Youth and Innovation

UNDPLKA-YouthLeads-2016Meet the UNDP Youth Leads of 2016-2017



The UNDP Youth Leads Programme is a pilot that was initiated in 2015 with the view of engaging with and investing in youth for development. Recognizing the potential of today’s ‘techno-social generation’ of young people in finding innovative solutions to existing and emerging development challenges, four UN Youth Volunteers were recruited. Youth Leads are tasked to support UNDP Sri Lanka’s programmatic initiatives by infusing youth energy from within the Country Office.

During the one year pilot phase the Youth Leads have been supporting youth-related policy, programming, advocacy, innovation, outreach work and the promotion of volunteerism from within UNDP Sri Lanka. The Youth Leads Programme is a learning and development Programme created to provide an opportunity for youth to be familiarized with UNDP’s work, to gain a holistic experience of the organization and to support UNDP and UNV Programme initiatives contributing to sustainable human development and volunteerism.

With the successful completion of the pilot phase which culminated in UNDP hosting Sri Lanka’s first National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development (and subsequent follow-up initiatives), ‘HackaDev’ Hackathons for Development and other innovative solutionswe, we now have a second batch of Youth Leads working on the following intiaitves.


Sri Lanka's First Foresight and Innovation Summit



UNDP Sri Lanka was able to bring foresight and innovation to the forefront of the National development framework of Sri Lanka by engaging policymakers and development practitioners at Sri Lanka’s first National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development organized by UNDP and the Government with support from the Private Sector.

Over 300 participants representing all 9 Provinces of Sri Lanka attended the event comprising a mix of Public Sector, Private Sector and Civil Society. The Summit also engaged the Prime Minister, 2 other key Government Ministers and many private sector leaders including the Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka, Director of Dilmah Tea and CEO of Larfarge Holcim Sri Lanka. 

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Social Innovation Lab

One key outcome of the Summit was the design of a Social Innovation Lab intended to be a private-public-people endeavour anchored within the Government of Sri Lanka.

The lab will provide a safe to fail environment that focuses on social innovation and effective public service delivery, through a function based approach, emphasizing citizen centric design.

The lab will be a rapid prototyping facility for development challenges. It will test policy problems, solutions and ideas before implementation or roll out using foresight tools to take into account multiple alternative future scenarios.


UNDP’s Youth Social Innovation Camp, HackaDev, held with the aim of facilitating meaningful participation of youth to find innovative solutions for current development challenges, recently concluded at the Dialog Axiata Head Office with 5 teams being recognised for their creative solutions on Water, Disaster Risk Reduction and Peacebuilding challenges with Volunteerism as a cross-cutting element.

Currently in its 3rd edition, the HackaDev was conducted through a partnership with Sri Lanka’s largest telecommunication partner Dialog.

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Innovation Dashboard

Idea board which is an extended project of the Sri Lanka Innovations Dashboard is an initiative of UNDP in partnership with COSTI which features innovations and initiatives that can make our society better. Thus bridging together science, technology and innovation by engaging the entire community in the quest to integrate innovations in activities that impact our day to day lives.

We are currently working on further developing the Idea Board with the hope of connecting it to the Policy innovation lab in the near future.

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Innovation in Pictures


UNLOCKED is a space for Sri Lankan youth to express their views and opinions on development with the aim of creating positive change in the world. With the influence of its reach increasing, a key priority is to further generate deeper and higher levels of engagement with our content among our key audiences through the website.

We are currently working on the production of a web-based platform for UNLOCKED that would facilitate greater interaction.

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Social Good Summit

Held annually during the week of the United Nations General Assembly, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time.

The theme for 2016, ‘Connecting Today. Creating tomorrow’ encouraged different partners and stakeholders to connect for action on the sustainable development agenda.

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Innovation at UNDP

In the quest of offering innovative technology solutions to simplify day to day processes a mobile App on reserving meeting rooms and corporate vehicles is being developed for UNDP.

This helps improving internal processes and reduces staff workload by information requests and phone calls.


Await further updates soon on this exciting venture!


UNDP is ready to team up with private sector giant to find innovative ways to bring the #2030Now agenda to individuals.

We are currently exploring the development of a mobile application with gamification tools.


Watch this space for more on this exciting initiative.



UNDPLKA_2030NOW Press Con

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