Hacker’s Toolkit

As the pace of change outside UNDP grows, we continue to witness new ways of addressing complex development problems by organizations that are smaller, faster and more agile than our own (the so called ‘development mutants’). Complex development problems are being addressed by organizations that are smaller, faster and more agile than our own. If we want to remain relevant, we need innovation to become “the way we do things.” The Istanbul Regional Hub partnered with Nesta and four country offices (fYR Macedonia, Moldova, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan) to develop a product that can help us bring innovation closer to the center of the organization by embedding it in key project management business processes – the Project Cycle Hackers’ Toolkit.

Culture change is not achieved just through a toolkit, but by facilitating a different conversations and interactions between management and staff, staff and our partners and clients. Worked on and tested with over 25 project teams in our regions, the toolkit provides structure that supports these new conversations, principles and tools to better manage the clients’ demand, tease out citizens’ needs, and come up with fresh solutions to key policy priorities in our region.

The Hackers’ Kit, which supports different types of discussions around project and program design, includes:

WALL MAP: Provides an overview of the UNDP project management cycle and potential entry points for doing things differently. It explains these entry points and the tools useful to support activities at different stages in the project cycle. A team can use it to support informal conversations with colleagues on innovation to point out where and when they can use fairly accessible tools (“If you do one thing…”) or use more advanced tools. Download here.

QUESTION CARDS: The cards prompt one to challenge current thinking, reflect on action, and shift the conversation in how you might do it differently. If a team is ‘stuck’ during implementation of a project or is developing a new concept note to address an emerging issue, the cards can help facilitate a discussion with the senior management about the way forward. The reverse sides are references to the tools that might be helpful to support doing projects in a different way. Download here.

DESKTOP MAP: Provides an overview of the project cycle in a more playful, non-linear way, reflective of how projects are run in practice. It includes the key decision moments of the UNDP Project Cycle, as well as potential entry points for innovation. Download here.

TOOLKIT: A collection of 19 tools that supports innovation activities throughout the project cycle. With them, one can capture insights and analyse, support decision making, challenge thinking and assumptions, plan activities, prompt discussion, and stimulate reflection. These tools can be used in group sessions, or by individuals. Download here.

FACILITATOR’S GUIDE: A short “how to guide” for the tools that are considered essential and brief instructions on how to use them. Written for session facilitators, who may have little to no experience using these tools, it can also be used by those who want to experiment. Download here.

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