Citra is Sri Lanka’s first Social Innovation Lab established as a joint initiative between the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sri Lanka. It uses foresight and innovation tools to prototype and test development solutions to ensure they are agile and holistic before nation-wide implementation. Citra facilitates creating an environment that is conducive to looking at problems from different perspectives and delivers comprehensive and sustainable development solutions.
Citra is an initiative that was a result of deliberations of over 350 participants at Sri Lanka’s first National Summit on Foresight and Innovation hosted by UNDP in 2016. These participants from the public, private and development sectors discussed the role of foresight and innovation in the sustainable development process, and identified the need for an Innovation Lab in the country.
Fast forward to 2017, the fully-fledged Innovation Lab uses foresight and innovation tools to prototype and test development solutions for the country through citizen-centric engagements, before national implementation.
The word ‘Citra’ is derived from ancient Sanskrit, meaning something ‘strange, wonderful and curious’, which is reflective of the nature of the work we do here at the Lab. Strange as it may be to some, it is our goal that the work undertaken by Citra will result in wonderful new strides for Sri Lanka from a sustainable development standpoint.
Rapid prototyping facility which creates agile and holistic solutions through a citizen-centric approach to Sri Lanka’s development challenges
Similar to many countries in the region, development solutions in Sri Lanka are usually not developed through a structured process, and are seldom tested prior to implementation. We want to change that!
Citra is a team made up of 7 ‘innovestors’ from various backgrounds, including Sociology, Data Science, Behavioural Psychology, and others
We’re located at the heart of Colombo in Sri Lanka
How is it run
Citra uses foresight and innovation tools to consider multiple alternative futures to make holistic solutions by testing the prototypes we develop
Citra is a joint initiative co-developed and co-funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, and UNDP
Citra takes on issues which will have a positive impact on the society we work in
We work with multisectoral partners across numerous Ministries, private sector platforms, civil society organizations, youth groups, and more
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