Categorized | Keyzom Ngodup

Ideas & Partnerships for Innovation – Inviting Thoughts

By T. Keyzom Ngodup, co-founder at Ideas sYnergyIdeas sYnergy is Iraq’s first multiple bottom line advisory company committed to inclusive economic and social development through market-based solutions that help build and scale youth-driven innovative ideas for social change.

Recently, USAID’s Office for Innovation and Development Alliances (IDEA) announced a global request for concepts around public-private partnerships as part of their mandate under Global Development Alliance (GDA). IDEA, a special initiative of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, seeks to reach development goals more quickly, cost-efficiently, sustainably, and at wider scale through innovation (“meaning significant, not incremental, improvements in development impact”) and partnership. Under this Annual Program Statement (APS), USAID is inviting the private sector for a mutually beneficial partnership where resources from both the parties will be leveraged equally leading to an increase in the sustainable impact of development assistance programs. Apart from the private sector, USAID has also opened the invitation to submit project ideas that reach out to the private sector and explore ways in which collaboration might help all the partners to more effectively solve key problems, advance respective interests and achieve far greater development results and impacts.

Keeping in mind that many smaller and start-up development stakeholders are often deterred by lengthy and meticulously detailed proposals (running over 50 pages), initial submission under this APS is limited to 5-page concept notes, which if chosen, will be invited to submit a full proposal.

At Ideas sYnergy, we are inviting interested Iraqi organizations and individuals to share your ideas and collaborate with us and/or others. As a local Iraqi social enterprise (first in the country), we want to facilitate local organizations’ access and participation in global initiatives. At a recent Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Conference on Social Innovation, Ideas sYnergy was the only Iraqi organization present, and indeed participants were interested in the social innovation model/s of post-conflict countries.
Some initial ideas that we can build around as a community; ideas that come through experiencing the challenges of working/operating/living in Iraq:

  • Money Transactions Beyond Cash: Why can’t mredy charge for its services? Why do small/young organizations like us face problems receiving consultancy payments directly into our company bank account in Iraq? What are other sources that Iraqis can rely on with over 5% fees on transfered funds by banks, and temorary termination of Western Union services?
  • Disenchanted Youth: Iraq’s youth (over 30% of Iraq’s population is between the age of 19-32, and approximately 50% less than 19) do not have a voice in driving their country’s future. Although the youth overcame fear of bomb blasts in the recent demonstrations, everyone thought everyone else was a government intelligence agent, inciting paranoia in citizenry.
  • Access to Data: Iraq has a number of independent and government affiliated research centers in the country however access to policy relevant data remains a critical challenge to the work of these research centers, including Ideas sYnergy’s monthly publication Iraq Insights. Consequently, the number and quality of evidence-based research from Iraq is severely lacking, and beset with outdated means of communicating and marketing its results and activities.

Do write to us with your feedback, suggestions. We are ‘ideating’ at the moment, and will share further thoughts soon.

 

By T. Keyzom Ngodup, co-founder at Ideas sYnergyIdeas sYnergy is Iraq’s first multiple bottom line advisory company committed to inclusive economic and social development through market-based solutions that help build and scale youth-driven innovative ideas for social change.

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