WFP Tanzania and UN Innovation Network team up to host innovation night
Dar es Salaam - The United Nations Tanzania, the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Hub Tanzania and the UN Innovation Network (UNIN) on Thursday hosted the first UN Innovation Night in Tanzania, showcasing the world body’s innovative work in the country and its commitment to use innovative approaches to advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In times of growing development and humanitarian needs, innovative approaches and new technologies offer the United Nations an opportunity to unlock solutions with the potential to create extraordinary, life-changing impact for millions of people.
“Business as usual will not help us achieve the SDGs - we need to be innovative, forward thinking and not afraid to try new things,” said Michael Dunford, acting UN Resident Coordinator and WFP Representative.
New ways of thinking and a culture that enables innovation and experimentation are critical to bringing new approaches to the work of the United Nations. To facilitate this culture change, many UN agencies have established dedicated teams to promote innovation at the global as well as local level.
UN Innovation Night brought together UN and other key actors in the Tanzania innovation ecosystem to exchange ideas, learn from each other and establish new connections. The night also marked the end of an eight-week Tanzania Innovation Safari, which was designed to build innovation capacities through hands-on training and partnership development. The Safari was conducted by the UN in Tanzania under the leadership of the WFP Innovation Hub and UN Innovation Network.
Through the Innovation Safari, thirty staff from 11 UN agencies learnt and applied well-defined innovation methodologies to problems such as “How might we better communicate with our beneficiaries?” and “How might we establish sustainable energy solutions for people living in refugee camps?” During the UN innovation Night, the teams presented their ideas to an audience of government representatives, development partners and the private sector.
“Commitment to collaboration is critical to leverage new technologies and innovative thinking and to keep the UN at the forefront of some of the biggest challenges facing the world today,” said Dunford.
Building on the lessons learnt from the Tanzania Innovation Safari, the UN Innovation Network is looking to expand this new localised approach to hands-on capacity building in other countries where the UN has a presence.
About the United Nations Tanzania
The United Nations System in Tanzania comprises 23 UN Entities, who work closely with the government and other stakeholders to support the achievement of national development priorities and of the Sustainable Development Goals. Under the coordination and leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, UN agencies work in close collaboration to enhance the coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of the UN’s impact in Tanzania with an emphasis on leaving no one behind. For more information, please visit www.tanzania.un.org or follow @UnitedNationsTZ on Twitter.
About the United Nations World Food Programme Innovation Hub
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future. The WFP Innovation Hub in Tanzania is designed to identify, pilot and scale innovations for Zero Hunger in Tanzania and make WFP’s field logistics and IT expertise available to partners in the region. For more information, please visit www.innovation.wfp.org/tanzania or follow @WFP_Tanzania on Twitter.
About the UN Innovation Network
The UN Innovation Network (UNIN) is an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators interested in sharing their expertise and experience with others to promote and advance innovation within the UN System. The UNIN is open to innovators from all UN Agencies as well as external partners and to date, representatives from 65+ entities in over 100 countries have joined the Network. For more information, please visit www.UNinnovation.network or follow @UN_Innovation on Twitter.
 Participating Entities include FAO, ILO, IOM, UNAIDS, UNCDF, UNDP, UNEP UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP