On 2 February 2016 at 11:00pm at the UN House in Armenia Kolba Innovations Lab held the launch event of a new project called "Innovation for development". The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by UNDP in Armenia.
The project was launched by introducing first Public Sector Innovation Week in Armenia, which would include a conference in the well-known TEDx format, “Kolba Cafes” meeting and workshops for high-level public servants.
Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, H.E. Mr. Piotr Antoni Switalski, Ambassador, Head of the European Union and First Deputy Minister-Chief of RA Government Staff Gurgen Dumanyan addressed the guests of the event, highlighting the importance of such cutting edge initiatives in Armenia.
“Inno4Dev will unleash innovators across the spectrum of society. From the classrooms, to the hospitals, up to municipal and government offices: this project provides a platform for anyone who thinks they have a solution to help reach Armenia’s development potential ”, said Mr. Bradley Busetto, UN RC/UNDP RR in Armenia.
"Armenia's future is connected to its power to innovate. The EU promotes and supports innovation in Armenia through various cooperation projects covering sectors like economic development, research, education, and e-Governance. To ensure that innovation participates in transforming the Armenian administration, it is important to foster bottom-up approach and encourage new ideas in the policy making. Therefore, this project is there to encourage the practical engagement of citizens and public sector for effective and efficient governance," said Mr. Piotr Antoni Switalski, Ambassador, Head of the European Union.
The philosophy of this project is citizen-centered, as it gives citizens a key role in policy development and the implementation process. The cooperation of two major organisations will allow them to develop new mechanisms for citizen participation and introduce open government innovations in Armenia. The project will have three strategic directions: idea incubation from citizens, public awareness activities, and public sector engagement. The third direction will be implemented in partnership with the UK-based organisation FutureGov, a leader in public sector innovation.
In Armenia and the rest of the world there is a need to increase citizen engagement in decision-making processes. A series of open competitions will be held to delegate solutions on pressing problems in Armenia to citizens, thereby encouraging beneficiary involvement and assessment. Each citizen will have the opportunity to suggest solutions, and the best solutions will be given an incubation period and receive initial support from UNDP and the European Union.
Competitions for ideas will also take place within government to encourage and develop new, more effective procedures, open government solutions, and communication tools. As a result of the project, the concept for an Open Governance Centre will be created to promote and develop participatory approaches to public services.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993, and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals.
The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders”.
For additional information please contact:
UNDP Kolba Innovations Lab, Hasmik Soghomonyan: (+374 60) 530000 (*224) or Hasmik.firstname.lastname@example.org