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Romolo Tassone
on Mon, July 21, 2014 at 09.01 pm

Announcing “SHIFT - UNDP Week of Innovation Action”

Announcing “SHIFT - UNDP Week of Innovation Action” (22 to 25 September 2014)


The UNDP Innovation Facility officially launched last week with the generous support of Denmark and exciting innovation activities are already happening across UNDP.

The launch of the Facility has provided the opportunity to try something new, so the global campaign “SHIFT - a Week of Innovation Action” was conceived and will be held the week of September 22nd 2014. SHIFT aims to accelerate innovation for development by: 

  1. connecting UNDP innovators, and
  2. encouraging its Country Offices to experiment with different approaches to development. 

Based on real, immediate needs for creative thinking, Country Offices are invited to host research and learning events such as design jams, prototyping labs, innovation labs, camps and hackathons. External partners will also be invited to take part. SHIFT will accelerate:

  • the exchange of experiences of innovative approaches across countries and regions. UNDP colleagues with relevant expertise and those with a keen interest to learn from these experiences will be deployed to Country Offices for the week of SHIFT.
  • ongoing innovation initiatives of a Country Office or initiation of new projects by bringing in UNDP’s partners to develop ideas and prototypes, setting the stage for innovation initiatives in 2015.

Those Country Offices with innovation activities already underway as well as those interested in kick-starting innovation initiatives can participate. SHIFT will drive real progress on innovations and new ideas. It allows UNDP innovators to directly test new ways of working with new partners and methodologies and to formalize a culture of innovation, learning and sharing within the Office and with national partners. There are now many case studies of Country Offices renewing their relationship with national partners using collaborative innovation approaches as the catalyst.

Country Offices hosting SHIFT events will be able to showcase their work to a global audience. The UNDP Innovation Facility will provide support for Offices to “work out loud”throughout this week, by reporting live from each event. This will allow the global public and UNDP colleagues to get a glimpse of UNDP’s innovation in action.

UNDP Country Offices can use this opportunity in multiple ways: as a catalyst for innovative thinking, to jumpstart an activity, or to launch an initiative. By the end of the week, UNDP Country Offices will have produced a tangible output; some examples are:

  • products or services developed and insights documented
  • documentation of public launches of initiatives
  • workplans for taking innovation initiatives forward
  • audio-visual materials with lessons learned based on after-action reviews of the week

For background information on UNDP’s approach to innovation, see the Budva Declaration from UNDP’s Global Innovation Meeting in 2013 and join UNDP’s Innovation 4 Development Teamworks space. If you have questions or comments about SHIFT or our innovation agenda, get in touch with us via



Mitchell Toomey

Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group

Bureau for Development Policy

United Nations Development Programme

304 East 45 Street New York, NY 10017

Skype: mitchell.toomey

Voice: +1 (646) 202-0860

twitter: @mtoomeyUNDP  Follow us:     

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