By Apichaya O-In, Stan van der Leemputte, and Hadee Hamidong

Cross posted from Thailand Social Innovation Platform

Yala’s Railway Market (Photo: MAD ARAI D)

Bustling food markets in Thailand’s southern border provinces are an integral part of the local food system. They are a real-time indicator for social cohesion, food security, and economic prosperity in society. However, lack of investment and maintenance along with the recent impact of COVID-19, have put these essential community resources at risk. Mrs. Patimoh Sadiyamu, the newly appointed and first-ever Muslim woman vice Governor of Yala has given an interesting reflection on the issue.

Sadiyamu, a native of Yala, now 55, knows…

4 lessons learned from running an innovation competition to accelerate the transition towards a Circular Economy of plastics in ASEAN

Photo Credit: TRẦN VĂN TÚY (

Morgane Rivoal, Lan Hoang Phan, Alex Oprunenco (UNDP)

This blog is the third in a series unpacking what a transition to a Circular Economy would mean for Viet Nam (Part 1 and Part 2)

Innovation competitions and challenges to tackle plastic pollution are not new. In fact, innovation, often conflated with technology, has emerged as a panacea to many modern ills. While new technologies can undoubtedly help tackle some of those, we posit that innovation is an element to support…

Authors: Luong Nguyen, Brent Wellsch, Alex Oprunenco, Shumin Liu, and Ida Uusikyla

This is the second blog in the series documenting our learnings as part of our regional initiative around plastic pollution and transition to a circular economy. In the first blog we looked at the role of portfolio in supporting policy coherence and decision-making. This one looks at the portfolio’s role in building movement for change.

Movement-Building- What does it Mean in our Context?

Have you ever seen this video? Chances are you have. It became a cult-hit sensation early in the past decade. It depicts a gentleman enjoying himself at an outdoor music festival. His joy…

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

By Enrico Gaveglia and Shumin Liu

The Regional Innovation Centre of UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub and the UNDP Philippines together with data science company Dataverz have explored the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the UNDP sensemaking process. This is part of the Regional Innovation Centre's work to continuously evolve sensemaking to meet the needs of the UNDP Country Offices so as to fine-tuning its process to accommodate a post-pandemic digital imperative as well as to complement it with foresight disciplines.

Where is the idea coming from?

Two years ago, the Regional Innovation Centre introduced a portfolio sensemaking process which has now been adopted by…

By Alex Oprunenco, Brent Welsch, Ida Uusikyla, Luong Nguyen, Shumin Liu

Our regional initiative was conceived as an experiment to apply a systemic and portfolio design methods to better understand and act upon the issue of plastic pollution and circular economy Asia and the Pacific. As with other complex challenges, we have found that engaging with and in the space of circular economy by default puts you in a position to have to do things differently. By its very nature, circular economy implies a different trajectory compared to the current take-make-waste model that is predominant in the Asia Pacific region…

By Juliaty Sopacua, SDG Advisor, UNDP Indonesia and Patrick Duong, Local Governance Advisor, UNDP Regional Hub for Asia and the Pacific.

The defining global health crisis of the modern age, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing lives of millions of Indonesians, many of whom live in small villages across the archipelago.

A fisherman living in Ponelo village of Gorontalo province is losing his source of income, as the fish markets are closed due to the social restrictions implementation to curb the spread of the COVID-19. …

Interview with Alexandru Oprunenco, Head a.i. of the Regional Innovation Center, Bangkok Regional Hub UNDP

Cross posted from GovInsider by Yun Xuan Poon

“Covid-19 has been an important and timely test for governance systems around the world, emphasising need for acceleration of new governance models,” says Alexandru Oprunenco, Head a.i. of the Bangkok Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programmes’ Regional Innovation Center. “The speed and complexity of changes have increased dramatically.”

In just the past year, governments have had to adapt quickly to face pressing challenges. Many have ramped up the use of tech, and restructured teams and processes. …

By Doina Ghimici

Magnifying many existing question marks and prompting new ones is just one of the many ways in which COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world in 2020. Both the pandemic and the question marks will accompany us in the New Year. If the pandemic may be gradually defeated by the end of next year, many questions will remain. Among the questions that will likely not fade away is whether we should continue taking political goodwill for granted and assuming that governance systems and elected leaders truly work for the public good.

At a time when the highly valued…

by Courtney Savie Lawrence, Head of Exploration

Fully wrapping our arms around a system is a luxury we no longer have. So rather than writing up maps, we should carry a compass. — manifesto

2020 has been a year of deep shocks and jolts. Many plans have been put on pause or re-considered, and to adapt, many organizations have been discovering new ways of navigating the complexity in real time. Although working with and towards ‘innovation’ is not a new endeavor for UNDP, what has become more explicit, is an intent to shift away from single point solutions and towards…

An Update from our systemic design journey to fight plastic waste in Asia

by Alex Oprunenco, Brent Wellsch, Shumin Liu

When we last left you, we were in the midst of launching our initiative looking to address the complexities of plastic waste management in Asia and the Pacific. As outlined in our initial blog by Alex, the Regional Innovation Centre in Bangkok is engaging in an ambitious undertaking by applying a systemic design approach for seeding new ways of thinking and acting in response to the plastic waste challenge. Specifically, we are working in 4 countries (Vietnam, Maldives, Pakistan, and the Philippines) and in each utilizing systemic design as a convening methodology by…

Regional Innovation Centre UNDP Asia-Pacific

In the Asia-Pacific region, we are interpreting the renewed mandate for innovation as an opportunity to reframe: follow us and contribute as we explore

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