UNDP launches Accelerator Lab to reinforce innovation and solutions for sustainable development in Kyrgyzstan

June 18, 2021

Members of Accelerator Lab Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Nurtazim Mederbekov / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, 18 June 2021 – Today, UNDP officially launched its Accelerator Lab in the Kyrgyz Republic. Accelerator Labs are part of a global initiative consisting of 91 labs supporting 115 countries to accelerate learning to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The launch introduces UNDP's novel approaches in development and highlight the organization’s work to leverage innovation through its partnership network. Participants from the Government, local and international development sector, civil society, academy, as well as from the private sector exchanged ideas on the future of development.

The main objective of the Accelerator Labs is to accelerate learning to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The pandemic crisis jeopardized SDGs’ progress in eradicating poverty and inequality, and targets established under the Decade of Action by 2030 are at risk of falling short. As UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner highlights, this is the time to reimagine the future of development where “we must redefine what is ‘normal’, rethink our current paradigms and re-examine the choices we are making.”

Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General and  Director of  UNDP  Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, underlined in her keynote speech: “Accelerator Labs harness deep local networks that allow partners to elevate grassroots solutions and source solutions globally from across the Lab network, partners’ network, and other UNDP entities. By introducing innovative methods such as participatory design, futures analysis, and prototyping, the Accelerator Labs are working with partners to help improve understandings of complex challenges.”

The Accelerator Lab “think globally and act locally”. They will focus on initiatives designed to search for local solutions with collective intelligence that catalyze system transformation and accelerate the local development. The UNDP Accelerator Lab  in Kyrgyzstan  will also be supporting national partners and grassroots communities to develop a portfolio of interventions to address their development challenges.

In his address Askat Bekov, Head of the Department of Strategic Development Policy and Planning of the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic said: “Effective solutions and proactive changes are now needed to resolve the crisis and achieve a sustainable development trajectory.” 

Thanks to the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, the Qatar Fund for Development and UNDP Core partners, the Accelerator Lab in Kyrgyzstan has joined the largest and fastest learning network on sustainable development challenges in 115 countries. The Kyrgyz Lab is eager to foster dialogues and facilitate collaboration among various stakeholders. At the launch event, participants exchanged their aspirations towards the future of development by leveraging innovation.

Torge Matthiesen, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany said at the launch: “Happy to see the UNDP Accelerator Lab arrive in Bishkek! I welcome the additional resources and innovations of the lab because they will create more attention, coordination and streamlined policies for sustainable development of the country. I hope that the growing population, beautiful ecosystems, public services and economy of Kyrgyzstan will benefit”.

Mr. Abdulla Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Kyrgyz Republic added: “The State of Qatar is one of the first countries to support the creation of Accelerator Laboratories to identify local innovations in 60 developing countries. These pioneering laboratories were launched in January 2019 to become an integral part of UNDP teams in each country, allowing UNDP to strengthen its international network and expertise development in 170 countries, with more flexibility, in addition to the ability innovate to support countries in achieving their national development priorities.”

During the launch Accelerator Lab fostered a dialogue with partners from creative industries, IT communities, innovators and development experts on current incentives and factors that shape future built on UNDP's long-standing expertise, as well as the collective intelligence generated with the grassroots and experts. Local innovators shared their personal experiences with affecting transformative change in the country, through a variety of approaches and in different contexts.

Daniyar Amanaliev, creative entrepreneur talked about the creative economy and freedom that are needed to creat prerequisites for breakthrough growth. The state's economy not only benefits from the existence of creative entrepreneurs, but also receives innovation. "If even 1% of the overall economy were to pursue such creative success, it would give all other sectors a chance to make a serious splash."

The event was followed online by wider audience and attended by 30 people at a venue in Bishkek with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

To learn more about Accelerator Lab’s activities, please follow their monthly blogs at UNDP Kyrgyzstan website, and follow the #AccLabKG and #AcceleratorLabs hashtags on social media.

About UNDP Accelerator Labs

The UNDP Accelerator Lab network, co-built as a joint venture with the Qatar Fund for Development and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, is tapping into local innovations to create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.

Accelerator Lab in Kyrgyzstan consists of three members each in charge of experimentation, solutions mapping and exploration:

Head of Experimentation – Jenny Jenish kyzy (Ensi Tszie)

Head of Solutions Mapping - Urmat Takirov

Head of Exploration – Viktoriia Petrova

For media inquiries:

Ainagul Abdrakhmanova, UNDP Communications Officer at 0770755776 or Ainagul.abdrakhmanova@undp.org

Snapshots from the launch event

Photo: Nurtazim Mederbekov / UNDP Kyrgyzstan