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. 



plastic waste in Honiara
Plastic bags make up 12 percent of waste in Honiara’s main landfill. (Photo: UNDP/Merinda Valley)
Plastic habit: Reducing waste with behavioural insights in Solomon Islands

Natural materials used to be the standard in Solomon Islands. Then plastic took the place of everything. Now it’s everywhere in the capital of Honiara — roadsides, markets, drains, the sea. It’s inundating the city. Waste generation in the city is estimated at 80 tonnes per day, and about 10 percent of that washes into the ocean. As Honiara’s population of about 88,000 grows, the city’s waste will likely continue to stress infrastructure and the environment to new extremes. more 

Photo: Andrew Parker/UNDP Philippines
#HacktheLab: UNDP Philippines’ Accelerator Lab Design Studio (Day 2)

You may never have been asked to be part of a rescue team to find someone lost in a blizzard in an Antarctic winter, but you can imagine how disorienting that would be in the middle of a 100% whiteout. more 

Photo: Andrew Parker/UNDP Philippines
#HacktheLab: UNDP Philippines’ Accelerator Lab Design Studio (Day 1)

In a VUCA world, bureaucratic systems, processes and procedures established over many decades, or even longer, are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change, failing to respond at sufficient scale, and in danger of leaving many people behind in the development process. We need to learn faster, deeper and better,...more 

Members of the SWAPNO project working in a rural road construction project in Kurigram. Photo: Emdadul Islam Bitu/UNDP
SWAPNO project translates Rashida’s dream into reality

Rashida, now a middle-aged woman, took Taka 7,200 as loan under Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO) project and purchased a tailoring machine. She is now making bags and sales the product in different markets. more 

What are the new skills we need in development?

At UNDP, we launched the world’s largest learning network around development challenges in an effort to re-imagine development for the 21st century. The purpose of these 60 Accelerator Labs in 60 countries is to close the widening gap between the current practices of international development and accelerating challenges... more 

Going 'Local' with Public Services in the Philippines

Across the Philippines, public service delivery in small cities and towns faces multiple challenges: it is difficult to access, riddled by red-tape, there is a lack of technology, and poor decision-making... Our approach, a new user-centered model for service delivery: co-design prototypes to fit specific contexts, test them, and eventually scale them throughout the country, while adapting to specific geographic and economic factors. more 

Photo: Fieni Aprilia
Innovative financing for SDGs: Mobilising ummah’s potential to leave no one behind

UNDP Indonesia has explored synergies between many forms of Islamic finance instruments and the SDGs. A step change in the logic of how money flows into real economy is perceived as an urgent need. It is a call for innovative financing towards supporting the SDGs. more 

Staying in touch: How mobile phone apps are transforming post-typhoon house reconstruction in Viet Nam

During house reconstruction effort after typhoon Damrey hit Viet Nam, UNDP and partners adapted existing open source software to connect with the people they serve through an easy-to-learn two-way mobile phone application. more 

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