One billion people, or about one in every eight persons around the world, live in informal urban areas, where families across generations are often squeezed into tiny, makeshift dwellings without access to running water, adequate sanitation and other essential services. Many are unemployed or in precarious work situations that barely pay for their daily survival. The impact of disasters and climate change is increasingly worsening such challenges.  

Most people in informal urban areas live in the sprawling megacities of Asia, with internal and cross-border migrants, displaced people, youth and women often over-represented, contributing to their exclusion. The marginalization of migrants and displaced people is frequently compounded by factors related to immigration status or municipal registrations, access to information and social support networks, or discrimination and xenophobia.    

UNDP and its partners believe that youth can make a lasting, positive difference in tackling these challenges head-on, by developing their own opportunities through social entrepreneurship and innovation, exploring dynamic approaches to mobilizing their peers and communities, and creating adaptive solutions.

Apply here

Are you a young changemaker in the Asia-Pacific region with an exciting business proposal or an innovative idea to improve the lives of migrants, displaced people and their host communities among the urban poor? Then apply to the Youth Innovation for Human Mobility initiative as we can support you in developing your ideas into viable social enterprises!

  • Get together in a team of 2 or more people (all between the ages of 18 and 30 years)
  • Involve at least 1 person from the target community in your team
  • Develop an initial project idea/proposal
  • Document through pictures/videos what social or economic challenges you are trying to tackle and how you plan to go about it
  • Fill in the form and submit on or before 10 February 2021

Winners of this challenge will:

  • Receive up to US$ 1,000 to springboard your innovation
  • Join the Youth Co:Lab Springboard Programme (an incubation platform for young SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) entrepreneurs to turn innovative SDG solutions into sustainable businesses)
  • Take part in the Youth Co:Lab Summit (a flagship event that brings together the brightest young entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region, connecting them with a support network to help them succeed)
  • Be featured in a multimedia campaign for broad exposure, including videos, blogs and posters.


*SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goal. For more information on the SDGs, visit

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