Welcome to the DDLab!
Central question: How can actors from decentralised levels of state - such as cities, districts and regions - join forces and create synergies across countries to find innovative solutions to sustainable development challenges?
- The Decentralised Development Lab was created to address this question:
- Formulate common challenges between German federal states and decentralised actors from partner countries
- An up to twelve-month incubation and funding program
- Teams from different federal states and their partner countries receive coaching, training, expert exchange, and financial support to develop solutions and maximize social impact for specific challenges
The Decentralised Development Lab has been launched by the German Government and Federal States Programme on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Process so far: The Decentralised Development Lab started in the beginning of 2021 with a Call for Challenges that was spread across the world. The DDLab team received more than 25 challenges that were handed in from federal states, research institutions, NGOs or governmental institutions from partner countries. Together with the BMZ the DDLab team selected four challenges. These challenges were refined together with the so called "Challenge Owners" to formulate a concise challenge question and develop a challenge description. All of this happened within an agile development process. The four developed challenges surrounded the topics sustainable e-mobility, inclusive digitalisation, female entrepreneurship and mangrove friendly aquaculture (you can learn more about the challenges below). In November 2021, the second phase of the DDLab started with the launch of the Call for Ideas. During this call, we were looking for teams of creative individuals and from diverse backgrounds to develop solutions to the four challenges (you can learn more about the Call for Ideas below). We received more than 180 ideas from all over the world! With a transparent selection process, we shortlisted 19 teams and conducted interviews with them to assess their ideas in more depth. In the end, four teams were selected which started with a five-month incubator program. During this phase of the DDLab, the four selected teams received financial benefits (up to 20.000€ per team), coaching sessions, technical expertise and the opportunity to test and validate their solutions. All the teams gathered in Berlin for a Midterm workshop to meet stakeholders and have a short design sprint.
Have a look at their Midterm Workshop experiences here: A look into the Decentralised Development Lab Experience - YouTube
In the end of July, the four teams handed in detailed project proposals which were further evaluated by a jury as well as GIZ technical and regional experts and their coaches. On the 29th of August, they had the chance to pitch their ideas to the jury and a broader audience.
Since two of the teams had the same scorings, we decided together with the BMZ to have two winning teams that will share the financial benefit of up to 200.000€ and access to an acceleration programme.
Current Status: Currently, the two winning teams (TRANSISI, working on the e-mobility challenge and Becoming Nala working on the female entrepreneurship challenge) are in the acceleration phase. This will last between September 2022 and March 2023. During this time, they will have continued access to coaching and trainings as well as three in person workshops in Berlin, Jakarta and Kigali. Additionally, they receive each up to 80.000€ to contract service providers to start the piloting of their solution.
Next Steps: Towards the end of the accelerator, we expect the two teams to have developed a thorough MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that has been piloted and is ready for complete implementation and market access. Afterwards, we will evaluate the whole process and understand how it can be improved and be potentially implemented again in a BLP 3.0.
You can learn more about the Decentralised Development Lab and its call for ideas here: Decentralised Development Lab - YouTube
Overview of the process
The four challenges in the Decentralised Development Lab
You can find further details about the challenges by hovering over the images and clicking on the respective link below
Who are the Challenge Owners behind the Challenges?
Below you can find more information about the challenge owners of the four different challenges.
Challenge Question: How might we attract (public and private) investments into e-bus infrastructure and vehicles?
Challenge Question: How might we make active citizen participation inclusive for silent groups by involving them in the development of suitable solutions like One-Stop Shops?
Challenge Question: How might we untap the potential of female entrepreneurship for the green and digital future of rural regions?
Challenge Question: How might aquaculture become mangrove-friendly, and how might smallholder get involved in the development?
What is happening in the accelerator?
Incubator Program - Who are the teams and what are their ideas?
After a thorough selection process, we selected four teams and their ideas who will go through an incubation program to further develop their idea. You can learn more about their ideas below.
The Becoming Nala Project: The idea behind Becoming Nala is to connect women in rural areas of Rwanda with an idea or running a small business with existing mentoring opportunities, webinars, acceleration projects and funding - on a digital platform mobile application. We make it easy for them to find and get matched with local/regional national opportunities as well as global opportunities that fit to their needs. The platform offers a learning database / online education with step-by-step guides in local language. An online capacity building specially focused on rural female entrepreneurs needs. High quality webinars will be transcribes / translated in local language - and new ones filmed and upload with local role models. We have an on-site team that supports women in uploading their profiles and using the simple and intuitive platform. In creating this online platform tailored to the women's' needs - we already push their self-esteem as they see that their work and ideas are valued and supported. Through local offline hubs women can also directly exchange their experiences, fears and needs.
TRANSISI is a tech-based startup in the e-mobility and renewable energy sector, specializing in electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure. TRANSISI develops and provides Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS), such that bus operators no longer need to invest in high CAPEX for charging infrastructures nor have extensive technical knowledge of it. Additional values that TRANSISI gives bus operators as beneficiaries are consulting services and digitalized invoicing & monitoring.
It is estimated that TRANSISI brings a reduction of 8.4% TCO of charging infrastructure assets while giving technical services through consultancy and operational to bus operators. Besides, TRANSISI will accelerate the smooth transition of e-buses in Jakarta, potentially reducing carbon emissions by 79.31% in 2025.
"Towards a Sustainable Mobility" is TRANSISI's vision and tagline. The TRANSISI Team comprises engineers and specialists in the sustainable energy, electrical power system, e-mobility, and economy sector - all Master graduated from top universities in Europe.
The team works on the following goals within the project:
1. Develop a Lembar Selatan Village Mangrove Ambassador Program for Reducing World Carbon Emissions
2. Development of mangrove friendly aquaculture activities such as the cultivation of mangrove crab, vaname shrimp and milkfish pond, as a source of income for coastal communities
3. Strengthening of management and institutions, as well as integration of mangrove conservation program with eco-friendly tourism as the main part of the Lembar Selatan Ecotourism (ELS) destination
4. Integration of the existing tidal floods and tsunami early warning system with the online disaster mitigation platform, including the development of IoT platforms for disaster education and mitigation, as well as real-time information services via smartphones for the surrounding community to build disaster preparedness effort. This initiative will be developed in collaboration with the regional disaster management agency and the social service institution at district level
BA11y is a platform where organisations and People with Disabilities (PwDs) can work together to discover accessibility issues in their digital assets such as websites, documents and applications. It invites active participation for silent groups, in this case, PwD-mainly blind and low vision users, to contribute by submitting reviews so that related stakeholders can get awareness directly from the beneficiaries (affected users). PwD become not only the end-users but also the collaborators. This enables organisations to take actions to improve the accessibility of their digital assets to cater for their PwD users.
In general, BA11y is an issue tracker tailored specifically for accessibility issues. There are two ways PwD and non-PwD users submit their accessibility issues: by submitting the issue manually in detail with description and screenshots and by submitting the URL of their website or URL of the applications. BA11y automated tools will scan accessibility issues based on WCAG as well as mobile platform accessibility standards and create a draft report. Both reports will be posted on the platform and everybody who has access to the platform can verify or comment on the issue.
Overview of the incubator program
Timeline of the incubator program: