UPSHIFT programme with UNICEF for Somaliland, Puntland and Greater Somalia

UPSHIFT is a youth social innovation programme developed by UNICEF Innovation under the Generation Unlimited UNICEF vision. DOT we succesfuly re-imagined and adapted the model  for Somaliland, Puntland and Greater Somalia contexts.
UPSHIFT combines leading approaches to youth and adolescent development with private sector best practice (human-centred design), to empower marginalised young people identify and design entrepreneurial solutions to challenges in their communities. The approach combines social innovation workshops with mentorship and seed funding and is tailored to reach the most marginalised.
Young people gain skills for life and for employment. Perhaps most importantly, UPSHIFT positively impacts the wider community through the indirect benefits of the products and services that young people design. Additionally this contributes to changing perceptions of young people as positive change agents, rather than a problem to be solved.
Upshift-diagrams - unicef -DOT- social innovation -social entrepreneurship - design -changemaker education

Somalia background information

With a population of 12,316,895 people and a significant youth and adolescent proportion forming a huge youth bulge, Somalia faces an unprecedented challenge in addressing the youth and adolescent needs of the people in a complex context where conflict, natural disasters and climate change divert resources from the needs of this important cohort of the population. Just under half (45.6%) of the population is less than 15 years old, while three- quarters (75%) of the population is less than 30 years old.

Youth unemployment in Somalia is high, with only an estimated 27% of youth employed (58% male and 42% female), while majority of the employed (70%) are in the primary sector that is agriculture, forestry and fisheries. An overwhelming majority (69 percent) of 2,685 males and females in the Somali region, including South Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, surveyed by the Heritage Institute mentioned either the lack of opportunities (48 percent) or the poor economic situation of families (21 percent) as key reasons for out-migration.

Therefore, our project aims at providing skills and innovative opportunities to the youth in Somaliland, Puntland and Greater Somalia with the following 4 pillars:
Output 1: Top training of Design Thinking, User-Centered Design and Social Entrepreneurship as a way to enable new life opportunities for 400 youngsters.
Output 2: Social enterprise and business development: Identification and generation of innovative social business opportunities. Access to mentoring and funding to successfuly start up new business opportunities.
Output 3: Training of XXI century skills. We look for the development of Changemaker Skills: empathy, human-centered design, design thinking, team-work, team-leadership, circular economy, social business…
Output 4: Support the creation of long term social innovation ecosystems in Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Garowe together with the UPSHIFT local partners.

Bootcamp locations and key implementation partners

In addition to the UNICEF Somalia, UNICEF Puntland and UNICEF Somaliland offices together with DOT S.Coop team in Spain and Kenya, the implementation and deployment of the UPSHIFT program happened in the following cities with the help of
– Somaliland: 
Cities: Hargeisa, Boroma and Borao
Key partners: Nagaad Network and WAAPO
– Puntland:
City: Garowe
Key partner: Horn Vision
– Somalia:
City: Mogadishu
Key partner: iRise HUB 
DOT we are very much excited about joining forces with UNICEF under the shared vision of championing the rights of children & young people around the world and training them on social entrepreneurship and innovation skills.
We are also proud to announce that in order to successfully deliverer the support for this project and strategically focus DOT’s development in Africa we have created a DOT team in Nairobi.