As part of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) Strategic Foresight Network’s exploration of the links between anticipation, imagination, and development planning, the UNDP RBAP has shared a set of knowledge products to help reframe and inform the ways we imagine and shape development futures in the region.
As underscored by the just-launched Human Development Report, the realities of increasingly uncertain futures, novel forms of insecurity, and the convergence of new risks with historical drivers of inequity compel us to invest in more inclusive and anticipatory modes of knowledge creation and analysis for decision-making. This includes examining many possible futures that could unfold from emergent risks and signals of change, and expanding our ‘evidence’ base to encompass diverse lived experience, imagination and speculation, alongside quantitative data and trends. What are some ways we can do this?
Rigorous foresight research is one mechanism that can amplify policy, innovation, and strategic intents. With leading subject experts, UNDP RBAP has produced a set of foresight briefs that deep dive into four emergent areas of change/inflection points of particular significance to development pathways in the region (and beyond).
'Can Digital Public Goods Deliver More Equitable Futures?' by Urvashi Aneja is one of the foresight briefs that reflects on how digital public goods can support sustainable development without reinforcing existing inequities. While it is important to build a digital infrastructure that can accelerate development gains, this brief grapples with how this can be done without locking in a particular vision of our digital development futures, one that is deeply contested and raises complex issues around governance and accountability.
You can access the other foresight briefs on New Categories of Rights, Indigenous Futures and Polycrisis and Longterm Thinking on the UNDP Asia and the Pacific Publications page.