By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has expressed its conviction that global challenges can only be resolved by working together. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play a crucial role in achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs). This is precisely because digital innovations, methods and approaches offer opportunities and solutions for sustainable development and can help to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030 faster, better and in some cases more cost effectively. The importance of digital innovations is therefore also explicitly emphasized in four of the 17 goals of Agenda 2030.
However, this potential has not yet been fully realised in many different (local) contexts. One reason for this is that the opportunities that digital innovations offer to solve social challenges have not yet been recognised. On the other hand, even in contexts where digital innovations and solutions are already being developed, they often do not contribute to sustainable developments. In many cases what is missing is a comprehensive analysis of social challenges that includes all relevant actors. This lack results in many digital innovations and solutions not being developed in line with the actual needs of prospective users and therefore ultimately not contributing to solving the challenges. A further problem is that digital innovations are often developed from scratch in different regions and sectoral contexts instead of transferring existing innovations to new local contexts and adapting them in a systematic way involving relevant local actors.
This project, led by adelphi, supported local digital innovations in cross-sectoral and/or cross-regional cooperation systems in Ghana, Indonesia and Mexico to further tap into their potential to solve social challenges and promote sustainable development. The project implemented three innovation challenges in the target countries, each focusing on a different topic: financial inclusion in Ghana, urban sustainability in Indonesia, and green recovery in Mexico. These challenges identified a total of nine digital innovation teams (three in each country), and provided them with sustainable business development support through the Digital Innovation Launcher Programme as well as tailored support to sustainably implement and scale their digital innovations.
The project is an extension of Innovation Factory – global partnerships to promote digital innovation for sustainable development.