UNDP Moldova runs MiLab, an internal think-tank and experimentation outfit with a clear mandate to innovate and promote collaborative experimentation within the Government, in the private sector, internally in UNDP Moldova, and in collaboration with external partners.
In its second phase, the new Moldova Innovation Lab is combining the cumulative experience of Moldova Social Innovation Lab (2014 – 2018) and Business Innovation Lab (2015 – 2018), as well the Joint UN Project on Strengthening the National Statistical System (2007-2018) and collaborating with the UNDP’s Green City Lab in supporting accelerated delivery of the SDGs.
- Support transformative changes in the organizational and innovation culture in the public and private sectors and align all participants for the accelerated achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda and national targets;
- Support the global network of Accelerator Labs mainly in areas of collection and making sense of new types of data for SDGs, conceptualization and running of specific innovative experiments linked to nationalized SDGs, as well as impact evaluation and strategic support to scaling-up of the successful experiments;
- Contribute towards streamlining innovation and evidences into the existing UNDP portfolios through engaging with the ongoing and prospective projects and seeking ways to maximize and to measure their social impact.
- Shift in the mindset at the level of main stakeholders as measured by the degree of engagement of partners in various undertakings achieved and methods used for public policy development and evaluation overtaken;
- Development and testing of quick solutions as a result of rapid horizon scanning and solutions mapping;
- Achieved experimentation capability by the main stakeholders;
- Tested solutions are taken over by partners and successfully scaled up nationally;
- Portfolio of partners diversified, and resource mobilization targets achieved;
- Portfolio of co-designed development experiments implemented and impact on SDGs evaluated;
- Innovative experiments and solutions co-designed and tested with internal UNDP portfolio/programs
- Internal knowledge management and innovation platform created.
- One of the biggest behavioural experiments conducted in the region tackled irresponsible electricity consumption. 20,000 households from Chisinau reduced by 2% their electricity consumption after being informed that their neighbors receive lower electric bills or consume less;
- As a response to increasing plastic bags consumption, a behavioral experiment with Metro Cash & Carry was conducted in August-September 2019 in order to test various options of encouraging Metro customers to consume less plastic bags resulted in 5.5% decrease among the customers that received attractive options to plastic bags at the counter;
- MiLab used behavioural experiments to tackle low motivation and the decreased capacity of the registered unemployed to enter the market by testing an innovative approach. Individual consultations between job-seekers and employment specialists at the National employment Agency was redesigned and implemented in 14 Territorial Employment Centres (with other 15 Centres in Control group). As a result, the likelihood of a job seeker's transition to the job market increased by 5.2 percentage points (10.7%) within 3 months;
- Partnership with mobile operator Orange Moldova, electricity provider Premier Energy had been signed to develop and pilot an Urban Big Data Collaborative Platform with two use cases to address that are relevant to the Chisinau context (traffic congestion and lack of small urban infrastructure). Big Data Platform was developed, with 3 service lines:
- Urban and Peri-Urban Land Use Land Cover Classification and Associated Changes;
- Census-Based Population Distribution;
- Case Study Definition and First Insights into Recent Population and Mobility Trends;
- First UNDP project in the region to pilot the SDG Accelerator for SMEs (Danish model). The program contains 5 private sector companies participating in one-year business acceleration programme, aimed at engaging the private sector in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- Building up on the need for perception/qualitative data to be used further for development interventions, more than 1000 micro-narratives were collected on the quality of life in Chisinau, in partnership with UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub and Cognitive Edge (Singapore-based think-tank). The project allows for an open-up dialogue with the local administration around citizens engagement;
- In 2019, MiLab applied design thinking to redesign some of the public services, including the development of a blueprint for a new office space for the National Employment Agency Office in Chisinau that emphasize accessibility, openness and encourage civil servants to provide efficient and user-centred services. The blueprint can be used as master-frame for the future redesign of Agency territorial offices across Moldova;
- In 2020, MiLab launched collaborative use of new evidence to support the Government of the Republic of Moldova to respond to COVID-19 crisis, aiming equally at raising the awareness of the authorities around gathering new evidence to be used for response measures;
- Partnership concluded with the European Space Agency to complement the existing air monitoring data on air pollution. A study was conducted to map the air pollution in Chisinau, the capital city, and the rest of Moldova, using earth observation data. The study was conducted during the COVID-19 lockdown, but also covered rich historical datasets, thus allowing to assess the impact of COVID-19 on air pollution, particularly in dense urban and industrial areas;
- MiLab contributed to the elaboration of the report on the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups and economic sectors in the Republic of Moldova. The paper, based on collected micro-narratives, aimed to strengthen the dialogue between the partners and stakeholders on SME support in the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, identify the gaps in public programs and policies, and come up with additional business support initiatives;
- In 2020, MiLab contributed to the elaboration of COVID-19 Impact on Agricultural Practices in Moldova, publication that provides monitoring of the agricultural product and the estimation of the impact of COVID-19 on Moldovan agricultural practices;
- Elaboration of the paper - Inequalities in urban and rural Moldova: Beyond incomes and averages, looking into the future of inequalities, aimed at analysing both income and non-income inequalities through the prism of access to qualitative services, including health care, primary education, green spaces, transportation and urban mobility.