New York, 5 January 2022 (TDI): There is an agreement between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which was signed this week for an additional €20 million in funding for UNDP Accelerator Labs.

As a direct result of the signing of the first agreement in 2019, the German government has directly provided a total of €50 million in financial support for the Accelerator Labs.

Germany has generously committed an additional $20 million to Accelerator Labs, a network that fosters bottom-up innovation, allows continuous experimentation, and tests innovative ways to handle social and environmental challenges. By committing this further funding, Germany positively affirms its position as a visionary founding investor of Accelerator Labs.

Additionally, the Accelerator Lab will assist in the cementing of UNDP’s role in the shaping of NextGenUNDP as outlined in UNDP’s newly released Strategic Plan 2022–2025. The Accelerator Lab will also be able to efficiently implement the necessary support to ensure the joint venture succeeds in 2022 and 2023.

Given the speed, the dynamic, and the complexity of the challenges of today, we need to accelerate our progress toward global goals. The UN Development Programme Accelerator Labs provide a unique opportunity for the UN to oversee the fundamental transformation required to realistically achieve this ultimate goal.

Within one and a half years, the network of 91 laboratories, covering 115 countries, has adequately provided UNDP with access to some of the world’s toughest development challenges, provided governments with actionable insights, and acted as a catalyst for COVID-19’s recovery.

The accelerator labs are generating bottom-up change by carefully constructing collective knowledge with grassroots innovators, increasing and diversifying data sources, and introducing innovative methods that are novel in development cooperation, like solutions mapping, citizen science, and system thinking, by transporting grassroots innovators together.

Through the investment of Germany, UNDP and the broader sustainable development ecosystem will be able to seamlessly incorporate and mainstream innovation practices into their practices.

Among the innovation practices deployed by the labs is collaborative intelligence, a method of fostering innovation. There are many ways to adequately address the gaps in SDG data and better perceive emerging problems, including personal insights and grassroots solutions, data from mobile-phone companies, satellite imagery, artificial intelligence (AI), and collective intelligence.

Through the support of Germany, UNDP Accelerator Labs will be able to continue to channel the innovations, knowledge, and outstanding contributions of people around the world to make the planet a more sustainable and equitable place.

The UNDP Accelerator Labs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Labs are the world’s largest and fastest learning network for wicked sustainable development challenges. A joint venture was entered into between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and the Qatar Fund for Development to construct the network.

With its specific focus on 115 independent countries, it taps into local innovations to instantly create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for Germany’s official development policy. BMZ’s responsibilities include accurately determining the specific objectives of German development policy, negotiating bilateral cooperation with more than 60 countries worldwide, and promoting multilateral cooperation.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development remains a founding investor in the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network, along with the Qatar Fund for Development.