UNDP to boost innovation for development results

19 Nov 2013

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UNDP and UK's leading innovation agency Nesta came together for a two-day workshop that convened UN experts and practitioners from 5 countries of the region, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzogovina.

The objective of the training was to familiarize the UN team with UNDP’s emerging innovation framework, equip them with innovation tools and develop mindset to transform current “business as usual”.

The workshop participants started with analyzing key challenges they face when exploring opportunities, generating ideas, and developing & testing ideas during the course of our work and answering the question on what knowledge gaps do they have? Key take-out of day one was that one way to innovate was to look at what was already happening around and ask how/whether it can be adapted to the programme context.

The team worked on a number of bankable ideas, which are used during the workshop as a departure point for future work. Among them:

o   Creating employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome

o   Promoting Youth Health Behavior Practices

o   Digital outreach campaign for Ombudsman Office in Ukraine

o   Creating feedback loops on administrative services provision

o   Promoting effectively sustainable energy saving and energy efficiency initiative

o   Conservation and sustainable use of peatlands

Under professional guidance of Tanya Popeau (NESTA), Cari Keller (BOM/OHR Consultant), and Denisa Papayova (BRC), UNDP team  worked in groups on the following issues:

How to define the real bottleneck – its core problem, direct causes, underlying causes and contributing patterns.

How to find out who your target audience members are (persona creation) and whom you should involve into the discussion (expert selection).

How to generate ideas on solving the problem with wide engagement of the end-users of the product or service.

How to prototype a safe-to-fail solution and test it in the real life.

The participants tested their ideas along the lines of  emerging UNDP innovation framework that included the following stages: find and reflect, prototype, scale up and work out loud and received many insights on where their innovation bottlenecks might be set and the best ways to address them.