Visualizing Risk and Resilience

A UNICEF Mobile and Web Digital Mapping Solution

UNICEF-Geographic Information System (GIS) is an information and communication technology for location based civic media, creating geo-referenced reports for actionable community change. It is used exclusively by UNICEF Country Offices and their partners to gather critical community data. It is a youth friendly technology, and can be used by trained young people aged 13 - 18 to securely collect stories and reports about their neighborhood. All information collected is verified by UNICEF and shared through social and civic media channels to generate action for more child-friendly communities.

What does it map?

UNICEF-GIS is used by verified individuals to generate location specific reports with mobile phones. It can also be utilized by youth mappers who are selected by local organizations to learn about specific issues and trained to 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.

Risks and Hazards

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.

Social Spaces

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.