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ECOSOC Innovation Fair


To showcase the best innovative experiences and mobilize a wide range of stakeholders in support of successful development activities, the United Nations organized an innovation fair during the main part of the annual substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This fair took place during the High-level Segment and focused on the theme of the Annual Ministerial Review, “Strengthening of efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development”.


  • To provide the opportunity for the private sector, foundations and other civil society organizations to share examples of innovative products, approaches or practices and to disseminate them more widely to Member States and other actors.
  • To raise the awareness of decision-makers at all levels, civil society actors, and of the public at large to potential solutions for achieving the United Nations Development Agenda and promote the transfer/sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience through networking and peer-to-peer learning.


The UN Economic and Social Council aims to bring together all development actors, be they governmental or non-governmental, from around the world. Consequently, a wide range of institutions were invited to take part in the Fair: Governments, international and regional organizations, private sector entities, academia, civil society organizations, foundations, and the media. A dozen UN system agencies, ten private sector entities and 29 NGOs showcased their innovative products and projects in connection with the fight against poverty and hunger. 

What type of innovative approaches/projects/products were showcased?

The innovative approaches/tools/projects showcased at the Fair focused on the following thematic areas:

  • Increasing incomes and make markets work for the poor;
  • Ensuring access to infrastructure for the poor;
  • Building skills, business linkages and employment opportunities for the poor;
  • Increasing the agricultural productivity of food-insecure farmers;
  • Improving nutrition for the chronically hungry and vulnerable;
  • Reducing vulnerability of the acutely hungry through productive safety nets;
  • Restoring and conserving natural resources essential for food security.

The selection of innovations was based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate that it leads to positive change in the living conditions of either isolated under-privileged groups or large numbers of people;
  • Create a more conducive and enabling environment for improvement, leading to policy change through legislation, regulation or resource allocation;
  • Demonstrate that it is sustainable and that can be replicated;
  • Promote partnerships to link activities with other stakeholders;
  • Encourage leadership and community empowerment, including of women.