Reflections on the UNDP Accelerator Labs Explorers Global Summit 2020

By Benjamin Ong, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Malaysia

Credit: Soroush Karimi/Unsplash

In a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (commonly known as VUCA) world, the three ways of working that have shaped our global lab network — Heads of Solutions Mapping, Exploration, and Experimentation — have proven to be highly valuable but, I have to admit it, they may still be esoteric for many.

For Exploration in particular, the ambiguity of the Head of Exploration’s (a.k.a. Explorer’s) job description provides an opportunity to implement activities in innovative ways (read: shine a light…

Published by: Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD
The following piece was written by our partners from the Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD initiative and was published on June 9, 2021.

Written by: Ana M. Grijalva, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Ecuador, Paulina Jiménez, Head of Solution Mapping, UNDP Accelerator Lab Ecuador with Basma Albanna, Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester, and Jeremy Boy, Network Data Visualization Engineer, UNDP Accelerator Labs.

No Forest, No Life: The Importance of Deforestation

A picture of the Amazon Forest. ©Unsplash Fotos

Deforestation is an alarming problem for the Amazon region. In Ecuador alone, the rainforest recedes by hundreds of hectares every year. This…

By Mirko Ebelshaeuser, Innovation Programme Specialist, UNDP Accelerator Labs. Twitter: @MirkoEb

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

A little while ago Gina Lucarelli put out there what not many people in the development sector dare to say: the Sustainable Development Goals are off track. While confronting us with a rather grim testimony of recent events — we lost 25 years of development efforts in 25 weeks; and the achievement of the Agenda 2030 needs the combined change in behavior of almost 8 billion people on the planet — there was also a glimmer of hope. The re-emergence of distributed action and collective problem solving seen in…

Published by: Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD
The following piece was written by our partners from the Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD initiative and was published on April 12, 2021.

Written by: Hodan Abdullahi, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Somalia, with Basma Albanna, Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester,
and Esther Barvels, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist,

The Data Powered Positive Deviance method acts as a kaleidoscope, refracting, combining, and reflecting different perspectives and angles to identify and understand positively deviant communities — Photo by Lyle on Flicker

In every community, there are individuals or groups with uncommon behaviors who, while having access to similar resources, find better solutions to challenges than their peers. Finding these so-called positive deviants and promoting their solutions is referred to as the Positive Deviance

By: Allen Anie (Ghana), María Gabriela Ayala (Ecuador), Bisam Gyawali (Nepal), Zainab Kakal (Fiji), Lorena Moscovich (Argentina), Berna Mugema (Uganda), Lillian Njoro (Kenya) with inputs from the entire Experimentation network at UNDP Accelerator Labs.

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

The UNDP Accelerator Lab Network is growing. 31 new Labs are joining the family and expanding the frontiers of our global network of ecosystems. This means 31 new Heads of Exploration, Experimentation, and Solutions Mapping are joining the pack to help us reimagine development for the 21st century. …

By Anand Upender, Design Lead, and Renae Reints, Researcher, Healthy Internet Project

The UNDP Accelerator Labs is excited to announce its collaboration with the Healthy Internet Project, incubated at TED. This partnership is piloting a bold experiment in crowdsourced moderation of the world wide web. UNDP Accelerator Labs in Argentina, Togo, Kenya, Sudan, Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, and Lebanon are leading the effort to further engage their innovation ecosystem and partners to find and address the false, misleading, or personally harmful content in their region.

The UNDP Accelerator Lab in Argentina, for example, will focus their test of the tool on…

India, Morocco, Cabo Verde, and Timor-Leste

By: Rozita Singh, Head of Solutions Mapping, UNDP India Accelerator Lab, Erika Antoine, and Angelica Gustilo Ong, UNDP Accelerator Lab Global Team

Lockdown Gaming

To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has gone into isolation — bringing major changes to our daily lives and a new appetite for digitalization. Mandated lockdowns and social distancing interventions have led us to dramatically increase the number of hours we spend in front of our screens to work and connect to our loved ones.

Deloitte’s 2020 digital media trends survey suggests that since the beginning of the…

Written By: Angelica Gustilo Ong and Eduardo Gustale, UNDP Accelerator Labs Global Team

Engin Akyurt via Pexels

With only a decade of action left for the sustainable development agenda, UNDP is looking beyond business as usual, to accelerate learning, to find new mechanisms to learn from the margins, and to look into radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.

One of those new approaches is learning from women and men, who have managed to solve problems through ingenuity but with simple, frugal means.

Take Made Kusuma, an environmental health graduate from Bali, who was frustrated by the numerous floods caused…

Copyright: Photo by Hans M on Unsplash

Many of us in the sustainable development trenches know that to reach the Global Goals set by governments of the world we need to tap into collective action. Even under steady conditions — which is pretty far from where we are — the Sustainable Development Goals call for wholesale transformation of the behavior of almost 8 billion people on the planet.

Whether or not these goals will be a success story by 2030 depends on how all of us make our living, grow food, heat and cool our homes, and move around in the world…how we store digital data, charge…

By Jeremy Boy, Data Scientist, UNDP Accelerator Labs together with Andreas Gluecker, Project Manager, GIZ Data Lab.

For more details on the project background, please read the first blog on this series “Launching the Data Powered Positive Deviance Initiative” written by our partners from the Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD initiative.

Satellite image of land cover classification in Joya de los Sachas in Ecuador (2020)

At the beginning of 2020, the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network kicked-off a set of exciting pilots with the GIZ Data Lab of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and with the technical support from the University of Manchester, to explore the potential of Data Powered Positive Deviance (DPPD) for sustainable development.

Together with the UNDP Accelerator Labs and GIZ projects in Ecuador, Mexico, Niger, and…

UNDP Accelerator Labs

Building the world’s largest learning network around development challenges. 91 Labs in 115 countries.

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