The UN Development Program (UNDP) announced a partnership with startup incubator HATCH! VENTURES to facilitate innovative action by youths for social good in Vietnam.
This year UNDP will collaborate with HATCH! VENTURES for the Social Innovation Camp and the Social Innovation Summit to identify and scale up innovation for development solutions, according to a press release it issued Thursday.
UNDP will challenge campers to come up with innovative solutions to tackle issues related to five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life below water; Life on land; and Peace and Justice.
“Where the 2016 Social Innovation Camp is different from the previous competition is that it will stimulate sustainable innovative solutions for social issues that can be scaled up to make a difference across the country,” Pham Quoc Dat, director of HATCH! VENTURES, said.
He said the camp would be held in August in Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate nationwide participation.
Dr Pratibha Mehta, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, said: “I hope the 2016 cooperation will yield even more innovative ideas and galvanize 1,000s of young people into creativity to speed up information sharing and promote citizens’ participation and transparency for SDGs implementation.
“Young people are the most important stakeholders to drive the sustainable development agenda forward.
“Through this partnership, we shall bring innovative technology and development agenda closer and encourage new ideas, prototype and creative solutions that increase access, reduce cost, and enable citizen participation and feedback”.
Vietnam has made remarkable economic and social progress in the past three decades, with its poverty rate declining from 58 percent in 1993 to just 7 percent now.
While the economy slowed somewhat after the global downturn, the country is now seeing GDP growth rates approaching 7 percent.
But this progress has admittedly been hampered by persistent disparities, environmentally unsustainable production and consumption and the ongoing threat of climate change. Meanwhile, people’s expectations for improved services and living conditions have risen dramatically as they become better educated.