Innovation is crucial to the three transformative goals of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet family planning needs and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices. UNFPA’s Innovation Unit shares the UN 2.0 vision – that nurturing innovation within an organization promotes a culture of continuous growth, enabling it to respond and adapt rapidly to global challenges. 

Seeking to make the most of its innovations, UNFPA joined forces with UN Global Pulse to expand the scalability of existing innovations and boost their effect. Under our scale acceleration service, Global Pulse ran a series of Scale Readiness Baselining Workshops, co-designed with the UNFPA Innovation Unit. The workshops aimed to:

  • Help UNFPA lead piloted innovations to see the short and long-term effects they hoped to achieve;
  • Identify success factors and barriers to reaching their goals;
  • Define a scaling strategy for their innovations.

Our impact

Thirteen UNFPA country teams from across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East took part in three workshops, where we looked at their piloted innovations and gave guidance on how they could expand their reach. Teams were working on diverse innovations, including training solutions for young social impact leaders, funding mechanisms to give mothers access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and improved delivery approaches to enhance maternal healthcare for vulnerable and marginalised groups. 

In the workshops, the teams got a better understanding of what is required to take their innovations to scale. They developed detailed scaling strategies, with key takeaway “courses of action”, to realise the full potential of their innovations. They also gained practical tools and skills to refine future value propositions and mitigate potential obstacles, which will determine financial backing and the next phases of these innovations.

The UNFPA Innovation Unit and our Innovation Scaling Team plan to continue this collaboration to provide the teams with additional technical support to implement their scaling strategies.