Erica Kochi photo

Erica Kochi

Senior Advisor to UNICEF; Executive Director on Innovation & Co-founder, UNICEF Innovation


Erica Kochi co-founded UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, a group tasked with identifying, prototyping and scaling technologies and practices that improve UNICEF's work on the ground. Working with partners in private sector and academia the Innovation Unit supports UNICEF’s 135+ country offices in the practical application of design and technology to strengthen international development outcomes.

UNICEF Innovation has recognized success in innovative design of international development solutions. Erica was named to the TIME 100 “World’s Most Influential People” List in 2013. Other examples of this work include the award-winning RapidPRO - a system that uses basic mobile phones and SMS messages to communicate with front-line workers and improve the speed and quality of data collection and health and education services.

UNICEF Innovation has worked with partners to develop open source technologies that have registered 7 million births in Nigeria over 15 months and provided antenatal care to thousands of pregnant women across Rwanda. These systems are built on a set of principles, such as collaboration and learning from fast failures, that have informed successes such as the tracking of the distribution of more than 25 million insecticide treated mosquito nets and providing a direct feedback loop for 2 million young people in 18 countries to engage with their government and change policy in real time.


Erica worked with the Commission for Macroeconomics and Health, a joint collaboration between the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and developed and executed UNICEF global communication strategies for immunization, child survival and avian influenza and pandemic preparedness.