In 2021, we worked with 37 non-profits and startups from 10 countries in Europe and Central Asia on scaling their innovations in three key areas: digitalization, wellbeing and low-touch economies, to accelerate recovery, adapt and reimagine a more sustainable post COVID-19 future.
As the pandemic radically changed how we engage the world, it also highlighted many of the social and environmental challenges we continue to face as a global society. BOOST was part of a broader effort by UNDP in bringing together development partners committed to addressing the long-term effects of the pandemic by supporting innovators and changemakers in the region.
Our first Impact Report highlights the collective work of the debut BOOST cohort, and how they are leveraging digitalization to deliver solutions to the development challenges across the region. The challenges that our cohort are seeking to solve include: access to quality education; access to health and wellbeing services; and reduced inequalities.
Nearly half of participants used digitalization and digital tools to address issues in the field of education (24%) and health (22%) – from digital learning and collaborative platforms and online STEM classes for children to an app that helps people improve their social and emotional intelligence through gamification.
BOOST participants’ knowledge about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initially varied, but throughout the program, graduates gained a greater understanding and aligned their business impact models with the SDGs and their indicators.
To learn more about the innovation journey, check out the stats in our Impact Report.
BOOST is a regional acceleration program for social impact innovations. Powered by UNDP Europe and Central Asia, it launched three calls for innovations in 2020 in collaboration with our partners Koç Holding, the Slovak Ministry of Finance, and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.