Scaling up local development innovations to reduce poverty and inequality | Selim Jahan

18 Jun 2013

A video on UNDP's work, presented to the Executive Board. (UNDP)

'Think global, act local’ is a motto critical for development. And this, I believe, is at the heart of scaling up. By expanding small, successful projects to the national level, informing policies and strengthening institutions, scaling up can ensure coverage, impact, and sustainability for programmes aimed at supporting some of the world’s poorest people.

UNDP and its partners around the world are working with governments to sustain and scale up successful innovations that provide opportunities to as many vulnerable and marginalized groups as possible.

The need remains urgent. While we have achieved great progress toward some of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, current projections indicate that in 2015 almost 1 billion people will be living on less than US $1.25 per day.

Through the Republic of Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund, we are supporting nine countries to scale up proven development solutions. To date, these projects have helped to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people. These include:

• In Colombia, job centres that offer business counseling, entrepreneurship training, and career opportunities opened up across the country, focusing particularly on vulnerable communities. More than 21,000 people, 59 percent women, have already been trained and 7,000 businesses developed, generating nearly 3,000 jobs.

• In Haiti, nearly 1,000 women completed vocational and professional training in jewelry production and crafts, agriculture and construction thanks to a better access to micro-credit and technical assistance. More than 500 new jobs were created, and more than 750 microenterprises established.

• In Lao PDR, UNDP and UNCDF supported the government in building 286 local infrastructure projects and delivering better, cost-effective services for more than 352,000 people.

Lessons and best practices learnt from these pilot projects will be shared at broader level. This means designing successful projects to operate on a larger national scale but also across borders, which is vital for long-term impact.

Talk to us: What are the key factors of success in scaling up local initiatives to achieve larger development impact? Share examples from your own country.

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