UNDP Accelerator Labs: Re-imagining development for the 21st century
The speed, dynamics and complexity of today’s social, economic and environmental problems are fundamentally different from previous eras in history. Many of these challenges call for the UN to do development differently. The Accelerator Lab is the UNDP’s answer to this call. Together with partners, the Lab will analyze challenges within the local context to identify connections and patterns in search of new avenues of work to act effectively in addressing wicked development challenges.
Building on local innovations
The Lab will identify grassroots solutions together with local actors and validate their potential to accelerate development. Solutions can come in many different forms, from a farmer discovering a new way to prevent floods to a nonprofit that is especially impactful.
The Lab will also harness the potential of real time data and people’s energy to respond to rapidly evolving challenges that impact development.
Building on these locally-sourced solutions, the labs will rapid test and iterate new ideas to learn which ones work, which ones can grow, and which ones don’t, bringing experimentation to the core of our work.
Global Network to increase impact
The Labs will accelerate learning by operating within a global network of 92 Labs operating 116 countries, where each Lab learns from the rest. Labs will explore multiple solutions in parallel, and design experiments that teach us whether solutions can work and grow in weeks or months rather than years.
The Accelerator Lab will build on UNDP’s partnerships with governments to scale solutions. Together with partners, we will learn which solutions can positively impact how development is delivered. We’ll also be exploring policy frameworks that are needed to drive development acceleration andidentify portfolios of grassroots solutions that can spin off into larger ventures.
The Green Economy
An important focus for the Accelerator Lab is building national wealth through the green economy. We forge connections between grassroots innovators, small eco businesses, the private sector and government to learn together. We will explore new ways for people to sustain themselves and their communities while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.