In a dynamic world, innovation; that is to say, the creation and implementation of news ideas, approaches, methods, products and the like to ensure continued progress, is crucial to the life and indeed success of any organization. This is even more so in the case of the UNCCD, which has a mandate of playing a significant role in the ever-evolving process of sustainable development to address the vital issue of sustainable land management and the mitigation of drought. The UNCCD Secretariat as chief custodian of this process is mandated to play a key role in facilitating its implementation. This is a tremendous challenge encumbered by limitations, ranging from limited financial resources to lack of popular understanding as to the true nature and scale of these problems both at the national and global scale. And with the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UNCCD Secretariat is now custodian for Target 15.3, i.e. Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), thus making having an innovative approach to its work even more essential. From the beginning innovation was important to the UNCCD process. This is underlined in Article 19 of the Convention which declares that the Parties recognize the significance of capacity building and shall promote the same as appropriate through innovative ways. Since the entry into force of the Convention, various sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP), have adopted many decisions underlining the importance of innovation to this process. Among these is Decision 2/COP.3 containing the first Medium-term Strategy of the Secretariat, which states that “The Convention…….. an innovative instrument in that it has itself the role of relocating a clearly circumscribed problem in the context of sustainable development, particularly in affected developing countries.” One can fast forward to Decision 6/COP.14 , which inter alia requests the Secretariat to evaluate options for promoting greater participation in the development and mainstreaming of innovative and sustainable solutions for combating desertification/land degradation and drought and achieving land degradation neutrality, including in agriculture, agricultural technology, food systems, water, rangelands, mining, forestry and renewable energy.” And there are others.
The present consultancy is intended to secure expertise that will help the Secretariat to design and develop a comprehensive concept and strategy on the collection, use, promotion, stimulation, sharing
of information of and on innovation to facilitate the UNCCD implementation process. This consultancy will also help lay the fundamental basis for the Secretariat’s concept and concrete practice as regards
facilitation of the application of innovation and an innovative approach in and to the UNCCD implementation process. The resulting concept and strategy shall also be focused on helping to promote and stimulate the process of innovation in various crucial fields necessary for the efficacious implementation of the Convention including technology and technology transfer, science, capacity building, innovative financing, communication and information sharing and awareness raising.