For many years now, UNDP has been a great supporter of social innovation both in the Europe and CIS region and particularly in Ukraine.

UNDP Ukraine is regularly bringing stakeholders together to design new ways to ensure sustainable livelihoods for beneficiaries, supporting youth and minority groups in developing innovative ideas, and using openly available data in an innovative way to inform policies on gender disparities.

The 2017 Crowdfunding Academy is the result of UNDP exploring several alternative financing instruments to ensure beneficiaries’ capacity to raise funds on their own. Crowdfunding is a powerful outreach and advocacy mechanism, and a way to create new business models for tackling social problems.

For the Crowdfunding Academy, a website was created that allowed internet users to select their favourite business idea developed by IDPs from Donbas, and financially support it with a few clicks. The business ideas ranged from a tourist app to handmade tapestry, and several businesses are ecology or socially oriented.

Promoting social innovations is to get inspired from new approaches; to tap into the ingenuity of previously successful innovators, or those who generated experience from their failures.

In 2017, UNDP co-organized the IX International Conference of Ukrainian Philanthropists focusing on social innovations. The 300 participants found new answers to questions ranging from which efficient practices are worth replicating, to what innovative communication looks like.

To unpack the concept of innovation and move from concept to action, U-Inn supported almost 100 young people from all around Ukraine to develop and implement innovative initiatives, focused on human rights and democracy in Ukraine’s local communities. After brainstorming their ideas at a U-Inn Camp, they were mentored by civil society activists and human rights defenders to develop their ideas into full-fledged projects. A final challenge awarded winning teams with a 5,000 USD prize to implement their projects in the categories of social entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and social script projects.

Drawing upon open data available from the State Register of Enterprises, UNDP’s study “Women and men in leadership positions in Ukraine” applies innovative approaches to data processing to investigate differences in the situation of women and men by region, settlement type and type of economic activity. This study is an attempt to get a better understanding of women’s role in the private sector to inform policies and help tackle inequality.

With the State Employment Services, UNDP used universal design principles to introduce an individual case management approach to connect employment and social protection services. Needs for support services like job coaching, mentorship, advocacy and mediation, social services for family members were identified by involving the target groups and mapping existing barriers to employment for specific audiences, such as women and people with disabilities.

Initiatives & Related News

Innovate Democracy with U-INN!
Social Innovations: New Ways to Solve Old Problems
12 crowdfunding campaigns you can support
How do you inspire entrepreneurship in a conflict-affected region?

Principles of Innovation

1.  Design with the User

2. Understand the Existing Ecosystem

3. Design for Scale

4. Build for Sustainability

5. Be Data Driven

6. Use Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Innovation

7. Reuse and Improve

8. Do no harm

9. Be Collaborative

Explore more


UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Ukraine 
Go to UNDP Global