UNDP teams up with Vietnamese start-up hub to drive social innovation

By Nhung Nguyen   June 15, 2016 | 08:04 pm GMT+7
UNDP teams up with Vietnamese start-up hub to drive social innovation

The U.N. Development Program has announced a partnership with the start-up incubator Hatch Ventures to facilitate innovative action for social good among Vietnam's youth.

The partnership agreement was signed on June 14 in Hanoi by Dr. Pratibha Mehta, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, and Pham Quoc Dat, director of Hatch Ventures, an incubator for new consumer products and services in Vietnam.

The collaboration will focus on three game changing areas of common interest: innovation for development; mobilization of young people into innovative action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; and partnerships with the private sector.

“Through this partnership, we shall bring innovative technology and development agenda closer and encourage new ideas, prototype and creative solutions that increase access, reduce cost, and enable citizen participation and feedback,” said Mehta at the ceremony

This agreement builds on the initial partnership in 2015 around the Hackathon for Social Good, which mobilized more than 100 young people into action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. This competition resulted in two innovative ideas: the “For People” (the 4P) app on mobile phones to collect feedback on public services, and “GT-101” – an educational tool to encourage citizens to report any misconduct by traffic police.

In 2016, the UNDP will collaborate with Hatch Ventures on the Social Innovation Camp and the Social Innovation Summit to identify and scale up innovation for development solutions. Campers will be challenged to come up with innovative solutions to tackle issues under five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely responsible consumption and production; climate cction; life below water; life on land; and peace and justice.

“What's different about the 2016 Social Innovation Camp is that it will stimulate sustainable innovative solutions for social issues, that can be scaled up to make a difference across the country,” said Pham Quoc Dat. He said that the camp will take place in August in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate nationwide participation.

“I hope that the 2016 cooperation will yield even more innovative ideas and galvanize thousands of young people into creativity to speed up information sharing and promote citizens’ participation and transparency for SDGs implementations,” said Dr. Mehta.


Dr Pratibha Mehta (left), UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, celebrates the partnership agreement with Pham Quoc Dat, director of Hatch Ventures. Photo by UNDP

Vietnam has made remarkable economic and social progress in the past three decades, with the national poverty rate declining from 58 percent of the population in 1993 to just seven percent today. However, this progress has been hampered by persistent disparities (notably by ethnicity and locality), environmentally unsustainable production and consumption and the ongoing threat of climate change. Meanwhile, people’s expectations for improved services and living conditions have risen dramatically as they become better-educated.

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