Save the Children Innovations

Our evolving world demands new solutions, and we are doubling down and investing in innovation. This is necessary to meet the true needs of the hardest-to-reach children and communities. As the leading expert on children with a footprint in 120 countries around the world, Save the Children has unparalleled strengths as an innovator.

Example Innovation Pilots

Save the Children partnered with MasterCard Aid to distribute non-financial aid in Yemen. By dipping a card into a card reader, the people of Yemen could secure their basic needs.

YEMEN IS THE POOREST COUNTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. 43% OF THE POPULATION IS FOOD INSECURE.

Mastercard Aid

Save the Children was a critical partner in the launch of the MasterCard Aid Network, an end-to-end, non-financial service designed to streamline aid distribution, even in the absence of telecommunications infrastructure. Affected populations can now secure basic needs swiftly with the simple dip of a card. Save the Children’s significant expertise in electronic cash and voucher programming was brought to Yemen which allowed us to massively scale the uptake of this new technology by merchants, vendors and the wider community. Our work ultimately reached nearly 90,000 Yemeni people, and we expect to reach 30,000 more in the coming year.

This futuristic-looking medical device – designed through a partnership with Philips Research Group – measures children’s respiratory rates and can help improve health outcomes.

IN KENYA, 17% OF DEATHS AMONG CHILDREN UNDER AGE FIVE ARE CAUSED BY PNEUMONIA.

Philips Charm

Acute respiratory infections are a major cause of child illness and death globally. Having a better and more reliable device to accurately count respiratory rates is critical for proper screening of pneumonia. We have partnered with Philips Research Group to design a new device – the Children’s Automated Respiratory Monitor (CHARM) – that can significantly improve health outcomes. The device automatically measures the respiratory rate and classifies it according to the current World Health Organization guidelines. Our study will assess the accuracy, usability and acceptability for large-scale public use in the management of pneumonia in children worldwide.

These simple black glasses are made of paper, but can help students with vision problems. We created them in partnership with educational publisher, Santillana.

IN MEXICO, 75% OF THE CHILDREN WHO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL HAVE UNDIAGNOSED VISION PROBLEMS.

Santillana Paper Glasses

Through an innovative partnership with the school publishing company Santillana, we have created an extremely simple pair of glasses made only of basic paper. These paper glasses can replace traditional tools that require lenses – a costly barrier to scale. Bound directly into existing classroom materials and distributed widely, the paper glasses have reached many more students than would have been possible using traditional screening methods. Nearly 30 percent of the students who have used the paper glasses have discovered vision problems that would have otherwise gone undetected.

Innovation Investment Opportunities

WALIKU

Problem:
Paper-based systems for recording and reporting school attendance hamper efforts of educators, health workers and caregivers to understand when health problems drive lack of attendance.

Solution:
Waliku, “My Guardian” in Indonesian, is a mobile app and database system that supports school teachers, health workers and parents to communicate with each other about students who are sick and/or absent from school.

COMMUNITY BASED MOSQUITO VECTOR CONTROL

Problem:
Aedes is a mosquito that transmits viral diseases that can cause disability and death in children.

Solution:
Community Based Vector Surveillance and Control System (CB-VESCO). CB-VESCO is a system that allows effective, efficient and sustainable community participation in vector surveillance and control. It uses low-cost technology to act precisely in areas where there are more mosquitoes.

KOLOROB

Problem:
In the urban slums of Dhaka, there is limited access and demand for performance results from a variety of health, education or other services delivered by governments or NGO’s.

Solution:
Kolorob is an Android based application that connects community members to reliable information. The app provides an online service directory, interactive map of services locations, rating platform for services delivered, and even a job portal.

PNEUMONIA INNOVATION NETWORK (PIN)

Problem:
Despite its prevalence, pneumonia receives only a small fraction of global health funding and national health spending.

Solution:
Since inception, the PIN has focused on 4 critical areas where innovations are needed: respiratory rate timers and related diagnostic devices; pulse oximeters and oxygen therapy; child-friendly antibiotics; and household air pollution reduction technologies.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN FOR KMC

Problem:
Over 80% of premature babies born worldwide are late-preterm, and do not require intensive care to survive and thrive.

Solution:
KMC is an evidence-based, life-saving intervention for preterm infants that requires family-centered care.

RURAL POVERTY PROJECT

Problem:
Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, 1 in 5 American children grow up in poverty.

Solution:
We will purchase an old, 15-foot wide trailer and, by engaging with participants in an identified Save the Children community, outfit it as authentically as possible to illustrate how thousands live across rural America.

Partner Testimonials

Jacqueline Fuller, Director at Google.

"At Google.org, we support innovative organizations who are using new approaches to tackle humanitarian challenges. While Save the Children has nearly a 100-year history of working to change the way the world treats children, it is among our most innovative and forward-thinking partners. We are proud to support its work.”
Jacqueline Fuller, Director of Google.org

Niels Buning, Venture Manager, Philips Africa Innovation Hub.

"The advancement of the SDGs is driven by equitable innovation strategies and closer engagements between the public and private sector, to create more equitable access to quality health-care services. Our joint research partnership, focused on children’s automated respiration monitoring to aid in the improvement of diagnosing pneumonia in low-resource settings, is a great example of this. The coming together of resources and capabilities have resulted in a meaningful and impactful research project.”
Niels Buning, Venture Manager, Philips Africa Innovation Hub

Caroline Roan, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility Pfizer Inc. President, The Pfizer Foundation.

“We are pleased to partner with Save the Children on innovative approaches to improving access to immunization and family planning services for women and children in Malawi. Our multi-dimensional partnership with Save is built on a foundation of shared goals in expanding access to quality healthcare for women and children, a commitment to innovation and iteration in our approach, and strong monitoring and evaluation systems to understand impact.”
Caroline Roan, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility Pfizer Inc. President, The Pfizer Foundation

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