Radical collaboration

UN Development Programme
2 min readMar 21, 2023

‘Circling’ out of UNDP’s business model dilemma

The scale of uncertainty and complexity of today’s development challenges requires a different level of ambition and courage to tackle shared challenges. Photo: UNDP/Sayed Omer Sadaat

By Gerd Trogemann, Manager, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

In my previous blog post, “The primacy of relevance and trust — ‘circling’ into UNDP’s business model dilemma,” I used Mark Moore’s strategic triangle to illustrate the growing credibility and relevance gap UNDP may be facing if the ambitious leap in its value proposition — to achieve systemic, transformative change (UNDP Strategic Plan 2022–2025) — is not supported by a commensurate leap in its authorizing environment (legitimacy) and its capacity to deliver, i.e., in its overall business model. Diminishing core resources and the competitive, projectized funding environment that sustains much of the organization instead run counter to the alignment of the three variables or “circles,” which Moore places at the heart of public sector strategy: an organization’s value, legitimacy, and capacity.

This post seeks to address some of the “so what?” questions that followed through a lens of “radical collaboration.” It argues that the scale of uncertainty and complexity of today’s development challenges needs a different level of ambition and courage in tackling shared complex challenges and a different quality of collaboration, way beyond projects and conventional organizational and vertical boundaries. No organization, government or any other single entity for that matter can navigate the complexity and uncertainty we are facing today on its own. Radical uncertainty requires radical collaboration (Seppälä/Dunlop, 2021).

Read the full post: Radical collaboration