Accelerator Labs Cambodia’s ethos addresses the strategic relevance gap between what UNDP has traditionally delivered and the changing nature of development policy and programme needs. As new needs have emerged, Accelerator Labs Cambodia sought to utilise the untapped sustainable development expertise, knowledge and solutions that exist within Cambodia and technological potential and application. The lab started from within by exploring innovation opportunities within UNDP’s existing projects. The team watched and learned from other programmes and engaged with communities, grassroots innovators and individuals with disruptive solutions and insights, all of whom generally fall outside UNDP’s radar. The lab is working hands-in-hands with the programme and policy team in designing innovative strategy, embedding innovative tools and technology, and experimenting and exploring disruptive ideas/solutions to accelerate development result in a wide range of thematic areas, including green growth and circular economy, air quality, public service innovation, digital transformation, and Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals.
Green Growth and Circular Economy
1. The lab is exploring and piloting alternative solutions to plastics and promoting sustainable e-commerce
. A finding from market research and experiment on alternative straw that contributes to policy formulation to support alternative business and local production of alternative products
. A locally-sourced alternative product piloted and tested in the market.
. A Doing Guide for Sustainable E-Commerce produced and published and inform the green online business operation
. Innovative solutions including alternative packaging to plastic for e-commerce and behaviral change for supplier and buyer on e-commerce explored and tested and scaled
2. The lab is working with creative citizens in designing waste bins for better waste separation and testing the prototypes
. A winning design with specifications ready for the Ministry of Environment to adopt or replicate.
. A finding from waste bin experiment to inform national standard for public waste bin
. Winning waste bins to be deployed at selected locations
Air Quality Monitoring
The lab is working collaboratively with the Department of Air Quality and Noise Management of the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), and Open Seneca to roll out innovative air quality mobile monitoring sensors across the capital city.
. A more accurate pollution map, increased civic awareness and source apportionment to incorporate into pollution management plans.
. An increase in capacities of MoE and partners through lessons learnt from the experimentation. Scales such projects to other cities through local ownership and collaborative partnerships if the testing is successful.
Public Service Innovation
Accelerator Labs Cambodia is partnering with the Ministry of Civil Service to strengthen innovation within the public sector, establish an institutional mechanism for civil servants to curate and test innovative ideas and promote digital technologies in public service delivery. Reflecting the Nesta Civil Servant Competency Framework, the project adapted and designed the “Civil Service Innovation Program” to meet the nature and need of Cambodia’s public administration management and public service delivery.
. A complete innovation curriculum is designed, tested, and evaluated through collected feedback to refine the content and delivery structure prior to adoption into a standalone programme and full adoption into the school curriculum at large.
. Participants can to apply practical theory, skills, and knowledge to tackle challenges and deploy innovative solutions and creativity into their day-to-day work.
. Citizens receive better service delivery from new solutions that are introduced by civil governments.
Digital Transformation Initiative
1. Data for Cambodia
The lab has built Data for Cambodia, a collection of data dashboards with visualizations and insights to explain and dissect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cambodia.
. Public and relevant stakeholders can utilize data, trends, and insights to make an informed decision, apply this to their work and respond to crisis in a timely manner.
. Up-to-date Covid-19 impact on vulnerable groups and businesses available for policymakers.
2. AI for Poverty Mapping
The lab is using AI for poverty mapping that aims to leverage non-traditional (big data, geospatial data, financial data, nighttime light luminosity etc.) and traditional data (in the form of indicators contributing to the eventual creation of Multidimensional Poverty Index/Poverty Index) in order to create a predictive analytic tool using machine learning/artificial intelligence.
. Availability of real-time poverty data that identifies locations and, dimensions and degrees of multidimensional poverty in Cambodia.
. An increase in government department’s use, understanding and application of poverty data to guide policies, social programmes, and interventions.
. An improved access to comprehensive poverty data for NGOs and CSOs in Cambodia to guide their works.
4. Improving Students’ Learning Outcomes
The lab is partnering with public schools in Siem Reap to implement and test one of the digital learning tools, Tesdopi, by Edemy. Tesdopi is an assess-and-improve tool to help high school students excel in math and other science subjects.
. Lesson learnt from the experimentation is shared widely to relevant stakeholders
. If the result from the experiment is successful, the scaling option with MoEYS, UNICEF, Edemy will be explored
5. Single Registry System for Social Protection
The lab is working with the socio-economic team to advance social protection in Cambodia through promoting the use of these innovative technologies to build a stronger social protection system, starting with the development of a single registry system for social protection in Cambodia
. A proof of concept with the completed pilot of a single registry system for social protection with NGOs
Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs) Platform
The lab has built the CSDG’s platform to celebrate innovative ideas and create networks of grassroots innovators on sustainable development.
. An increased public awareness of CSDGs, especially youth, to understand the urgency of finding local solutions and promote sustainability at the community level to achieve the goal by 2030
The lab worked with the youth employment team designing the Bluetribe incubation program, the first-ever initiative that UNDP Cambodia applied technology acceleration models to incubate tech startups, create high-skilled employment among Cambodian youth, and create future jobs for other youth by upskilling high potential talents with our tailored entrepreneurship incubation program.
. Improved national and sector-specific policies related to youth skills development and employment in the context of Industry 4.0.
. A more developed human capital for higher value-added employment to support Cambodia’s transition to Industry 4.0; and increasing capabilities of young entrepreneurs to start and sustain businesses that are responsive to changing industry needs.