When informal markets go digital: emerging signals from our Lab network

Learning Circle: Digitalization and Informality

Access to [digital] marketplaces

  • How long will markets stay digital after lockdowns (hopefully) cease?
  • Who benefits from digitalization, and are benefits equitably distributed?
  • Will this rapid digitalization trigger longer-term investments in internet access across the digital divide?

Closing the [wide] financing gap

Accelerating border[less] trading

What’s next

Our learning journey on this front has just begun — we are only seeing the tip of this complex iceberg.

We now know more about the activities of our Labs and have seen common themes in their work on digitalization and informality. But it has also brought out new learning areas for us:

  • Connecting informal business to digital platforms raises questions on trust. Trust in banks, governments, and technology — as barriers or enablers to digital adoption. We’re now using systems mapping to understand these dynamics and unpack these assumptions.
  • Second, the need for data governance. With more data produced due to the rise of digital platforms for the informal sector, questions emerge around data quality, ownership and access, stewardship and management, and what value these data can bring. We’re on a mission to put some guiding principles on paper with the goal of raising awareness and action on e-commerce platform data exhaust within the development community.
  • UNDP Accelerator Labs Global Team
  • UNDP Uganda Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP The Gambia Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Namibia Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP South Sudan Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Sudan Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP The Guinea Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Zimbabwe Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Niger Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Mali Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Burkina Faso Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Togo Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Ghana Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Benin Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Philippines Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Barbados Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Malaysia Accelerator Lab
  • UNDP Argentina Accelerator Lab



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UNDP Accelerator Labs

UNDP Accelerator Labs

Building the world’s largest learning network around development challenges. 91 Labs in 115 countries. http://acceleratorlabs.undp.org/