UNDP Alternative Finance Lab (AltFinLab)



Development Cooperation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Education, Financial Services, Private Sector Development, Renewable Energy, Research, Science, Technology & Innovation, Sustainability and Environment, Water




01 - No Poverty, 02 - Zero Hunger, 03 - Good Health and Well-being, 04 - Quality Education, 05 - Gender Equality, 06 - Clean Water and Sanitation, 07 - Affordable and Clean Energy, 08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 10 - Reduced Inequalities, 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, 13 - Climate Action, 14 - Life Below Water, 15 - Life on Land, 16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Organization Type

Multilateral Organization





The Alternative Finance Lab (AltFin Lab) is an internal startup, run out of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub for Europe and CIS. It is a mechanism for exploring and tapping into new financial technologies and mechanisms to access investment for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Since our set up in 2016, we have been working to provide hands on technical expertise, advisory support and market intelligence to over 30 UNDP offices, national partners and governments around the world to revolutionize development finance and tap into new sources of capital (and mobilized over 3,2 mil USD). The Lab is led by the innovation team at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, receiving initial support by a network of experts from the then UNDP Croatia CO.

In more than 20 countries our activities include crowdfunding, crowdlending, and crowd investing - where we helped to mobilize more than USD 600,000 and where we are putting the special focus on renewable energy and SMEs. We participated with some of the leading crowdfunding partners in creation of a trip advisor for green energy www.Citizenergy.eu where investments in green energy in 2016 exceeded 35 mil EUR.

We are supporting two Social Impact Bonds projects (in Serbia and Belarus), Forecast Based Financing for floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Blockchain technology where we are working with some of the leading companies (AIDTech, Blockchain.com, BitSpark) and international partners (EU's Joint Research Center) to investigate its full potential for development through White paper (in progress); for transferring money from diaspora and remittances using bitcoins and smart vouchers, and revolutionizing e-governance services with blockchain.

The lab seeks to support (in)formal citizen and other groups, government partners, business and others who are willing to experiment with some of the emerging finance mechanisms to access new sources of capital to generate public outcomes and achieve SDGs. In managing the portfolio of over 40 prototypes exploring a range of new financial mechanisms and technologies, the Lab is helping its clients gain better understanding to what extent, under what circumstances, and with what type of support these mechanisms can help various citizen and other groups access capital, find investment in their social good projects, and extend financial services to the poorest of the poor.


1. Portfolio Scan:

  • Analysis of your program or a portfolio for entry points to leverage new financial mechanisms;

  • Review of current skills, capacities, procedures and legislation in place as enablers to pursue new mechanisms;

  • Review of resource mobilization and investment opportunities;

2. Partnership Referral:

  • Market intelligence on best in class partners and investors to work with;

  • Negotiations on terms of engagement and division of responsibilities;

  • Design and implementation networking engagement and outreach events.

3. Prototype / Project Development

  • Prototype design, implementation and testing;

  • Managing prototype digital footprint, outreach and engagement;

  • Horizon scan, research and analysis for program development.

4. Niche Support - Crowdfunding/Lending/Investment

  • Design campaigns from concept to market (reward/donation, equity and P2P);

  • Design of visual and digital content for engagement and outreach;

  • Defining the narrative and creating community engagement.

5. New Skills:

  • Analysis of skills’ gap and design of new trainings;

  • Provision of short- to medium term trainings

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