The Global Development Commons


The Global Development Commons, or GDC for short, launched during the 75th United Nations General Assembly in September 2020. The GDC is an open access digital platform to crowdsource evidence and innovations to support the child-focused Sustainable Development Goals. A digital space for discussion and problem-solving, GDC is accessible publicly and across sectors. We welcome all those who care about children to join and contribute. 


Too often, digital information on improving the lives of children is either hidden beyond paywalls or only accessible to those with certain credentials. Guidance and tools are not always available online for child practitioners on the frontlines to learn from. On the GDC, the global bank of child-focused knowledge is now a digital open-house. During the Decade of Action, we look to the GDC to support the child-focused Sustainable Development Goals and to crowdsource real-time evidence and solutions on the most pressing issues facing children around the world. 


In collaboration with the newly found Lancet COVID-19 Commission, GDC will also house resources, tools, and discussions related to the pandemic. Chaired by Jerffrey Sachs, the Commission aims to speed global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the global outbreak of COVID-19. From around the world, leaders in medicine, health science and delivery, business, politics, and finance have all joined this effort. These interdisciplinary experts share the belief that effective solutions spring from global cooperation, social justice, sustainable development and, last but not least, good governance built with public trust. 

The Lancet COVID-19 Commissioners and their partners are invited to share and harness data on the GDC that will help tackle the pandemic both locally and globally. Likewise, we encourage all global practitioners working on COVID-19 to use the GDC to post ongoing and up-to-date information on their findings, to submit policy briefs, and to upload background studies. We hope the GDC will also serve as a digital venue for civil society, and the public at large, to submit their own questions, data, and insights regarding our global crisis. 

GDC resources addressing COVID-19 are harnessed from country-level practices undertaken or studied by UNICEF, our partners, the Lancet Commission and their networks, as well as the public. All resources are free to all users regardless of geographic location or bandwidth capabilities. Each resource provides an in-depth summary or key findings along with the original content, whether that be a peer-reviewed study or a published report. 

Now more than ever, we are witnessing the importance that digital technology plays in connecting us all. From telehealth to remote learning, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast light on what we must do to build a brighter future. This is a world in which organizations large and small adopt digital platforms for the democratic spread of knowledge and the public good. 


The GDC brings together three key voices: decision makers, front-line workers, and young people. For decision-makers, including government partners and the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, the GDC provides direct access to knowledge shared by community members and specialists. This information will help facilitate better policy decisions, enabling local officials to better understand what resources children in their communities need. 

For front-line workers, the GDC provides critical information needed for day-to-day operations in the field. Workers can find solutions and add their own. Nurses working in newborn care can share best practices for ensuring child development in rural or low-resource settings. Teachers and parents can exchange strategies on how to teach displaced children during emergencies or during this period of virtual learning. Child-focused researchers, practitioners and academics can also contribute their findings and scholarship to the GDC, broadening the breadth of where their knowledge can reach and who it might help. 

Last but not least, young people are a critical component of the GDC community. They are the closest in age to children and the closest to understanding their lived experiences. From their active involvement in climate change to global justice, they have shown the world that they are civically engaged. They are vital to building a better world for children and we look to them for fresh and creative perspectives on the GDC. 


Solving problems for children will require solutions from all of us. During this Decade of Action, we hope this 'digital commons' will harness the new evidence, innovations and groundbreaking ideas for the benefit of children worldwide. With the GDC the fight for children will be global, will be digital, and will connect us like never before.

Let's build a better world, for every child, everywhere. Welcome to the GDC!

Executive Director, UNICEF

Henrietta H. Fore

Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades.



UNICEF Project Board

George Laryea-Adjei

Regional Director, South Asia Region

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Daniel Couture

Director of Information, Communication and Technology

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Shrinivas Puranik 

Senior ICT Business Relationship Manager


Director of the Office of Global Insight and Policy

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Dennis Yuen

Digital Communication Manager, Digital Strategy

Ian Thorpe

Chief, Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Sailas Nyareza

Knowledge Management Specialist, Programme Division

Gunilla Olsson

Director of the Office of Research

Fayaz King

Deputy Executive Director, Field Results and Innovation

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External Advisor

Jeffrey Sachs

Senior Advisor for the GDC, Professor at Columbia University, President of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

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UNICEF Project Team

Uyen Kim HuYnh

Innovations Specialist & Project Lead, Evaluation Office



Business Analyst, Information and Communication Technology



Youth Advocate / Youth Recruiter, Harvard University

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Marta Lasota

Youth Advocate / Youth Recruiter, Harvard University


Lead Web Content Creator, Information Associate, Evaluation Office

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Research Analyst, Evaluation Office