Sri Lanka’s first social innovation lab to be established

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Research together with the United Nations Development Programme have come together to establish Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab.

The establishment of this lab comes as one of the main outcomes of the First National Summit on Foresight and Innovation for Sustainable Human Development which was hosted by UNDP and other public and private sector partners in May 2016.

The Innovation Lab, which will be a co-financed initiative, will be aligned to support national development priorities through the prototyping of development ideas to complement accelerated initiatives. Not to be mistaken with a policy or idea implementing agency, the Lab will be able to comprehensively assess an initial idea within a given timeline. The Lab will be a rapid prototyping facility for development efforts – in the form of an idea, a problem or a solution – using foresight tools to take into account multiple alternative future scenarios to make the idea or solution future proof.

It will be a joint initiative between the Government of Sri Lanka and UNDP, acting as an independent body working collaboratively with all government departments and ministries, as well as other external partners on issues which align with national development priorities.

The Social Innovation Lab will start its operations this year and will be a three-year pilot project.