From the periphery towards the centre: making “innovation” the new normal at UNDP

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Filed under: Development 2.0




  A recent evaluation of our work by MindLab gave us an opportunity for reflection. “Embedding innovation in our business processes” is an aspirational mantra we often hear. We realize now that the mantra, with its emphasis on system thinking, goes against the very grain of the  culture of a very project-orientated organisation. What we… Read more »

Let’s play some leapfrog with the #UNDPCrowd

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation




Leapfrogging is a powerful concept. We have seen people leapfrog over traditional energy grids straight to off-grid solar energy production. We’ve seen them breeze past old landlines straight to smart phones. We’re now seeing something similar in the finance sector: citizens are leapfrogging over traditional banking services in favour of direct contact with suppliers and… Read more »

Talking in tongues: From crypto currencies to breaking blockchains

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation




Lately, the language of funding has gotten very strange. From equity-based crowfunding and person-to-person lending, to crypto currencies and mobile money; entirely new players are disrupting the field of financing for development and public policy. So, what does this alternative finance space look like? Who are the new players and what are they up to?

Big data for development: What we’re doing TODAY

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Disaster response Social innovation




In early July, while the summer in Skopje started to sizzle, big data enthusiasts popped by for one big (data) reason: to reflect on, share, and explore how we can use better use data for development. Our partners in crime, UN Global Pulse and UN Volunteers were also in the mix, contributing presentations on the current… Read more »

Georgia on my mind: New approaches to governance

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social inclusion




All around the world, we are seeing fundamental changes in the meaning of governance and ‘networked democracy‘ – particularly in the shifting role of citizens, from passive consumers of government services to active participants. This is also having a major impact on the way public services are designed and delivered.

Scaling: An ideal solution is one that’s always changing?

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social innovation




On our journey to explore how principles from evolution and other sciences can help us redefine a concept of ‘scaling up’ in development, we came across this simple yet extremely effective visualization of how species evolve (HT @hereissimone). What do you reckon: Could you see the “story” of development projects been told this way for the benefit… Read more »

The evolving finch fund: Two early insights on scaling…and lots of work still ahead!

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Social innovation




It was great to get so many comments and reactions – both online and off – to our recent post on re-framing “scaling up” in development. We also happily adopted the affectionate (or so we hope!) nickname of “finch fund” for our initiative, as coined by Duncan Green (with thanks!). Our aim is to ultimately come up with… Read more »

Not another toolkit? Conspiring with UNDP

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Filed under: Development Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation




Perhaps rightly so, development workers are sometimes wary or dismissive of toolkits that are often disconnected from their daily reality. Development Impact & You isn’t your typical toolkit. We’ve been careful not to add to the noise simply by creating new material and hoping people will use it. Instead we have pulled together a collection… Read more »