Accelerator Labs

UNDP Accelerator Lab in Kenya

UNDP Accelerator Labs: Re-imagining development for the 21st century

Embedded within UNDP Kenya office, the Accelerator Lab will focus on challenges related to one of Kenya's biggest development challenge; Youth Unemployment. It will work with other players in the ecosystem and provide national partners with a set of new services to explore, test and grow solutions for complex sustainable development problems. Our approaches include: 

  • Sense-making: Labs will analyse, in almost real time, the local context challenges to identify connections and patterns to anticipate new avenues of work and act effectively to accelerate development.
  • Solutions mapping: In close collaboration with local partners, the Labs will identify grassroots solutions and stretch their potential to accelerate development.
  • Collective intelligence: The Labs will use collective intelligence to support partners better understand facts and ideas, develop new solutions, promote more inclusive decision making, and provide better oversight of what is done.
  • Designing and testing: The Labs will simultaneously test approaches to tackle a singular complex development problem. This systematic process will allow learning to happen in weeks or months rather than years.

The success of Labs will be seen in three ways: their influence on nurturing experimentation and accelerating development programming, their impact on government policy, and their ability to inspire spin-off public and private ventures.

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Complex challenges, new solutions

Re-Imagining development for the 21st century

The speed, dynamics, and complexity of today’s challenges are fundamentally different from previous eras. Consider these looming challenges: the impact of artificial intelligence on employment; the potential for disinformation on social media; the need for policies that keep up with and drive innovation, while protecting human rights. Addressing these requires radically new approaches that match their complexity.  

The Accelerator Labs are UNDP’s new way of working in development. Together with our core partners, the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, 60 Labs serving 78 countries are working together with national and global partners to find radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.

One of the 60 Accelerator Labs will be based here in Kenya, and will be a platform for learning and experimenting a different way to designing and delivering development solutions for the many challenges Kenyans face today.