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How agro-commodity traders can help the SDGs and reduce poverty

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Ghana’s cocoa is produced by thousands of smallholder farmers, spread over six of the country’s 10 regions. Photo: COCOBOD

With the global population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, we face a dual challenge: ensuring the continued production of agricultural commodities, such as soy, palm oil, cattle, coffee and cocoa, without destroying the planet’s natural resources that humanity depends on to survive.

Agricultural commodities are the bedrock of many rural developing economies, contributing to vital economic growth and the ongoing fight against poverty. As such, they play a critical role in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

... Read more

"Impact investing" benefits business, people and planet

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Big players are already engaging heavily in various impact investment ventures in various parts of the globe. Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Some say that the most critical aspect of a successful business is the customer. I would agree: A business that contributes to the wellbeing and affluence of its customers by giving back ensures that in the long run they are able to afford and continue to consume the goods and services that the business provides.

In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues.... Read more

Let’s make 2015 a turning point for youth participation

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Youth should be part of the development agenda. Photos: UNDP

2015 has a special significance for all of us. We look beyond the Millennium Development Goals and feel more and more excited about the bold, ambitious and inclusive development agenda that is shaping up. It is vital to ensure that 2015 is also a turning point for youth participation. Youth are eager and ready to contribute. ... Read more

In Haiti, a neighbourhood converts ideas into innovation and opportunities

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Forty initiatives were selected and an initial capital of US$500 to $1,500 was awarded, so they could transform their "idea" into a reality. Photo: UNDP Haiti

Fort National is a very poor and dangerous neighbourhood of Puerto Príncipe, a neighbourhood identified with high crime rates, violence, and large numbers of weapons. The mere mention of its name sets off alarm bells, warning you "Do not enter".

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice.... Read more

Africa: Navigating the grey scale

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To transform economic growth into shared prosperity, African countries must boost employment creation. Photo: Aude Rossignol/UNDP Burundi

The recent news out of Africa offers a mix of optimism and gloom, defying simple theories that the continent is either rising or hopeless. What is missing in either of these narratives is the admission that development involves a process of ebb and flow, full of progress and setbacks.... Read more

A cup of coffee, spiced with biodiversity

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Farmers in Colombia plant seedlings of native plants for a biological conservation corridor in an area of coffee farms. Photo: UNDP in Colombia

Today is the International Day of Biological Diversity, which has for me deep personal, professional and cultural significance. Working in Latin America and Caribbean region, I have witnessed firsthand the profound dependence that we all have on the natural world – especially people who work closely with the land and sea. In UNDP, we are committed to harnessing this reliance in ways that improve biodiversity and people’s lives. ... Read more

Data is key to successfully implementing the SDGs

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Foreign direct investment in Burkina Faso in 2010 amounted to US$888 million including technical cooperation, according to the OECD. Photo: UNDP in Burkina Faso

We have unprecedented data at our fingertips, yet a complete and accurate picture of international financial flows is currently difficult, if not impossible.

In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues.... Read more

"My legs started shaking uncontrollably, and suddenly I fell"

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The destruction in rural areas affected by the earthquake is severe. Basic services have been affected, and families with babies have difficulty responding to the health needs and housing. Photo: Ugo Blanco / UNDP

The truth is I didn’t know what time it was.

I was with a team of engineers working with families from the Sindhupalchock district, a rural area in the centre of Nepal where barely a small house was left standing. As fate would have it, we were delayed by a few minutes. The new earthquake caught us on the road and fortunately there were no victims.... Read more

To address women's poverty, we must make the invisible visible

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A Hmong woman and her child in Viet Nam. According to UN Women, women do two and a half times as much unpaid work as men, including caring for children, the elderly and the ill. Photo: Kibae Park/UN

“Let’s make the invisible visible.”

This statement, by Argentina Minister of Social Development Alicia Kirchner, captured a recurrent theme at the global conference on women and social inclusion, recently co-hosted by UNDP in Buenos Aires. Despite gains that women have made over the past decades, there are still too many factors affecting women’s lives that are not recognized in public policies.... Read more

Permanent Beta: Six ways to innovate for development in 2015 and beyond

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Locals gather at the launch of UNDP Haiti’s LIDE project during the SHIFT Week of Innovation Action in September 2014. Photo: UNDP in Haiti

As negotiations on finalizing the new development agenda heat up, one thing is clear - delivering on these goals will require investment in innovation.

But what exactly does innovation mean in the context for development?

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. ... Read more

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