UNDP Accelerator Lab in Lebanon

UNDP Accelerator Lab: Re-imagining development for the 21st century

Background | We cannot do business-as-usual
Business-as-usual in the way we approach development must change. The Center for Global Development recently found that the SDGs are unlikely to be met by 2030 without rapid, ubiquitous innovation. This means, new and innovative approaches need to be introduced and tested that effectively embrace complexity of development challenges to allow opportunities to create transformative changes.  

In 2017 UNDP Pakistan made a commitment to invest in innovative solutions for social change. Today, every programme unit in UNDP has budgeted innovation workstreams. UNDP’s innovation portfolio has introduced new tools and methodologies that include becoming more human-centered by co-designing interventions with partners and users; using innovation challenges to find innovative ideas; use mobile tech to reach rural and remote communities. UNDP Innovation expanded its partnership base by collaborating closely with the private sector, startups and innovators in our projects.

UNDP Innovation in Pakistan is now growing its support not only to its projects but also to its partners as it launches UNDP Innovation AccLab-Pakistan.

Who are we?

UNDP Innovation-AccLab Pakistan is a dedicated learning space created to re-imagine ways of exploring new ways of working in development. Together with our core partners, the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, Innovation-AccLab Pakistan is part of  UNDP’s global network of 60 labs serving 78 countries that will work together with global and national partners and local innovators to find radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges. AccLab-Pakistan will test and disseminate new and innovative solutions within Pakistan and across countries.



In Pakistan, we have a new team that include, Head of Lab – Exploration lead, Head of Solution Mapping and Head of Experimentation. With UNDP’s core programme team we have just begun developing solutions in plastic waste, governance, social entrepreneurship and water conservation. We will also be developing a portfolio of experiments on our frontier challenge which will be on women inequality.



The Accelerator Labs

Embedded within UNDP office, the Accelerator Labs will provide national partners with a set of new services to explore, test and grow solutions for complex sustainable development problems. Our approaches include: 

  • Sense-making: Labs will analyse, in almost real time, the local context challenges to identify connections and patterns to anticipate new avenues of work and act effectively to accelerate development.
  • Solutions mapping: In close collaboration with local partners, the Labs will identify grassroots solutions and stretch their potential to accelerate development.
  • Collective intelligence: The Labs will use collective intelligence to support partners better understand facts and ideas, develop new solutions, promote more inclusive decision making, and provide better oversight of what is done.
  • Designing and testing: The Labs will simultaneously test approaches to tackle a singular complex development problem. This systematic process will allow learning to happen in weeks or months rather than years.

The success of Labs will be seen in three ways: their influence on nurturing experimentation and accelerating development programming, their impact on government policy, and their ability to inspire spin-off public and private ventures.

More information at: acceleratorlabs.undp.org


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