The UN Development Program yesterday launched an initiative to connect Cambodia’s public service sector digitally with those in other countries to find speedier solutions to development challenges.
The UNDP Accelerator Labs initiative is a new service introduced in 78 countries that works with people, governments and the private sector to work together with national and global partners to find radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current challenges.
The labs are aimed at building the largest and fastest global learning network on development challenges.
The network will combine grassroots innovation with new sources of real-time data and experimentation, delving deeper into and exploring solutions to challenges such as the circular economy, youth employment and climate change.
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative, said at the launch that the programme focuses on innovations in the civil service and the public sector and other stakeholders in society to test and scale sustainable solutions to the challenges.
“We think there’s lots of value within the civil servants themselves who often have great ideas and potential but they need a safe space to be able to experiment and bring these ideas to the service so that’s what we want to try to work with them on encouraging. This new creativity is from within government,” he added.
Mr Beresford said that to transform government service to a digitalised one, ministries need to modernise their approach since young people are using smart phones, social media and different types of apps.
He noted that smart or new solutions will keep engaging people and speed up job creation and also provide more effective, efficient and quicker development solutions.
Mr Beresford said that with the new accelerator lab, UNDP also aims to focus on the fourth industrial revolution through a wave of new technology and grassroots innovation that will provide a new service offering, that works with people, government, and private sector to re-imagine the current development approach.
“We all need to be faster and more entrepreneurial if we are going to hit the sustainable development goals by 2030,” he said. The Accelerator Labs in Cambodia and 59 other countries is how UNDP is meeting that challenge, re-energising our work and our provision of development solutions.
Mr Beresford added that the UNDP will provide $700,000 to fund the Accelerator Labs .
Youk Bunna, a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Civil Services, said yesterday that the accelerator lab will improve government services and transform society as a whole.
He added that government and UDNP will train officials on the new initiative.
“The programme will change the officials’ perspective and mindset to provide better services to people using technology,” he said.
He added that his ministry is pushing all ministries to provide electronic services in line with the Kingdom’s goal of becoming a digital economy by 2023.