Innovation for development is about identifying more effective solutions that add value for the people affected by development challenges – people and their governments, our users and clients. For example, new approaches include setting up innovation labs with governments to re-design public service delivery; embracing data innovation to implement and monitor the SDGs; exploring emerging and alternative sources of financing to deepen and diversify the resourcing and implementation of the SDGs, from social impact bonds to pay-for-success and crowdfunding avenues or using behavioural insights to facilitate policy-making.

We invest in innovation to empower women and achieve gender equality.
We invest in finding out how robotics and artificial intelligence can help development.
Innovation to help achieve SDG 16: Over 40% of our innovation investments are in crisis-affected countries.
Innovation happens in partnership! UNDP offices that embrace innovation have doubled partnerships with the private sector and foundations.

UNDP Innovation Facility

In 2014, with the generous support of the Government of Denmark, UNDP established the Innovation Facility as a global mechanism to support innovation for development. The Facility provides technical support and funding to colleagues in UNDP Country Offices across all regions to test frontier technologies and new approaches to deliver better results.

The Facility’s portfolio is firmly rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While initiatives span 16 of the 17 Goals, the majority of initiatives address Sustainable Development Goals that eradicate poverty, enhance livelihood options, reduce inequalities as well as build resilient and peaceful societies. This infographic is a quick snapshot of the UNDP Innovation Facility’s work. Here is an overview of our portfolio that tests and scales solutions to address challenges across five areas:

  • Eradicate Poverty, Leave No One Behind
  • Protect the Planet
  • Build Peaceful Societies, Prevent Violent Conflict
  • Manage Risk, Improve Disaster Response
  • Advance Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment

To learn more about our work, read our third annual report: Spark, Scale, Sustain – Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals.

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