channels to generate action for more child-friendly communities.
UNICEF-GIS is used by youth to maps cities with mobile phones. The youth are selected by local organizations to learn about current issues and to use a special UNICEF App to produce geo-tagged reports. The reports are uploaded to a safe and secure website to detail the exact location of community hot spots, which may be services, social spaces, risks and/or hazards.
Currently the UNICEF-GIS system and methodology is designed to map neighborhoods of an urban city and not in more the spread out landscape of rural areas. The methodology and data visualization are tailored to compel change in the urban setting.
In many cities, there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of governmental and non-governmental organizations offering services related to health, education, sports etc. Youth mappers using UNICEF-GIS can help a city to map out where services exist (or may be missing), and address the level of youth-friendliness and accessibility.
The most prevalent mapped points are locations posing physical harm to children. These points are community locations where an action taken by government, local duty bearer or community itself will make a neighborhood safer and healthier for children. The type of risks and hazards are tangible issues such as buildings or roads near collapse, open sewage or garbage, downed power lines and other actionable issues related to sanitation, water, infrastructure, etc.
UNICEF recognizes that many citizens who stand to benefit from the UNICEF-GIS system may not have access to computers or the internet. As part of the mapping process, youth also locate public social spaces where community comes together and information gathered by the mappers can be disseminated face-to-face.