Solutions mapping: finding hidden gems, ready to be propelled to the global stage
Solutions mapping is the process of going everywhere in Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Seychelles to discover and validate grassroots innovators and their innovations. The Head of Solutions Mapping of the UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Acc Lab, Ayooshee Dookhee, explains that: “One important consideration is to gather information and inspiration from various sources, from people and communities as they solve their own problems in real-time. This is to make sure that the corpus of knowledge is built on strong foundations.” She is confident that, within our islands, gems are hidden, ready to be propelled to the global stage: “For example, in Seychelles, the local community of fishermen is actively participating in novel ways to do coral reef restoration and some of the techniques could be scaled to Mauritius, to other SIDS or even to larger countries.”
Exploration: identifying weak signals and emerging trends
While solution mapping is being done locally, important advances are also being made elsewhere. As Head of Exploration, Melany Poorun-Sooprayen identifies weak signals and emerging trends: “In this way, the Accelerator Lab, the country office and UNDP at large, can adopt an anticipatory approach towards sustainable development. For example, how will water problems affect the livelihoods of people in Rodrigues in the long run, or will the lack of tourists in Mauritius and Seychelles, due to the pandemic, change the nature of jobs? One important component of exploration is to make sure that the intelligence derived from all the data collected finds its way into the programmes of the UNDP.”
Experimentation: designing experiments to be performed by multiple actors
As for Avinash Meetoo, Head of Experimentation, his role is to break down traditional silos by identifying the real drivers of change. In order to solve complex sustainable development challenges, he designs experiments to be performed concurrently by multiple actors: “For example, to solve the problem of poverty in Mauritius or Seychelles, funding organizations, educators, social workers, NGOs, private companies providing CSR as well as the Government will all have to work together. It is illusory to believe that poverty is the responsibility of one stakeholder only. In the process, it is essential to properly capture the learning from the experiments to allow for rapid adaptation if needed. The world is never static.”
After three months of action, the Accelerator Lab of Mauritius and Seychelles will be called to work with the rest of the UNDP Team for Mauritius and Seychelles in formulating more efficient project proposals and sounder policy options. The three Heads have scheduled the official launch of the UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Accelerator Lab for Wednesday 21 April 2021 at 15:00. More details will be published on UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles website as they become available.