Two Years on, Reflections on the Nepal Earthquake and the Humanitarian Response

07 Jun 2017 by Renaud Meyer, Country Director, UNDP Nepal

More than two years have passed since that day, but Nepal’s story will be in focus as world leaders and experts meet for the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC) in Brussels, this week. The aim of the conference is to explore how communities can recover faster from natural disasters and how they can build back better, so they are more resilient to such disasters. … Read more

In Northern Pakistan, the Provincial Assembly is Championing Better Monitoring of Climate Finance

11 May 2017 by Sujala Pant

The Khyber Pass may elicit images of remote beauty to many of us. I have been lucky to make a couple of visits to Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP), one of the provinces that the Pass cuts through. This beautiful part of Pakistan, like the rest of the country, is susceptible to the devastating effects of climate change, but luckily, the elected representatives in KP are taking things in their own hands. Last  month in Islamabad, we had a vibrant interaction with a number of   members of the Khyber Pakhutunkhwa (KP) Provincial Assembly in Pakistan, a selection of cross-party representatives who make up the newly established Working Group on Climate Change Finance. I was there as part of UNDP’s efforts to increase the engagement of KP Assembly Members on the issue of climate change finance. I was hoping that there would be enough interest to kick start and grow from this initial interaction, but I need not have worried. Once the discussion began – ideas and questions started to fly: ‘How can we better address climate change through our assembly?’ “How can we ensure other members of our Assembly have the right information on climate action?” “What about public … Read more

If Budgets Could Speak Sustainable Development

17 Apr 2017 by Suren Poghosyan, Governance and Public Finance Specialist, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub

Nepal Budget InnovationNepal - faced with multiple challenges of poverty, climate change and post-earthquake recovery - offers insights into how a simple budget prioritization system can track spending on national priorities. UNDP Photo
If finance ministries are able to track how strongly a particular budgetary proposal aligns with the nationally-adopted SDG targets, prioritising spending becomes easier. Countries can assign bigger weights to those SDGs that are more relevant to country’s national priorities. … Read more

Human development means realizing the full potential of every life

21 Mar 2017 by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

The Human Development Report 2016 emphasizes that poor, marginalized and vulnerable groups—including ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants—are being left furthest behind. Photo: UNDP
Human development is all about human freedoms: freedom to realize the full potential of every human life, not just of a few, nor of most, but of all lives in every corner of the world—now and in the future. Such universalism gives the human development approach its uniqueness. … Read more

Practice Parliaments: Promoting Women in Leadership in the Pacific

12 Mar 2017 by Lotte Geunis, Parliamentary Development Consultant

When I first learned that ‘Practice Parliaments’ would be part and parcel of my gender work in the Pacific, I was decidedly underwhelmed.  I had worked on the promotion of women in politics before, and I could not see how women ‘playing parliament’ could possibly promote gender equality.  I couldn’t see how it might inspire potential women candidates to step forward, and I certainly couldn’t see how it would convince voters - male or female - to look more favourably on women in politics. My hesitation was not unfounded.  The beauty of the isles can blind new visitors to the less rosy realities these societies harbour.  While there are important differences between the island states, longstanding social, cultural and economic barriers block the road to equal opportunities for women across the region.  This has left them strongly dependent on male family members, more likely to be poor, and more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Gender-based violence is pervasive and persistent. Politics, unsurprisingly, is no exception.  Throughout the Pacific, women continue to be marginalised in how decisions are made and how resources are allocated.  Their lack of representation in national parliaments is a particularly painful reflection of the ongoing struggle … Read more