To accelerate learning and mitigate the challenges of the SDGs, the Bangladesh Chapter of Accelerator Labs, a new addition to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was launched Wednesday through a virtual event.
The programme is funded by the German Cooperation and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), said a press statement.
Attended by the Bangladesh's Planning Minister MA Mannan as the chief guest, the virtual event brought together actors from the government, private sector, development partners, civil society, and academia to accelerate learning to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
Addressing the panel discussion as the chair, minister MA Mannan said, "The global network like UNDP's Accelerator Lab can help Bangladesh regain its space for timely achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and LDC graduation by 2026."
Joining the event as a panel discussant, Sultana Afroz, CEO of the Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA), said, "Public-Private Partnership is crucial in achieving the SDGs. PPPA can collaborate with UNDP's Accelerator Lab to bring innovations in achieving the SDGs."
Masud Bin Momen, senior secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "UNDP has always been with the government of Bangladesh in its journey towards an indomitable Bangladesh."
"The newly launched Accelerator Lab will be a tool to address many challenges in Bangladesh like climate change, disaster management, inequality, and, of course, the adverse impact of the Covid pandemic," he added.
Momen also hoped that the Accelerator Lab would synergise all the initiatives to mitigate the challenges of achieving the SDGs through knowledge share, technology transfer, and best practices.
NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary to the ICT Division, among the other panelists, said, "With the help of ICT we are coping well with the new normal during the pandemic. UNDP's Accelerator Lab can help us to reduce the digital divide caused by the Covid pandemic."
The panel discussion was moderated by the Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, Sudipto Mukerjee.
Earlier in the introductory remarks, Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) of the Prime Minister's Office, said, "The process of achieving SDGs needs to be supported by our developing partners like UNDP. I hope this Accelerator Lab can give more strategic support in terms of technology, innovation, exploration and implementation."
The Accelerator Labs are part of UNDP's drive to be an incubator for the future. To accelerate progress towards the 2030 agenda, creating actionable intelligence and testing innovative solutions with national partners are a must.
The Labs are designed to close the gap between the current practices of international development at an accelerated pace of change.
In 2019, UNDP built the world's largest and fastest learning network Accelerator Labs to address sustainable development challenges. Started with 60 Lab teams covering 78 countries, the network has now expanded to 91 Labs covering 115 countries, including Bangladesh.