Our Perspectives

Two journeys to drive climate change action

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In June, the streets of ‪‎Jakarta‬ closed and were filled with hundreds of cyclists calling for commitment to climate action in ‪Paris‬, as part of the Pole to Paris initiative. Photo: Dan Price

The weird thing about climate change is that the driving mechanism of the problem is actually very simple: you have a gas, which when put in the atmosphere traps heat and in turn changes the climate system. While we understand where the problem comes from, solving it is incredibly difficult given the complexity of global politics, the economic system, competing interests, and the capacities of countries and societies.

A significant challenge around this is public engagement and the difficulty in effectively communicating the issue. Not everybody is a scientist and the cause and effect can be vague for many. But an emerging new dialogue is changing the discourse, emphasizing that climate change isn’t only an environmental issue, but an everything issue. ... Read more

Invest in infrastructure, invest in development

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During the year and a half project, it directly employed 314 men and 23 women and generated 1,500 indirect jobs. Photo: Mauricio Martínez/UNDP El Salvador

Roads, buildings, airports – seemingly practical infrastructure developments can not only meet the demands of society, but also fulfill the requirements and rights of individuals, leading to better human development.

The development and strengthening of logistical and transportation infrastructure has a potential impact both on economic development and poverty reduction. Transportation infrastructure is of vital importance to the standard of living of a population. It links urban and rural areas, connects the country internationally, facilitates access to basic services such as education and health, and contributes to the sound functioning of cities, rendering them more competitive. Furthermore, logistical infrastructure can play an instrumental role when it comes to creating high-quality jobs and bolstering competitiveness in the production of goods and services, enhancing increased productivity and efficiency, which reflects lower costs. ... Read more

Caring about those who care for others

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In Argentina, women currently devote almost twice as much time as men to care-related tasks: 6.4 hours a day compared to 3.4 hours.

All societies have people to care for and care-givers. Although there are different forms of care-giving, it is often undertaken by family members, mostly women and girls whose labor is usually unpaid.

Here in Argentina, a country which has made remarkable progress in women’s rights and gender equality, women currently devote almost twice as much time as men to care-related tasks: 6.4 hours a day compared to 3.4 hours.

The ability to meet care needs is also critical to national well-being, and the economic dimension of care-work is becoming more visible in Latin America. Studies undertaken in Colombia and Mexico indicate that the economic value of care activities accounts for approximately 20% of GNP.... Read more

The gender gap in extractive dependent countries

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In high extractive dependent countries, the average unemployment rate for women is 15% and 8% for men. Photo: UNDP in DR Congo

It is time to shift policy attention towards a gender sensitive fiscal expenditure in resource dependent economies.

This means investing the revenues from oil, gas and minerals in women and girls so that they enjoy equal access to leadership positions and employment in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented.... Read more

Stronger partnerships with foundations to take sustainable development further

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A farmer in Kenya, one of four countries where UNDP is partnering with philanthropic foundations for the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. Photo: UNDP Africa.

“If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

This old African proverb underpins UNDP’s engagement with philanthropic foundations for the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda.

Ghana is the fourth country – following Kenya, Colombia and Indonesia – where we are connecting local foundations with the UN, government, private sector and civil society led policy discussions and development initiatives. The project is in collaboration with our partners the Foundation Center and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and aims to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ... Read more

The case for a better approach to drug control policy

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Men working in the coca field in Bolivia. Photo: Ryan Anderton

The relationship between drug control policy and human development is complex and multifaceted. Both share a common objective to reduce drug-related harms. Yet drug control, human rights, public health and human development agendas often exist in isolation from each other. Policies aimed at prohibition and punishment form the international approach to drug control. Yet, there is ample evidence of the negative consequences of these policies.

For the many farmers affected by poverty, conflict, and insecurity, cultivating illicit drug crops is a viable livelihoods option, yet international drug treaties ban the cultivation of these crops and require their eradication.... Read more

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda: A step forward on financing for development?

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The need to build capacities in risk preparedness and to ensure that the international community is able to respond to shocks with timely and adequate financial support is acknowledged in the Addis Abeba Action Agenda. Photo: UNDP in Haiti

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda lays out the steps the international community promises to take to fund the world’s new sustainable development agenda – to be agreed in New York in September.

This new document must also chart a path for how we can address the challenges which have emerged – or become more pronounced – since the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, such as climate change, accelerated environmental degradation and inequality. So did we get our ‘Monterrey Plus’ in Addis Ababa?

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

We can't let the socio-economic fabric of Yemen erode further

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In Al-Ruqeen village in Taiz, Yemen, local residents and internally-displaced people partake in a livelihoods survey to help assess the needs of the area. Taiz is one of the poorest cities in Yemen, and the influx of the displaced adds pressure to those already suffering. Photo: UNDP Yemen

Yemen is in deep crisis in so many ways – humanitarian, political, security, economic, and social. The infrastructure damage that we can see on the ground is devastating, as is the growing number of civilian casualties.

However, what is not as visible but just as alarming is how the socio-economic and institutional fabric has eroded. Civil servants, private sector, civil society, and students are not able to work or study. Livelihood opportunities, economic activity, and public services in many parts of Yemen have come to a standstill since fighting began, in a country already long marked by deep poverty and inequality.... Read more

A sidelined youth: The soft underbelly of ‘Africa rising’

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Youth learn IT skills at a training centre in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone. Photo: Natsuko Kaneyama/UNDP

Africa is experiencing a period of exceptional economic performance, but impressive growth rates are not yet translating into higher human development for all. Put simply, the growth is not inclusive.

A key obstacle to Africa's long-term prosperity, productivity and stability is the crisis facing the continent’s youth. Young people in Africa are economically, socially and politically marginalized. This failure to deliver for a growing and restless youth is the soft underbelly of the “Africa rising” narrative. ... Read more

Haiti at a turning point

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Elections in 2011 in Haiti, where there has been significant progress in restoring confidence in the political process. Photo: UNDP Haiti

Haiti will reach a major historic milestone this summer. Starting 9 August, some six million Haitians will choose 1,280 representatives for local administrations, 140 mayors, 139 Parliamentarians and finally, their President, in several rounds of electoral processes that could last until the end of the year.

It has not been easy to arrive at this moment. The Haitian people have been waiting three years for these elections. A Parliament has been absent since January.

Haiti has made significant strides to restore confidence in the political process and to hold these elections on time. The electoral council, appointed in January, has been impressive in taking on several challenging technical, logistical and financial tasks aiming to ensure a credible, inclusive and transparent process. ... Read more

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