Innovation in Action
For several years, UNDP has been driving for innovation in the development arena. We recognise that in an increasingly complex world where development challenges are continuously emerging and changing, there is an urgent need to move away from business as usual and respond with agile and flexible solutions.
From human-centred design to improve service delivery to strategic foresight that enhances planning processes; from innovation labs that incubate and test ideas to behavioural insights and user led designs that create citizen-government feedback loops, our innovations represent the next generation of development solutions.
Below are some of the highlights from 2016, and scroll down for projects from earlier years.
Drawing inspiration from 2015
As we plot the innovation cycle for the year ahead, it’s an ideal juncture to draw lessons and inspiration from the past year that has kept UNDP innovators around the region busy. We have seen some exciting achievements from the winners of our 2015 Innovation Fund from mobile apps that connect rural women in Myanmar, to hackathons that inspire tech-savvy youth in Sri Lanka, from data management for climate change in Indonesia, to scaling successful prototypes for system level innovations in China and the Maldives
The Fund is only a part of a greater endeavour, serving as simply a catalyst. We have been happy to see innovation embraced more organically in the way we work, for example after the deadly Nepal Earthquake, when UNDP Nepal partnered with Microsoft to develop an app that enabled efficient debris management and ensured timely and accurate payments in the massive cash for work programme.
And that’s not all, we also stepped up our innovation efforts through the Innovation Ambassadors initiative. We now have a distributed resource capacity for innovation in the region and our iAmbassadors are helping tease out the innovation ninjas in our work across COs.
Below are our 2015 highlights!
From Success in 2014 to Scaling Up in 2015
2014 has been a busy year for innovators at UNDP. With the support of the internal Innovation Fund, sixteen ideas were rapidly prototyped and tested across Asia and the Pacific, offering solutions that challenge business as usual.
The Fund offers a creative space to experiment – with agile pilot projects through prototyping, scaling up, monitoring and communicating the impact of innovative solutions.
These initiatives cover a variety of thematic areas such as citizen engagement in public policy, gender-based violence, disaster risk reduction, youth unemployment, and environmental protection. The methods employed range from mobile app creation to crowdsourcing, gamification, behavioural insights and user centered design.
The inventions making the region better, smarter and - in some cases - a little more fun.
The success of many of the prototypes and the generation of new and non-traditional partnerships and the media attention generated contributed to UNDP’s positioning as a go to partner for innovation in the region.
Projects in Photos
Idea Factory Nepal is a technology solution catered especially for the Micro Entrepreneurs (MEs) across the country. With the sole motive of empowering the MEs and broadening the scope of their hard work, the Idea Factory offers a web based solution decomposed into the ‘Nepali.Market’ and ‘IdeaStoreNepal’.more
Traffic congestion is a huge issue in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, and the reliability of public transportation is one of the biggest concerns of commuters. Soon, a smartphone mobile app called "GoTraffic" will tell citizens in Dhaka who take buses how long it will take to travel to their destination. more
Combining the youth and innovations work, UNDP Sri Lanka has launched an online blog space for young Sri Lankans to raise their voice, and also hosted two social innovation hackathons where hundreds technologically savvy young Sri Lankans met up to develop creative solutions for social problems.more
In Bhutan, UNDP, together with government partners, is developing a Virtual Zomdu (a meeting of residents of villages) based on video conferencing technology, in order to connect parliamentarians and citizens across the mountainous terrains of the country. Virtual Zomdus would provide an opportunity for constituents to find out about the work of their representatives in parliament and share their views and priorities.more
Corruption has severely impacted and derailed the development of Papua New Guinea, but the “Phones Against Corruption” initiative has made anonymous revealation of corrupt practices possible: two public officials have been arrested for fund mismanagement of more than 2 million US dollars, and five more are waiting for court decisions, and approximately other 250 cases are being investigated. more
"One Click Web System" is an integrated business solution to speed up the delivery of common services of UNDP Indonesia. Featuring functions like online request system, automated billing, service tracking, online feedback form etc, it has significantly improved productivity since implementation. more