UNDP’s Bougainville Entrepreneur and Innovation Curriculum wins the Good Design Award in Australia

A training curriculum UNDP has used to train over 300 aspiring entrepreneurs in Bougainville was given the prestigious Good Design Award for Excellence in Design and Innovation last week

September 20, 2023

The curriculum particularly focused on empowering local women to start and expand their businesses

Juho Valta | UNDP Papua New Guinea

The victory was declared in an award ceremony attended by over 1,000 people in Melbourne, Australia on 8 September 2023. The curriculum was designed in partnership with the Ed Institute and ThinkPlace for the “Sustaining Peace Through Economic Empowerment” project, which UNDP is implementing in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville with generous funding provided by the Government of Japan.

With a proud history dating back to 1958, the Good Design Awards is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious international awards ceremony for design and innovation. Each year, the Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian and international market across 11 design disciplines covering more than 35 categories and subcategories. The Bougainville Entrepreneur and Innovation Curriculum was recognized for its outstanding contributions to design and innovation in the “Social Impact” category.

The curriculum consists of two courses, the Entrepreneur Design Course and the Innovation Design Course. The Entrepreneur Design Course aims to provide the people of Bougainville, particularly women, with the knowledge and skills to start their own start-up businesses and shift them from informal to formal business sectors. The Innovation Design Course on the other hand aims to support local entrepreneurs in growing the scale of their existing businesses. Both courses were delivered to over 300 working or aspiring entrepreneurs in Buka, Arawa and Buin earlier this year.  

Ben Hall, the Executive Director of the Ed. Institute, attended the award ceremony

Ed Institute

The Good Design Awards Jury, consisting of more than 70 jurors from around the world, praised the curriculum for brilliantly adapting its design for the unique context of Bougainville, stating, “Great to see the “train the trainer” approach being included and a focus on equipping local facilitators in this great project. It’s an important, yet commonly overlooked piece of projects of this calibre. The contextual elements of coming into an environment like Bougainville cannot be underestimated and the design team have done an outstanding job.”

UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Nicholas Booth, was delighted upon receiving the news of the victory. “It has been a privilege for UNDP to partner with Ed Institute and ThinkPlace on this curriculum, which is designed to empower Bougainvilleans to start and build their own businesses for years to come,” he stated.

As part of the “Sustaining Peace Through Economic Empowerment” project, UNDP is currently building three Innovation Hubs in each of the three districts of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Once completed, the training materials of the curriculum will be available for the local communities at the Innovation Hubs. UNDP is also exploring ways for the Innovation Hubs to continue delivering the courses as part of their operations.