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

16 Jul 2015 by Mohamed Yahya, Regional Programme Coordinator, UNDP Africa

youth innovationYouth 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

16 Jul 2015 by Hervé Ladsous and Jessica Faieta

Elections 2011 in Haiti.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

The role of data standards in tracking financing for development

14 Jul 2015 by Robin Uyterlinde, Chair of the IATI Steering Committee

 Work is underway with South-South Cooperation providers to extend the IATI Standard to include their specific needs. Indian elections in 2014 inspired several country delegations from the Global South. Photo: Prashanth Vishwanathan/UNDP India
As the Third International Conference on Financing for Development kicks off in Addis Ababa, it is important to focus on how the commitments made will be tracked – at a global level, but most importantly, at country level. The first step in mobilising all of these resources for a common purpose is to publish information in a common way. As Chair of The International Aid Transparency Initiative, I believe we can do just that. … Read more

Co-financing for health and development – an affordable innovation

13 Jul 2015 by Douglas Webb, Mandeep Dhaliwal, and Pedro Conceicao

school children in EthiopiaUNDP has piloted a co-financing methodology in the area of HIV, health and social protection in four sub-Saharan African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania. Photo: UNDP in Ethiopia
The implementation of the post-2015 development agenda will call on countries to be more resourceful than ever, including improving efficiencies and leveraging increased domestic resources in innovative and cost-effective ways. How can innovative financing find critical synergies between the Sustainable Development Goals while saving money? In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … Read more

Eleven countries, one commitment:
Youth inclusion

10 Jul 2015 by Pablo Gago,Specialist, Youth and Civic Engagement, UNDP Regional Centre in Panama

YouthMore than 160 million Latin American and Caribbean youth are fighting against the inequality between different generations in public policy. Photo: UNDP El Salvador
In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is approximately a 50 percent deficit in the share of public spending on youth in relation to other age groups, considering their demographic weight and the concept of evenly distributed spending. This is not consistent with the fact that one in four people in the region is between 15 and 29 years old. More than 160 million youth are struggling to end the inequality between different generations in public policy. In order to boost investment in youth and their political participation and inclusion, last month we launched the Iber-American Programme, IberJóvenes, which will initially be implemented in 11 countries. … Read more

Unlocking the potential of Mali’s youth

08 Jul 2015 by Jean-Luc Stalon, Deputy Country Director of UNDP in Mali

Youth in Mali. Credit: Harandane Dicko / UNDP in Mali
With its youthful population and track record of civil crises, Mali is the perfect case study on the relationship between youth and stability. Mali’s fertility rate is second only to Niger’s. Yet in a country that doesn’t provide jobs, opportunities for decision-making and a sense of purpose, this youth bulge is more likely to be a powerful demographic time bomb rather than a driver of economic growth. … Read more

There is no honour in barring women from voting

24 Jun 2015 by Marc-André Franche, Country Director, UNDP in Pakistan

women vote in LahorePakistani women exercise their right to vote on the Cantonment board elections in Lahore. Photo: UNDP Pakistan
On 30 May, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan went to the polls to exercise their hard-earned democratic right to choose their local leaders. But newspaper reports emerged of candidates, community elders, and religious leaders conspiring to bar women from voting. In an earlier by-election, local media reported that out of 47,280 registered women voters, not a single woman cast her vote, following a decision by local leaders to ban women from voting. … Read more

When it comes to governance, millions have an opinion

12 Jun 2015 by Sarah Lister, Director, UNDP Oslo Governance Centre

Indian woman speaknigSomwati Bai is the leader of a local self-government organization in India’s Madhya Pradesh province, where she leads meetings and addresses questions ranging from government entitlements to access to basic amenities. Photo: UNDP India
Recently, the world was gripped by a global corruption scandal, involving alleged bribes and kickbacks across continents and institutions. In May, ten times as many people tweeted about issues related to transparency, corruption, and ‘good governance’ than about health or food issues. But even before the FIFA scandal broke, ‘honest and responsive government’ was consistently one of the most tweeted development issues. … Read more

My voyage on the Human Development Report "Enterprise"

10 Jun 2015 by Selim Jahan, Director, Human Development Report office

Selim JahanSelim Jahan and Amartya Sen at the Human Development Report Office in the 1990s. Photo: UNDP
“It is an intellectual Enterprise,” Mahbub ul Haq, a Star Trek fan, would fondly say about the Human Development Report (HDR). The Report was his brainchild, and he was the captain of the HDR Enterprise. And it was this Enterprise’s dynamism, out-of-box thinking and intellectual courage that attracted me to it. What a journey I have had with the HDR over the last quarter of a century... … Read more

Innovation, state of the art of development

09 Jun 2015 by Stefano Pettinato, Resident Representative a.i. for Belize and El Salvador

Latin America and the Caribbean are starting to emphasize the importance of innovation as the engine for confronting development challenges. Photo: UNDP El Salvador
Creative inspiration is a characteristic commonly found among artists, and to some extent it is hard to explain. Living as we do in the age of Google and Wikipedia, which provide immediate gratification to whatever question we may have, the search for solutions that are inherently creative and innovative calls for a particular kind effort. Some solutions do exist, however, that can help us harness our imagination and creativity in our work as development stakeholders. In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. … Read more