Pitch to South Korea for Funds?

Thiss week a UNDP post-2015 team member went to Korea to explore ways in which that country could support the process. Korea had also expressed interest on youth and ICTs to DGG -DGG being UNDP’s focal point on youth. DGG had suggested to the mission to also pitch e-governance.

Here is what I prepared on the spot for the mission. As usual I was given very short notice about this.

On second thought, we should do NOT pitch e-governance per se, especially if you are meeting MOPAS. Korea is working very closely with UNDESA and has  UNPOG (UN Programme on governance) which Korea is funding and is hosted by MOPAS. So funding additional e-government  stuff will probably not fly at all. We tried that before unsuccessfully and faced that same issue.

What we can pitch to the Koreans and can be seen a separate track is the stuff on youth and social innovation for development which in turns links to the current development agenda and the upcoming post-2015 agenda.  This track has two components: 1) participation of youth (and other marginal populations) not only on decision-making processes and policies but also on their implementation and assessment; 2) youth entrepreneurship and leadership in driving localized ICT innovations that directly address local development needs and furnished public and private goods and services that people sitting at the bottom of the pyramid still lack. Entrepreneurship here is not equal to private sector development only. This is an important difference as it allows for communities to also become “entrepreneurial” on their own and in any way or fashion they want.

Some of these ideas are developed in a couple of blogs I wrote:  http://blog.raulza.me/?p=1242 and http://blog.raulza.me/?p=1182.

Concrete ideas include:

  • Create and/or strengthen youth e-leadership capacity with a focus not on ICTs but on human development. This can be done via virtual meetings, global gatherings in Korea, mentoring programmes led by Korea, participation in key UN development meetings and related, etc. Curricula, materials, cases to be jointly developed by UNDP and GoK
  • Support local innovators in developing countries by providing seed funding and access to appropriate technologies (hardware included) while fostering collaboration, networking and cross-pollination across countries and regions. GoK/UNDP could create a small grants  or revolving fund for this purpose, launching at the same time a complementary software, hardware and data bank
  •   Reach out and capacitate policy makers at the local level to increase awareness on social innovation, promote links between them and innovators, help mainstream, replicate and scale up successful innovations that have direct impact on basic public service delivery and foster people’s participation (as mentioned in the first bullet) in governance processes
  • Develop a “big data” enabled knowledge base that captures social innovations and innovators and can detect trends, gaps and duplication of efforts. Using open data standards, the knowledge base can be co-hosted by UNDP/GoK but provide open access to any one in the world
  • Explore ways to develop benchmark and indicators to assess the real potential of social innovation on the ground and provide practitioners with tools and methodologies to foster this at the local level

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Raúl

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