Government of Armenia, UN set up world’s first National SDG Innovation Lab

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The Lab will pilot new approaches to support Armenia leapfrog to a new frontier of development

Yerevan, 14 November 2017 – Drawing on experiences from across the world, 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 the country.

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 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.

The Lab will be hosted in the Center for Strategic Initiatives (CSI), which aims to accelerate reforms so the country can achieve a breakthrough.

“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,” said Karen Karapetyan, the Armenian Prime Minister at the opening ceremony today.

The 17 SDGs are being comprehensively tied to the country’s national reform agenda, including the Armenia National Development Strategy 2030, currently under development. Because the goals are so ambitious, Armenia has decided to explore new methods and types of institutions that can bring about transformative impact. 

“This is the first time you will have seen such a mechanism,” 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 will aim to improve tax collection and the quality of the education system, and accelerate the adoption of energy efficient and renewable energy.  In addition, it will create the first SDG Barometer - using big and citizen-generated data to report on SDGs, as well as on making data easy to understand.

So far, the Lab has already partnered with organizations such as the Stanford Change Labs, UN Global Pulse, the Behavioral Insights Team and AGBU – Armenia’s largest diaspora organization.

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Initiated by the Government of Armenia, the Center for Strategic Initiatives works to advance the reform agenda in Armenia through facilitation of dialogue between policy-makers, private and public stakeholders and international partners.

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UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993, and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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