Scaling-up Digital Transformation through South-South Galaxy

December 22, 2021

By Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director, UNOSSC

As we are about to close the chapter of Year 2021, all partners on South-South Galaxy should give applause to the virtual community that we have built together. This is a community that has significantly grown in sharing knowledge and fostering opportunities for collaboration.

Today, the global digital platform that was launched during the United Nations South-South Cooperation Day in September 2019 has over 416 registered institutions, including 102 government agencies and 56 UN Funds, Programmes, Specialized agencies and Country Offices, and houses more than 800 good practices in SSTC cutting across all SDGs, facilitating knowledge sharing and dialogues.

The South-South Galaxy good practices database is steadily expanding to feature many more innovative initiatives from the Global South that have led to the cross-country transfer of knowledge and experience for overcoming common challenges. These solutions shared are sustainable, tested for technical feasibility and have potential for replication to achieve impact at scale. Many of the good practices received from partners center on LDC and SIDS priorities, and include relevant and scalable efforts in the context of COVID-19 pandemic recovery. A special issue of good practices focusing on SDG 3 has brought to us solutions in primary health care (PHC); reproductive, maternal, new-born, and child health (RMNCH); the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV & Syphilis (EMTCT).

Learning from actionable solutions and concerted efforts made systematically and strategically by all development partners are key to sustainable and resilient development.

I am excited to share that a number of new initiatives are harnessing SSTC to promote digital transformation to help improve the innovative capacity of developing countries..

A partnership launched with the International Telecommunications Union – the Digital Innovation Challenge to identify Southern innovative, digital solutions that can be scaled up to enable countries, societies, communities, institutions and individuals from the Global South to deal with the cascading effects of the pandemic received over 250 submissions from over 50 Southern countries. Twelve winners from 10 countries received seed funding to scale up their solutions with training and mentoring support with a potential partner in the South.

For the first time this year, the annual Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo, scheduled to take place from 12 to 14 September 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand – designed to showcase evidence-based successful development solutions and initiatives – has set up a Virtual Exhibition on South-South Galaxy to enable online collaboration. This exhibition will enable all member states, UN agencies and institutions to exhibit and showcase their SSTC solutions and initiatives online. You can apply for a virtual exhibition booth here.

Galaxy is also serving as a platform to bring networks of cities, institutions, and experts together to facilitate horizontal cooperation and exchange through the South-South Cities Cluster initiative, launched under the aegis of UNOSSC’s Cities Project. The initiative enables local government representatives and other development actors to engage in thematic SSTC capacity development and knowledge sharing activities for mutual benefit.

A key development this year is the integration of South-South Galaxy into the System-wide Strategy on SSTC for Sustainable Development to enhance the ability of the UN system to facilitate South-South knowledge exchange on successful development solutions from the South for country-to-country and cross-regional learning and cooperation. These exchanges of experiences, know-how, appropriate technologies and adaptable development solutions among Southern countries will accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

In 2022, we will continue to expand membership, enrich content and enhance utilization functions of South-South Galaxy as a one-stop platform for knowledge exchange and partnership brokering. Through our collaboration with all country and regional partners, including UNCTs and regional commissions, we will further optimize the use of the South-South Galaxy as one of the global platforms for SSTC among UN entities and countries, while promoting the use of other UN SSTC digital platforms in a concerted manner.

Stay tuned, dear partners and colleagues, through South-South Galaxy’s Twitter and Facebook social media channels, and be the first to know about the excellent work and opportunities in the SSTC space.

The South-South Galaxy team wishes you a happy holiday season and a great start to 2022!

Xiaojun Grace Wang Deputy Director, UNOSSC