Innovation for Development

Title: Innovation for Development
Status: Ongoing
Duration: 2018-2020
Budget: $US420,000
Coverage: National
SDG: SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Partners: The Governments of Iraq and Kurdistan Region


Programme Summary

UNDP established ‘Innovation for Development’ in 2018. Informed by the successful implementation of the ‘Inno4dev’ initiative between 2015-2018, the project aims to upskill individuals (young women and men) and institutions in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and the SDGs. Additionally, it works to enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem by targeting youth and related institutions nationwide for capacity building sessions and workshops.


New concepts in business development introduced to youth in Baghdad.

What we have achieved so far

  • Developed and tested a training manual aimed at helping individuals and institutions interested in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business to gain an insight into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iraq, and support youth to develop their own projects. 

  • Developed an online platform that provides a space for youth and entrepreneurs to interact with other stakeholders of the ecosystem (private and public sector), provide them with online courses, information and knowledge about entrepreneurship and job opportunities in Iraq.

  • Developed and tested two simulation games aimed at training youth in how to engage with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Iraq using real life scenarios that face startup businesses and entrepreneurs;

  • Organized and implemented the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) to build a dynamic network at the intersection of youth, innovation and sustainable development. Launched in Iraq in 2019 by the Innovation for Development (YLP5) project, more than 800 participants were trained and introduced to set of tools that help them to identify local problems, find solutions and build prototypes using Design Thinking Methodology. Many of them went on to develop their ideas into successful startups. 

  • Engaged institutions (governmental and non-governmental) in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, sharing insights and boosting national and local interest to ensure sustainability.