“SAN FRANCISCO — The United Nations Development Programme has called its new digital strategy “the first of its kind in the UN system.” The organization seeks to digitally transform itself and better understand ways to support countries to leverage digital tools as drivers of development.
As technology rapidly transforms the way development is done, UNDP aims to serve as a model for not only keeping pace with these changes, but also leveraging these tools to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We’re trying to make that which UNDP can offer to a country highly relevant,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told Devex. “In other words, we have to become ourselves digitally literate and understand how development and this digital future intersect.”
Steiner said he hopes the strategy, launched in April 2019, will put UNDP in a position to support more programs like the flagship program of the Digital Bangladesh agenda, for example. Citizens who once had to travel for days to access services or documents held by the government, such as birth registration, land records, or life insurance, can now use digital access points for more than 150 services within 4 kilometers of where they live.
So far, the initiative, which began about 10 years ago, has saved Bangladeshi citizens 2 nearly billion days of time, more than $8 billion in costs, and more than 1 billion visits to government offices, according to the government’s public service innovation unit.”