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Innovation

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.

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We invest in innovation to empower women and achieve gender equality.
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We invest in finding out how robotics and artificial intelligence can help development.
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Innovation to help achieve SDG 16: Over 40% of our innovation investments are in crisis-affected countries.
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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. Since then the Facility has invested in over 140 country-level experiments, across 87 countries and territories.

The Facility’s portfolio is firmly rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2018-2021 UNDP Strategic Plan. The portfolio explores current and emerging service lines to: eradicate poverty, protect the planet, prevent violent conflict, manage climate change risk and advance gender equality, among other development challenges. 

This infographic is a snapshot of the UNDP Innovation Facility’s reach and impact. To learn more about our work, read: Moon Shots & Puddle Jumps | Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals. It shares 25 case studies that outline how development can be done differently along with 9 think pieces that further explore the opportunity and challenges of frontier technologies, new data, behavioural insights, public sector labs, alternative finance, and more.

Scroll down for the latests updates, publications and tools. Join the conversation on Twitter @UNDP_Innovation.

Explore more

Statement delivered at UN GA Side Event

Statement delivered at 'Nurturing Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystems for the SDGs' - #UNGA73

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The report shows that approaching development challenges with behavioural insights leads to better…

UNDP Around the world