19 May 2015
New York – Today, UNDP’s Innovation Facility launched its Annual Review for 2014, showing why innovation is becoming increasingly important in international development and for UNDP itself. It describes UNDP’s approach to innovation, highlights innovative practices and spotlights all 49 initiatives funded by the Innovation Facility across 54 countries.
In 2014 UNDP launched the Innovation Facility to support and leverage innovation to address increasingly complex development challenges. The Innovation Facility was made possible with the generous contribution of the Government of Denmark and co-investments from UNDP’s core resources.
UNDP has invested in advancing innovation, noted UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, “… to ‘disrupt’ business as usual, encourage change in the search for ever greater effectiveness, and identify new ways of doing things which could be of wide benefit.” With over five decades of experience in innovating solutions for development, in 2013 UNDP began strategically exploring innovation under the motto “innovation happens in practice”. Now, through the Innovation Facility UNDP strives to further accelerate this by putting innovation in development solutions on a new trajectory.
Innovation for development promotes calculated risk-taking.
The Innovation Facility has funded problem-solving in challenging contexts – from the Ebola health emergency in West Africa, to co-designing citizen feedback loops for more responsive Governments in Bangladesh, the Maldives and Papua New Guinea. Over 60 per cent of the countries supported by the Innovation Facility are developing or crisis-affected countries — from Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to situations on the Security Council’s Agenda
Speaking on innovative approaches to programme design and implementation, Ms. Clark said, “Today’s development challenges are complex and interconnected. We live in a world of volatility, uncertainty, and unpredictability… it calls for innovative approaches to development which employ the whole range of new technologies and media to improve service delivery and engage citizens.”
The 2014 Review also identifies key lessons that the Innovation Facility is applying to its programme support in 2015. They include ensuring that new initiatives incorporate scaling pathways from inception; co-designing with more vulnerable populations in ‘hard-to-reach’ areas; and mainstreaming ‘Open Innovation Challenges’ as a new corporate policy.
The Innovation Facility report finds that it was only together with entrepreneurial partners and by engaging people affected by development challenges that UNDP can find the next generation of catalytic solutions and reach the targets of the Post-2015 agenda.
Learn more about the Innovation Facility at undp.org/innovation and connect to a larger network of experts on Teamworks. Follow @UNDP_innovation and join the #inno4dev conversation. Have questions? Reach out to us at email@example.com.
Policy Specialist, Innovation
Development Impact Group
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
+1 646 781 4375