GLOBAL INNOVATION SUMMITSep 1, 2015
1 September 2015
UN Resident Coordinator a.i.
UNDP Resident Representative a.i.
Excellences, Honourable guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
INNOVATION is key to a new global development agenda.
Take our smart phones as an example of a technological innovation; think of the way it changed our lives; but also think of how other innovations using the smartphone as a platform has changed the civic dialogue through social media innovations. Innovations have consequences at the global scale.
I therefore welcome the opportunity to address you this morning in the most innovative country in the Middle East. UAE rose two spots this year to rank as the 24th most innovative country in the world.
Under its leadership of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Makthoum the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE is taking leaps forward in creating an environment for innovation to flourish. The government’s announcement in May 2013 by HH Sheikh Al Maktoum of transforming delivery of government services through smart platforms is an important example.
The catalytic role of innovation week in November this year will not doubt further show the world innovation needs to be encouraged, globally.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank the organizers for giving us the platform to discuss a key topic that encourages advancements in technology and services.
Let me remind ourselves of a significantly important quote from Helen Clark: “Innovation is not an end in itself. It is about using the most up-to-date concepts and means available to get the best development results.”
In this regard, I would like to shed light on UNDP’s interest in promoting innovation. For UNDP, innovation means reframing the issues we work on through uncovering user-focused insights, continually scanning the horizon for fresh thinking and new ideas, and often in parallel prototyping those in an effort to quickly and inexpensively figure out what works and what does not.
In addition to the government, UNDP is now working with the private sector and civil society to promote development. UNDP believes that the traditional ways do not apply anymore in today’s complex environment; we need to reach out more to the private sector and civil society organisations.
UNDP feels the necessity for a platform that includes all these entities as no sector alone will produce better ideas, better implementation of programmes, policies and development results.
A few examples of work UNDP has done on innovation:
In Egypt, we designed a smart citizen platform to generate participatory processes of people in cities. Connecting data, people and knowledge, the objective of the platform is to serve as a node for building productive and open indicators, and distributed tools, and thereafter the collective construction of the city for its own inhabitants.
In the Maldives, we teamed up with FixMyStreet.com to develop an online platform called Make My Island, for Maldivians on remote islands to interact with their municipal councils. This has helped bring more effective municipal services to some of the most remote atolls in the country.
Just last month in Nepal, UNDP partnered with the Microsoft Innovations Centre on a smartphone-based app to plan and track recovery and rebuilding efforts in towns and cities affected by the recent earthquakes. This speeds up the recovery work, reduces errors and ensures that the people doing the work get paid quickly and efficiently.
Excellences; Ladies and gentlemen: It is about us working to create enabling environment, ecosystem working at variety of levels, national partnerships and entities and different sectors to look at how the young people are educated for example, so they become more innovative, more creative and better contributors to development growth and social progress.
I wish to conclude my speech by reiterating that we have now an opportunity to take our work to the next level, to be even more effective and relevant to those we serve, to those we partner with, by integrating these good practices into our work in a more systematic way.
Good luck with the event, in getting new insights, having fruitful discussions and networking for future innovations – innovation that improves your bottom lines and brings the society we live in better off.
Mr. Frode Mauring
UN Resident Coordinator a.i.
UNDP Resident Representative a.i