The United National Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives and Ministry of Economic Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU was signed during a special ceremony held at the economic ministry of Tuesday.
Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Maldives Enrico Gaveglia signed the MoU.
The MoU revolved around providing assistance for strengthening evidence-based policymaking as well as enhancing investments towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Maldives.
According to the economic ministry, the MoU will reaffirm the long-standing partnership and build on multiple areas of support through decades. It also lays the foundation for accelerated and focused development cooperation under UNDP’s new ‘Country Programme Document for the Maldives 2022-2026’.
The four main priority areas of cooperation included in the MoU are:
- Strengthening data management and governance for evidence-informed policymaking as well as providing strategic economic advisory to the government of Maldives,
- Exploring climate investment opportunities and to collaborate in the development of SDG investment maps in Maldives,
- Providing technical support on the diversification of blue economy and to seek opportunities to transform the national economy towards blue economy,
- Extending support to women entrepreneurship, boosting the capabilities of Women’s Development Committees (WDCs), female leaders, youth and community organizations to sustain green and digital entrepreneurship.
The economic ministry expects to draw in global and regional expertise into developing data-driven, innovative research capabilities with the support of UNDP under the MoU.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Fayyaz noted that the MoU is another step forward, in the continued collaboration between the UNDP and the Maldivian government and went on to extend his appreciation for the continued assistance that UNDP has been extending, especially during the Covid-19 crisis.
The proposed activities under this MoU would involve the setting up of the government innovation lab for socio-economic policymaking which will focus on gathering data which will be relevant for our policymaking. One of the key issues that I have identified since I assumed this position is that although there are a lot of data available in various departments of the government, there is no way to utilize those, so I believe this effort will go a long way towards tackling that problem and for us to make more-informed decisions. This will also assist us in our economic diversification programme based on relevant research, so that a successful diversification programme can be rolled out by the government.”Fayyaz Ismail, Economic Minister.
Speaking further, the minister revealed that one of key areas of collaboration under the MoU that he feels most content about is the support being directed to women, especially through the involvement and training of the WDCs in the islands.
As such, he noted that through this programme, assistance will be provided to WDCs to identify the possible areas of income generation for women across residential islands, adding that help will also be extended through the m to get that activity up and running through technical expertise and also through financial assistance.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Gaveglia noted that the UNDP’s willingness and commitment to work with the ministry is mirrored through the MoU.
In terms of our work today, I think this MoU is a network of the collaborations is not one project, it is a portfolio of initiatives. The first one is very much on the data ecosystem, how we have grown better because of the data and the minister was right on point when he mentioned that we have a lot of data access, but we don’t know how to do or what to do with it.”Enrico Gaveglia, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Maldives.
UNDP is a network spanning 170 countries around the globe, extending support to exterminate poverty, eradicate inequality and build resilience in a bid to help countries sustain development.