The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (UNDP) is calling on innovators to propose and submit ideas on how to build urban resilience in the city of Accra, to accelerate Ghana’s development.
The challenge will cover the following areas: digitalising the informal economy; building urban resilience; and improving waste management. Selected ideas will be consolidated into a pool of ‘collective intelligence’ which will be implemented with support from the AMA in Ghana.
The challenge is organised by UNDP’s Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development, and the Governance Lab (The GovLab) at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and is running until 13th December 2020.
Digitalising the informal economy
Ideas should offer solutions to difficult access to finances that force informal workers and businesses to rely almost exclusively on very risky informal, short-term funding at high-interest rates. Likewise, without a regulated, controlled, and safe work environment and markets to produce and sell their products, informal vendors are more vulnerable and have fewer opportunities to formalise their businesses.
Building urban resilience
Rapid urbanisation and limited investment to upgrade critical infrastructure of cities have contributed to the proliferation of slums and informal settlements. Due to the lack of infrastructure, these communities cannot absorb socio-economic and climatic shocks, which further erodes existing and dilapidated infrastructure. Climate change increases the probability of a natural disaster, impacting poor urban infrastructure and magnifying damage and consequences.
Improving waste management
Increasing population, rural-urban migration, and shifting consumption patterns, are all combining to increase the amount of waste produced. This in turn overwhelms the capacity of existing waste collection systems. Companies are also contributing to this issue by manufacturing single use, non-recyclable, and excessive packaging for most consumer and commercial goods. Governments lack efficient infrastructure to collect, sort, and manage waste in a timely manner, which is compounded by residents’ low awareness on the need to reduce, separate, recycle and reuse waste.
The Multi-City Challenge model was created in 2016 under the notion that public institutions need to change how they work, and become more data-driven, agile, innovative, and capable of tapping expertise from new sources to respond more effectively to novel challenges. This programme allows the expertise of civil servants and residents in countries to define problems and to find innovative solutions, creating synergies and economies of scale in the Country.
To apply and for more information on the Africa Multi-City Challenge, please visit http://africa.multicitychallenge.org.
The Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development is a joint initiative by the Government of Singapore and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which aims at identifying and co-creating technological solutions for sustainable development. The Centre curates partnerships, identifies solutions and connects partners and innovations with UNDP’s Global Policy Network and development partners.