Two years ago we set out to capture UNDP’s wealth of experience in peacebuilding and civic engagement and make it available, accessible, and usable in other places.
This led us to explore how to incorporate innovation and the use of technology into our programming. With support from our colleagues in the regional knowledge and innovation team, we created Mahallae.
Mahallae – or- ‘neighbourhood’ in Arabic, Greek, and Turkish – seeks to promote, connect, and network not only local Cypriot communities, but other regional actors working to advance civic engagement and reconciliation.
We learned early on that adopting an inclusive process is crucial when nurturing innovation and local ownership.
From crowdsourcing content to testing and prototyping, Mahallae has been co-designed through collaborations with social innovators, civil society organizations, and technologists.
The result is a platform structured around three digital spaces which we invite you to explore:
Civic Mapping: This section maps the contribution of Cypriot civil society to the peace and reconciliation movement from the 1980’s to the present day.
The database has over 650 entries and provides a valuable resource and repository of projects and initiatives that can be easily searched for and accessed. The mapping process, charts not only UNDP-supported projects, but also includes a range of initiatives supported by others including the European Union.
Interactive tools: A repository of the knowledge, resources, and experiences of citizen-led peace builders and civil society organizations using tech4peace. This includes games, maps, video tool kits, and webinars all of which incorporate innovative approaches into knowledge sharing.
Collaborate space: The collaborate space is based on the premise that new technologies can help UNDP address major community challenges quickly and transparently.
The space has been structured in a way that utilizes crowd-sourcing techniques to support UNDP in developing new partnerships and nurturing innovation.
We have also recently launched a new mechanism for supporting citizen-led innovation through the Mahallae Challenges.
These challenges invite social innovators to come up with radical solutions to address some of the most pressing issues in both Cyprus and the region.
We are currently in the process of seeking new partnerships to strengthen our reach outside Cyprus and would welcome your inputs into how the platform can be utilized within your own country contexts.