Erica Kochi

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Erica Kochi
Erica Kochi UNICEF.jpg
Born 18 October 1979
Sendai, Japan
Residence New York City, United States
Occupation Humanitarian
Known for UNICEF Innovation, RapidSMS, UReport
Website Personal Website

Erica Kochi (高知エリカ, Kōchi Erika, born 1979, in Sendai, Japan) is a humanitarian and a technologist who Co-Leads UNICEF's Innovation Unit, together with Christopher Fabian.[1] In 2013, she was chosen by Time Magazine to be on the Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[2][3]

UNICEF Innovation has recognized success in innovative design of development solutions.[4] Examples of this work include the Digital Drum, which was recognized by Time magazine as one of the Top 50 inventions of 2011,[5] the award-winning[6] RapidSMS - 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,[7] and a Gold [8] and Silver [9] IDSA awards, and a Redhat prize for being one of the top four open source projects [10]

Since 2007, 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.[11] These systems have led to successes such as the tracking of the distribution of more than 25 million insecticide treated mosquito nets and a direct feedback loop from more than 190,000 young Ugandans to engage with their government and change policy in real time.[12]

Before UNICEF, Kochi worked with the Commission for Macroeconomics and Health, a joint collaboration between the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

Kochi has also co-taught "Design for UNICEF" at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with Clay Shirky.[13] She has lectured at the Yale School of Management, Harvard University, the Art Center College of Design, Stanford University School of Engineering, and Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs on technology, innovation, design and international development.