8 ways to make innovation the norm in a UNDP Country Office

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Filed under: Development 2.0

"I want you to innovate"

We at UNDP in Armenia recently invited the brilliant folks over at Futuregov to come to Yerevan and see if they could quantify the progress in our own innovation work to date.

They made an assessment of the work of our innovation lab Kolba, and gave us recommendations to help us expand the innovation mind-set throughout the office.

We hope that sharing some of the highlights may help those of you on a similar journey.

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All Aboard the Big Data Express!


Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

Srbia (3)

Visualization of geo-located tweets, Serbia floods, May 2014, UNDP.

The world is changing fast—and so must our approaches to persistent development issues.

An ever-increasing number of people and devices and objects now generate data – social networks, mass media, transportation, mobile phones, credit cards, etc.

What matters now is not how much data we have, but rather what can we do with all of it.

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Going to scale: A green economy project in the SILab makes good

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Environment

Map of recycling points in Minsk

Minsk on the Greenmap: See all the recycling points, places where one can donate/exchange their unwanted stuff.

This journey began during the first Social Innovation Lab organized by UNDP in Belarus back in September 2014.

Local NGO ‘Center for Environmental Solutions’ winning idea back then was called Greenmap.by – an online resource and mobile app providing information on available recycling points in a number of cities around the country..

Since then – with UNDP’s support – the project was introduced in two pilot cities and a promotion campaign featuring our friend Grandpa Trofim was launched  to encourage environmentally friendly behaviour.

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From design to access: MiLab goes on safari

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social inclusion Social innovation

a woman reads the sign in braille

Ludmila, one of the participants, checks the sign posts for accessibility (Photos: Victoria Puiu)

We often consider the buildings we’re constructing as comfortable and accessible for all.

How often do we remember what a challenge they can be for those living with disabilities?

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Uncovering hidden Belarus: Hacking tourism

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

nature in belarus

Yelnya Swamp – one of the beautiful nature trails in Belarus (Photos: UNDP in Belarus)

Did you know that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the largest ancient forest in all of Europe?

Herodotus wrote about this UNESCO World Heritage Listed site way back in the  the 5th century B.C.

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Kyrgyzstan: What does it take to make the invisible visible?


Filed under: Central Asia Social inclusion

Person with disabilities

And justice for all? Read the author’s previous blog post on rebranding justice

A friend in Kyrgyzstan recently told me about the first time she saw a person with disabilities: She had just turned 19 and left the country to study abroad.

Day-to-day life makes it easy to forget the people with disabilities who live among us. There are few accessible ramps in Bishkek.

A recent trip to the northern part of Kyrgyzstan drove this point home even more.

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Corruption, governance, and the SDGs: Introducing Peter Eigen


Filed under: Development Social inclusion


In some ways, the Sustainable Development Goals are a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Though most believe the MDGs have helped make a difference in the lives of the world’s most needy and vulnerable, a common critique has been the absence of functional links to governance concerns.

These critics have emphasized that if we want the goals to succeed, the sustainable goals should be explicitly linked to rights-based global conventions.

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Show me the data: How can open data contribute to SDGs?


Filed under: Anticorruption Development 2.0

open data panel

Tuty Kusumawati, Amen Ra Mashariki, and Guillermo Moncecch talk “Open Cities: The Local Data Revolution” (Photos: OD4D)

In the not-too-distant future, data generated by governments, businesses, and citizens will be used to provide quicker, more holistic understandings of the world around us.

At UNDP, we are hard at work exploring the potential of the data revolution, and how that data can be used in measuring the new sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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