Innovation and Technology

Innovation and Technology

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 using behavioural insights to facilitate policy-making.

At UNDP, we pursue improvement-oriented innovation.  Technology provides us with the opportunity to improve our reach to marginalized communities. It is essential to design our solutions that bridge economic and digital divides.  We test and scale the use of context-fit technology to enhance our service offer. We also need to enable and support our partners to explore solutions to better anticipate future risks, such as for example the impact of automation on the labour market.

Globally, UNDP launched in 2019 its network of SDG Accelerator Labs in 60 countries, in its effort to identify more effective solutions that add value for the people affected by development challenges. The UNDP Accelerator Labs were created to re-imagine ways of making 21st century development happen at a scale not seen before, by tapping into the relationships, resources, and expertise of a global leader in development. These labs, will scan the horizon of existing innovate solutions to match them with the development needs around the world. Though seeking to address local challenges, the Labs network aims to reinforce development across borders through the largest learning network.

Initiatives and Events

Innovation for Development


As outlined in our Strategic Plan 2018-2021, we’re putting greater emphasis on innovation and experimentation to drive progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.