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"A Multinational Digital Transformation Catalyst
Bangladesh Government's Innovation Agency"

About a2i

a2i is a multinational digital transformation catalyst from the Government of Bangladesh. It was conceived at the Prime Minister’s Office in 2008 as the flagship program of the government’s widely acclaimed Digital Bangladesh 2021 initiative, with technical support from UNDP.
In 2019, a2i graduated to a larger implementation role in the ICT Ministry and the Cabinet Office to drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and the government’s Smart Bangladesh 2041 agenda. In July 2023, the ‘Agency to Innovate (a2i) Bill 2023’ was passed in the national parliament establishing a2i as Bangladesh’s national innovation agency, a statutory body.
a2i serves not only as a catalyst for digital governance, but also disrupts the traditional, bureaucratic civil service mindset to instil a culture of inclusive, citizen-centric public service innovation. It builds on the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to champion the cause of ‘e-Quality’ (meaning digital equity) and fosters an adaptive, national system for collective strategizing, planning, action and learning to catalyze truly unprecedented transformations in public service delivery. It also works as an innovation intermediary through a ‘whole-of-government’ approach and supports the government to be on the forefront of integrating new, mission-oriented innovation policy and whole-of-society approaches to achieve the SDGs.

a2i is honored to be part of the ‘UN Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ and ‘Multi-Stakeholder Working Group for Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) Safeguards’ stewarded by the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology and UNDP.

As a UNDP supported initiative, a2i is committed to the United Nations Global Digital Compact which aims to harness the digital realm’s potential to expedite the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs by extending human rights norms from the analogue to the digital world.

Since its inception, a2i’s unique combination of bottom-up innovation and top-down scaling up through policymaking has ushered in an era of unprecedented digital transformation in Bangladesh and saved citizens more than $30 billion, nearly 20 billion workdays, and 13 billion visits in the last decade alone due to the more efficient delivery of public services.

a2i’s story is a shining example of how governments, particularly developing countries in the Global South, can leverage frugal innovation, existing infrastructure and empowered civil servants as ‘govpreneurs’ to achieve a bold vision of MAKING DIGITAL WORK FOR THE POOR

Several a2i innovations, including ‘ekShop’ and ‘NISE3’, have been inducted into the Digital Public Goods Alliance’s Registry and are being adapted by countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific to their contexts.

As part of our #ZeroDigitalDivide campaign, a2i launched the International ICT Innovation (i3) Fund and celebrated the recipients of the fund from the Gambia, Uganda, Somalia, Ghana, and Sao Tome & Principe on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly.

In collaboration with UNDP and the Islamic Development Bank, a2i is also facilitating the ‘Digital Stewardship Community for Policymakers in Asia and the Pacific’. This initiative aims to leverage UNDP Global, Regional and a2i assets to cultivate connections among policymakers and practitioners, fostering a community of knowledge exchange for sharing best practices and opportunities to unlock investments in their respective countries and across the Asia Pacific region.

Through UNDP’s Accelerator Labs network, and by leveraging the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation, a2i is also working to support the digital progress of other least developed countries (LDCs) and many developing countries with funding, advice and technologies. We’re reaching out to 40+ countries, and have established close partnerships with countries in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Middle-East, including Bhutan, Fiji, Ghana, Jordan, the Gambia, the Maldives, the Philippines, Sao Tome & Principe, Somalia, Turkey, Uganda, and Yemen.

a2i Missions

Our Partners

Camaraderie of National and International Institutions to Bolster Citizen-centric Transformation Through Capacity Development, Resource Mobilization, Research and Policy Reform.

a2i Footprint

We are working on different countries.
South Sudan