Red Hat Collaborates with UNICEF Innovation To Accelerate ‘Big Data’ For Social Good

School Mapping Project to help improve emergency preparedness and children's lives around the world

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced its collaboration with UNICEF Innovation -the group tasked with identifying, prototyping and scaling technologies and practices that strengthen UNICEF’s work for children. During the eight-week residency with Red Hat Open Innovation Labs, teams worked together to improve the usability of the School Mapping Project tool to support humanitarian research in real-time.


Working alongside UNICEF to make their vision a reality, using DevOps methodologies and open source technologies, shows the potential of open source innovation.

John Allessio

vice president, Global Services, Red Hat

The collaboration focused on advancing the School Mapping Project, including enhancements to Magicbox, a software platform that uses real-time data from both public sources and private sector partners to inform life-saving humanitarian responses to emergency situations. Using high-resolution satellite imagery and applying data science tools, the project is being developed with a view to mapping every school in the world. The data is generated and visualized through an online platform that can help identify where gaps and information needs are, serve as evidence when advocating for connectivity and help national governments optimize their education systems. Ultimately, it is designed to help UNICEF Innovation make decisions more quickly, ease the integration of new data, and improve emergency response and resilience against natural disasters and crises.

Focused on using open source solutions, UNICEF Innovation used several of Red Hat’s technologies, including Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Ansible Automation. UNICEF Innovation plans to use the insights provided by Magicbox as the base layer for the School Mapping Project to help identify and address connectivity and infrastructure gaps to improve access to information and education. 

Launched in 2016, Red Hat Open Innovation Labs helps customers integrate people, methodology and technology to catalyze innovation and solve business challenges in an accelerated fashion by working collaboratively in an immersive, residency-oriented lab environment with Red Hat experts. Through hands-on instruction, teams can also learn how to adopt agile development methodologies, experience DevOps, and get immediate and direct experience with open principles and open culture that underlie many open source communities.

Supporting Quotes

Erica Kochi, co-founder, UNICEF Innovation

“Our collaboration with Red Hat gave us invaluable new insights into how we can use data science to more quickly and proactively address global crises and risk prevention. By gaining these critical insights into the needs of at-risk populations, we can make more informed decisions about where to focus resources and how to protect vulnerable children. This collaboration has moved our work forward in these areas immensely -- and reaffirms our joint belief in the power of open source tools to develop innovative solutions that positively impact children.”

John Allessio, vice president, Global Services, Red Hat

“Working alongside UNICEF to make their vision a reality, using DevOps methodologies and open source technologies, shows the potential of open source innovation. What is so exciting about Open Innovation Labs residencies is that in a short time we can create a solution to solve an organization’s issues. In our collaboration with UNICEF, we not only developed a solution, but a solution that can positively impact children around the world.”

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