CEGA partners with UN, Government of Kenya, and Rockefeller Foundation to launch SDG Accelerator Lab

NEW YORK, 21 September 2019 — Today CEGA signed a Communique with the Government of Kenya along with The Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations, to inspire future action and support for the delivery of Kenya’s Big Four agenda. The agreement formally launches an “SDG Accelerator Lab” that will drive innovation and financing that helps the Government of Kenya accelerate progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

This effort builds on a recently initiated UNDP Accelerator Lab Network, and will serve as a strategic development platform for Kenya that brings together the government, private sector, civil society, philanthropy, academia, and young people to reimagine development for the 21st century.

“We are delighted by this opportunity to inspire positive social change in Kenya by supporting the Lab with rigorous research and connecting partners to our Silicon Valley enterprise ecosystem.” — Carson Christiano, CEGA Executive Director

From left: Siddharth Chatterjee (UN Kenya Resident Coordinator), Christine Heenan (VP, Global Policy & Advocacy, Rockefeller Foundation), Hon. Joseph Mucheru (Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya), and Carson Christiano (CEGA Executive Director)

The Lab will re-imagine how development work is done, promoting a culture of innovation and experimentation. The capacity to adapt in a rapidly changing environment will become key for the UN to stay relevant and provide effective support to Kenya to achieve SDGs.

“As a government, we recognize that innovation and technology will be at the heart of job creation, the manufacturing industry, guaranteeing food security for the country and ensuring universal healthcare. As a country, we have always taken pride in the space that we have provided to tech start-up communities, who have gone ahead to build some of the most amazing apps and systems. The partnerships signed today will harness the ongoing initiatives in our tech community to accelerate the actualization of our National Development goals. We are thankful for our partnerships with the UN SDG Partnership Platform, UNDP Accelerator Labs Network, Center for Effective Global Action, and Rockefeller Foundation. We call upon all our partners to join efforts in making the SDG Accelerator Lab a ground-breaking success for leapfrogging the attainment of Kenya’s development priorities.” — Hon. Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya

In collaboration with local actors including the private sector and academia, the SDG Accelerator Lab will endeavor to identify and harness homegrown solutions that have proof of concept, with the aim of bringing them to scale, while creating an enabling environment for young innovators to conceptualize, test and deliver interventions that best work for their communities.

“The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of working with the Government of Kenya to improve the lives and prospects of its citizens. Today we reaffirm our continued commitment and partnership with this communique. We are excited to be part of this journey, and look forward to advancing Kenya’s strategies and partnerships to achieve the Kenya Big Four Agenda.” — Christine Heenan, Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Advocacy, Rockefeller Foundation

Tapping into the UNDP Accelerator Labs network, the Kenya SDG Accelerator Lab aims to leverage and advance knowledge and learning by from others through the global network, and enriching the developmental thinking and implementation through exploration and experimentation of multiple possible ideas and finding contextualized solutions that can be deployed rapidly and sustainably.

“Today’s development challenges are complex, and the speed at which they evolve requires agility, innovation, creativity and urgency at which we develop interventions that deliver people-centred solutions. How development actors respond to the fast-changing realities of the 21 Century will be based on the ability to harness homegrown solutions and formation of strategic partnerships from global to grassroots levels, that guarantee endless possibilities of ideas and multiplicity of solutions.” — Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa

From left: Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa (UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa), Hon. Joseph Mucheru (Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya), Sicily Kariuki (Cabinet Secretary, Health, Kenya), Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet (U.S. Ambassador for UN Management and Reform)

Together with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of ICT, the SDG Accelerator will build on and complement government led initiatives such as the Ajira Program, the Digital Innovation Program, the Whitebox Platform and harness the power of tech-innovation to empower youth in becoming solution-oriented and employment creators; focusing on women, youth, vulnerable and marginalized groups, underpinning the ambition of the the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

“At the UN in Kenya, we strongly believe in the power of partnerships and stand ready to deliver as one our finest support to making the SDG Accelerator Lab a ground-breaking success.” — Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya

For more information, please contact: bernard.muthaka@one.un.org, Media and Communications Specialist, United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office

More About the UNDP Accelerator Labs

For more information, visit: https://acceleratorlabs.undp.org/


The CEGA blog is a platform for discussing key issues related to poverty alleviation and global development.

The Center for Effective Global Action

Written by

CEGA is a hub for research on global development, innovating for positive social change.



The CEGA blog is a platform for discussing key issues related to poverty alleviation and global development.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade