23 Aug 2019 - Focus is on challenges including climate change and climate migration, costal zone and oceans management, waste management, government digitalization and the economy.
It’s the dawn of a new era for innovation in the Pacific. Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji launches it’s first-ever Accelerator Lab for the Pacific region. The Accelerator Labs represent UNDP’s new strategy and thinking in relation to development and advocating bolder innovation.
The new Lab will be one of 60 labs worldwide that seek to accelerate progress towards 21st century “frontier challenges”, which is building to be the world’s largest and fastest learning network around development challenges.
The Resident Representative for the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Levan Bouadze said “The challenges and complexities of our time leave us no choice but to invest in bold innovation and breakthroughs, to ensure no one is left behind.”
Together with our core partners, the State of Qatar, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of Italy, 60 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries will work together with national, regional and global partners to find new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.
Traditional approaches to development are struggling to keep up with today’s social and environmental challenges therefore, the new Labs will try to address the following questions:
· How do we better tackle complex and fast-moving “frontier challenges”?
· How do we find the most relevant solutions that work locally?
· How do we learn more quickly about what works and what doesn’t?
Essentially the Lab moves innovation from the margins to the center of UNDP’s programming work.
“Our current approaches are not making enough progress against 21st century frontier development challenges,” said Bouadze. Hence, the Lab intends to enable programmes to apply innovation approaches in their work, and shift mindsets on ‘how development is done’.
The Lab forms a learning network of 60 Accelerator Labs across the world where offices can learn rapidly from each other on what works and what doesn’t.
Furthermore, if multiple Labs are working on a challenge in parallel, they benefit from each other’s learning in real-time, creating a powerful collective learning effect.