‘Zaroorath ijad ki ma hai’— Necessity is the mother of invention, or innovation in our case!
UNDP has been supporting the University of Balochistan in the establishment of Government Innovation Lab (GIL) in the university premises. GIL works closely with academia, students, government departments, and private sector for identifying innovative solutions to improve public service delivery.
Last year, we had a chance to work with GIL to organize the Balochistan SDG Challenge Cup. We wanted to identify and work with teams, including private innovation firms, academic institutions, NGOs and public institutions working on innovative solutions, to transform and improve public service delivery. It also gave the government departments an opportunity to transform from inside i.e., transform internal processes to make them more efficient and effective in providing services to the people of Balochistan.
A stakeholders discussions identified that the SDG Challenge Cup will help to move service delivery from a transactional approach to a holistic, citizen-centered perspective. Through it, citizens and service providers will be able to play an active and ongoing role in delivering user-centered effective services against the backdrop of Sustainable Development Goals.
In order to come up with themes for the competition, the Government Innovation Lab (GIL) engaged in conversations with UNDP Sub-office Quetta, academia and GIL team to research initially the needs and requirements of the citizens, then analyzed the data and finally consulted with relevant government departments to identify the gaps in service design and delivery. The shortlisted themes they arrived for the SDG Challenge Cup included:
· Goal 1: No Poverty
· Goal 4: Quality Education
· Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy