Innovation to Accelerate Development


UNDP Maldives’ Accelerator Lab launched in 2019, is part of the second wave of Accelerator lab. The lab tests, explores, and grows solutions to enhance sustainable development in the country. This network works with people, governments, the private sector and other partners to reimagine development for the 21st century. The lab investigates, identifies, and solves problems by learning about what works and what does not, in order to accelerate development sustainably.  

What we do

We explore barriers that prevent certain groups from participating in the labour market. These groups include youth, women, persons with disabilities and other groups at risk of being left behind. The Maldives Accelerator Lab has the backing of global knowledge, experience, and methodologies. We are applying ethnographic methodologies such as in-depth interview, deep listening and user journey mapping to identify the issues and develop on a sustainable pathway to ensure meaningful, productive, and full employment for all. We are working closely with the Learning Cycle Advisory Committee (LCAC) connecting us to representatives from the government, civil society and the private sector to work together.  

Currently, Accelerator Lab is experimenting whether improvement in soft skills in young people will lead to an increase in their employability. The lab is also working with the Civil Service Commission of Maldives to explore and test pathways to create formal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.  

The Lab’s efforts are well positioned to contribute to the work that the Country Office will be undertaking in partnership with the government to ensure inclusive, sustainable, and thriving livelihoods in the Maldives. 

Future of Work


The Maldivian job market is evolving with the world and with evolution comes faults in the system that lead to disadvantages for certain groups. The Accelerator Lab explores the issues of the labour market to identify the barriers between the employers and employees with a focus on disadvantaged groups such as youth, women, persons with disabilities. We aim to explore these problems and design solutions for them. Our methods range from deep listening to engaging these groups.  

Throughout our various explorations we have found that the inadequate investment in professional skilling programmes and the lack of focus on critical thinking in the education system have led to an ill-equipped labour force in the country with development needs.  

There needs to be a focus on the youth to develop their soft skills for the job market and to guide them against myths ingrained in the society. The continued lack of opportunities to enhance their skills will lead to difficulty unlocking their potential consequently slow development of the country.  

We have identified that there needs to be further data collection on the employment trends and figures to identify solutions or efficient development plans. 


In the second learning cycle, we have designed our first experiment which focuses on understanding the effect of improving the soft skills in order to secure and retain employment by developing and delivering e-learning modules. 

Social Innovation Platforms 

The Social Innovation Platform (SIP) is a 12 month long-term view process. During this period we aim to set foundations for social and economic transformation in the target area. This means that we will reach an initial portfolio of multilevel options that is based on a bottom up listening process that will allow us to connect this portfolio with the existing social dynamics operating in the selected area in the Maldives. The SIP approach will underpin the Country Support Platforms (CSP) and will help to:  

  • Build a shared vision among Country Offices, government, and partners 

  • Create thematic solution support platforms as an integrated approach for complex development issues 

  • Map and engage a network of potential partners 

  • Facilitate and document business and financing model alignment 

  • Bring non- traditional partners into the stakeholders mapping 

Learning Cycle Advisory Committee


The Learning Cycle Advisory Committee is a group of representatives from a broad spectrum of sectors. The Committee is a non-hierarchical advisory ad hoc group chaired by UNDP Maldives Accelerator Lab. It is conceived to influence decision-making with regards to the lab’s experiments. Membership for the committee is on a voluntary basis and is unremunerated. The representatives are selected from from the sectors listed as follows:  

  • Civil Society Organization (CSOs) 

  • Youth Population 

  • Private Sector firms/organizations working on innovation 

  • HR Experts