The Lab will pilot new approaches to support Armenia leapfrog to a new frontier of development
Yerevan, 14 November 2017 – The Government of Armenia and the United Nations have set up the world’s first National SDG Innovation Lab to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Armenia. For the first time, the state, in cooperation with the United Nations, is creating an innovation platform to support the UN SDGs implementation at country level. To do so, the Lab will draw upon innovative methodologies and expertise available from across the world, including the UN’s own innovation facilities and tools.
Today, Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Ministers, Ambassadors, representatives of government agencies as well as international organizations, diplomatic corps and media attended the official inauguration ceremony of the National SDG Innovation Lab.
Welcoming the initiative, the Prime Minister said: “The Lab is a joint initiative of the Government of Armenia and the UN and will operate within the domain of CSI. This is a very conscious choice as the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is very important for Armenia, as part of essential reforms being implemented in our country.”
“This is the first time you will have seen such a mechanism anywhere in the world,” said Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia. “We’re keen to support the Prime Minister’s vision for a smarter, leaner system for tackling development issues and are excited to collaborate with our partners in Armenia and across the world in that regard”. The Lab has already partnered with organizations such as the Stanford Change Labs, UN Global Pulse, the Behavioral Insights Team and AGBU, and many new partnerships are now in the making.
The 17 SDGs are being comprehensively tied to the National Reforms Agenda of the Republic of Armenia, including the Armenia National Development Strategy 2030 currently being developed. The goals are extremely ambitious, the challenges are complex and intertwined, and therefore necessitate new approaches, new methodologies and possibly new types of institutions to provide ‘out of the box’ solutions that bring about transformative impact. This is the role of the National SDG Innovation Lab.
Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and hosted in the Center for Strategic Initiatives, the Lab will serve as space for experimentation, collaboration, analytics and world-class human resource development to unlock Armenia’s development potential and accelerate the implementation of the Agenda 2030.