Innovation for Development: Towards New Forms of Partnerships, 5 October 2021

September 21, 2021
  • When: 5 October 2021,  9:00 AM – 10:30 AM (EST)
  • Registration: to register for this event, please click here.

On 5 October 2021, the OECD Innovation for Development Facility, the South- South Network for Public Service Innovation (SSNPSI) and International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA), are co-organizing an event titled “Innovation for Development: Towards New Forms of Partnerships“. The event will  highlight innovations and the work of innovators across sectors from low income countries (LICs) and middle income countries (MICs)


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic illustrated again the important role and functions of innovators from low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs). Innovation efforts led by people in LICs and MICs have been of vital importance to local and national responses to the coronavirus pandemic. There is an important role for the international community to play in brokering, facilitating and investing in the people and ideas that originate in LICs and MICs. The work undertaken for the recently published OECD policy paper ‘COVID-19 innovation in low and middle-income countries: lessons for development co-operation’ suggests not only that more can be done by OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members and their counterparts to bridge the gap between international donors, agencies and innovators in low and middle-income countries, but also that more should be done and that this is the time to do it.

The paper concludes that development and humanitarian organisations should position LIC and MIC innovation as a route to high-impact and relevant programming and as a means for furthering the sustainable development and leave no one behind agendas. The international co-operation vision for LIC and MIC innovation should be a vital part of transforming development from resource transfer models to genuine global co-operation based on mutual learning and partnerships, with funders playing context-appropriate roles including as facilitators, ecosystem conveners and intermediaries in the innovation process.


  • Showcasing a selected number of specific innovations generated, tested and scaled in LICs and MICs;
  • Highlighting mechanisms to support innovators in LICs and MICs and efforts to better understand LIC and MIC innovation contributions and outcomes in a participatory way rather than solely by imposing externally defined criteria and indicators;
  • Discussing opportunities to further improve the support of LIC and MIC innovation with representatives from bilateral development agencies and philanthropic organizations;
  • Engaging Innovation officers of bilateral development agencies with SSN4PSI to support the network and its objectives; and
  • Promoting South-South and Triangular cooperation.

Target Audience

The event is mainly designed for development professionals with decision-making power over funding and strategy related innovation for international development efforts. A secondary target audience is the wider development professional community, especially individuals and representatives of organizations that actively work on shifting decision-making power to local levels.


1. Welcoming remarks by Facilitator
  • Mr. Benjamin Kumpf, Head, OECD Innovation for Development Facility
2. Opening Remarks
  • Mr. Adel Abdellatif, Director a.i., United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) (TBC)
3. The South-South Network for Public Sector Innovation: Introduction and presentation on myGov, NISE3, and ekShop initiatives
  • Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i Programme
4. Q&A on SSN4PSI Presentation 5. Panel Discussion
  • Question 1: Why do we need a reckoning in international development cooperation and its modalities to support local government innovators and local innovation ecosystems?
    • Mr. Walter Kerr, consultant at Starling Strategy, former U.S. diplomat, multilateral bank advisor, and technology entrepreneur.
    • Dr. Karlee Silver, Co-CEO, Grand Challenges Canada.
    • Ms. Ese Emerhi, Global Network Weaver, Global Fund for Community Foundations.
  • Question 2: What are concrete mechanisms you have tested to improve how public-private partnerships can improve innovation ecosystems? What have you learned?
    • Ms. Susan Snider, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Equality Fund.
    • Ms. Jocelyn Mackie, Co-CEO, Grand Challenges Canada.
    • Ms. Ese Emerhi, Global Network Weaver, Global Fund for Community Foundations.
    • Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, a2i Programme.
  • Question 3: What opportunities do you see for large bilateral and other development organizations to provide triangular support for South-South cooperation?
    • All panellists
6. Audience Q&A 7. Closing Remarks
  • Mr. Sudipto Mukherjee, Resident Representative (RR), UNDP Bangladesh