Future of Innovation in East and Southern Africa Region

Strategic approach – A future paper. Tone of the language should be forward looking and futuristic especially since it is about innovation
A. Background
Brief background to open the paper on future of innovation
Assess the current definition of innovation as in the global innovation strategy. Look at this definition as against other UN agencies especially UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNDP etc as well as key organisations including World Bank, AfDB, etc and private sector including Mastercard, Johnson and John etc. Assess the definition is fit for purpose and the comparison with the other agencies should inform a proposed definition for UNFPA. This definition should reflect the 4 transformative results of East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), the SDGs – Decade of Action.
The analysis should also identify a gap in the ecosystem the UNFPA can add value to.

a. Contextual analysis
The proposed definition should inform the assessment framework.
Review the innovation ecosystem in Africa, ESAR and narrowed down to the UNFPA and UNFPA in ESAR. Analysis to focus on the unique perspectives of innovation in these different spaces and the value to innovation growth (1 – 1.5 pages).
b. Comparative analysis
Review of key stakeholders within the ecosystem in ESAR including public, private sector, donor agencies Trusts & Foundations etc. The analysis to look at how each of these stakeholders approach innovation – their objectives, definition, sectors of focus, target audience, funding sources and their unique value to the ecosystem etc. Identify strategic gaps and UNFPAs possible value and/or entry to the innovation ecosystem. Possibly do this in a table. (1 page)
c. Trends shaping the future of innovation
Assess innovative approaches and strategies of key stakeholders to inspire the UNFPA ESAROs approach to innovation

B. UNFPAs approach to Innovation in ESAR (pathways to innovation in ESAR)
Key pillars of innovation that should define our work
a. Pathways to innovation for ESARO
Define pathways to becoming a market leader within the ecosystem and also within the UNFPA. The UNFPA’s current modes of engagement are:
• Service delivery
• Knowledge management
• Capacity development
• Advocacy and policy dialogue
• Partnership and coordination, including South-South and Triangular Cooperation
What are the new/innovative pathways to explore to achieve the transformative results.
(1 page)

a. ecosystem enablers
Explore best practices and enablers of innovation within our specific context (half page)
b. Innovation revolution
Look at innovation in our transformative results, key issues of interest including gender, climate change, commodities securities, economic opportunities for youth, SRHR. Also look at innovation in our operations and explore efficiency and effectiveness. (1 page)

C. Future of innovation

Forward looking perspectives of what our innovation should look like exploring innovative trends.

  • Break these down into operational and programmatic approaches.
  • Explore mega trends, emerging technologies, strengthened community systems to use local innovation, PPP, cutting edge approaches to mainstreaming innovation to achieve our mandate (internal and external),
  • sustainability,
  • ecosystem wide approach and how UNFPA ESARO can be a touch bearer in innovation at the regional and global levels
    (1 – 1.5 pages)

a. Risk factors
Assess the factors that will impede our innovation efforts (half a page)

b. Mitigation strategies
Explore strategies to mitigate the identified risks (half a page)

D. Conclusion

Summarize the vision and approach to innovation and what our expected outcome is (two paragraphs)

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