17 September 2020, Bangkok –  Representatives from government agencies and business associations witnessed the signing ceremony between  the Royal Thai Government, represented by the  National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a partnership agreement  to establish an Innovation Centre (Lab) in Thailand. This partnership aims to be a spring board for Thailand to accelerate innovation in public policy and services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and share Thailand’s experience with other countries in the region and beyond.

The event witnessed high-level representatives from various organizations involved in policy formulation and delivery of public services in Thailand, such as the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission, National Innovation Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand Responsible Business Network, Social Enterprise Thailand Association, among others.

Dr. Thosaporn Sirisumphand, Secretary-General of the Office of National Economic and Social Development Council of Thailand stated that the Innovation Centre will support Thailand in introducing innovation in public sectors and enhancing the capacities of policymakers and staff in the public service to apply innovative approaches in their work. The Centre will also create a platform to engage citizens, entrepreneurs, youth in formulating public policy and designing inclusive public services to achieve the SDGs.

Dr. Sirisumphand highlighted, “This year, we realize the true meaning of a disruptive and changing world. We all have experienced volatility, uncertainties, complexity and ambiguity over the last 9 months since the outbreak of COVID-19. The inauguration of the Centre comes at a perfect time. With this collaboration, we aim at innovating our policy process, tools and more importantly, human resources through hands-on experience and knowledge sharing both at the national and international level.”

Mr. Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative for Thailand mentioned that the Innovation Centre is a family of UNDP’s Acceleration Labs around the world. He expressed that UNDP is honoured to partner with NESDC, and remains committed to drawing international expertise from those labs from around the world to support Thailand to facilitate innovation and exchange of knowledge. Addressing the event, he further added, “Today’s development challenges are complex and require innovative approaches. The SDGs are both a means  to address those complex challenges and an end, representing the strongest aspirations of the people. The COVID-19 pandemic and its dramatic socio-economic consequences highlight the irrelevance of traditional ways of formulating public policies and delivering public services that are not sufficiently agile, efficient and effective to achieve the SDGs.  This main objective of the Centre is to enhance the capacities of Thailand to use innovative approach to achieve the SDGs”.

This partnership agreement between Thailand and UNDP was approved by the Cabinet on 4 August 2020. The establishment of the Centre provides a platform for Thai and Asia-Pacific communities to co-create innovative solutions and new tools for policy formulation and public service delivery. In this approval, the Royal Thai Government will contribute financial support for the operation of the Centre, while UNDP will draw expertise in Thailand and abroad to execute this collaboration.

For more information, please contact:

Wisoot Tantinan – Programme Specialist/Team Leader, Democratic Governance and Social Advocacy Team,  UNDP Thailand, Wisoot.tantinan@undp.org  | Mobile: +668 6978 3080

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Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.

 

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