When home is no longer safe: Reporting human rights abuses in Yemen

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UNDP is training NGOs in Yemen to document and report on human rights abuses during the conflict and to provide support to victims. Photo: Ehab Al-Absi/UNDP Yemen

"So close to dying”. This is how Hanan describes events earlier this year, when forces surrounded and stormed her home in Khur Maksar District, Aden, where she lived with her husband, 4-year-old child and niece, aged 16. Later Hanan and her family fled their home due to shelling and because of gas, electricity and water shortages. In this sense, their suffering is typical of stories told by Yemenis throughout the country who describe human rights violations at the hands of the parties to the conflict, which began in March 2015.… Read more

When people are counted, no one is left behind

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Click the picture to see the full infographic.

In September 2015, a multi-sectoral group of experts met in New York from all over the world. Despite varied perspectives, each had previously been involved in some aspect of LGBTI data work or were experts in data measurement. Their goal was to reach consensus on a definition of LGBTI inclusion and provide advice on what was necessary to measure it. In September 2015, the Nepal Constituent Assembly approved a new Constitution that includes provisions protecting the rights of sexual and gender minorities. This would never have happened without the advocacy of LGBT leaders, community activists, and allies and their efforts highlighting data, including violence against transgender people.… Read more

Fighting corruption in infrastructure – a must for achieving the 2030 Agenda

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Workers rebuild damaged roads in South Sudan. Quality infrastructure provides a foundation for progress on the sustainable development agenda. UNDP photo.

In September 2015, world leaders from 193 UN member states gathered in New York to adopt the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To achieve this universal agenda, we’ll need robust and transparent investment in infrastructure to lay the physical foundations for progress on many of the goals. Agenda 2030 aims for a world that is profoundly different from the one we know today: free from poverty, environmentally secure for future generations, prosperous, more equal, just, peaceful and inclusive, and better governed. Corruption in the infrastructure sector represents a major threat to this vision.… Read more

The SDGs need a new measure of GDP

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GDP per capita growth can go up while household income decreases. Inequality is an outcome of such divergence. Photo : UNDP in Zimbabwe

One of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is achieving economic growth. The target of goal 8 is to achieve “at least 7 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth per annum in the least developed countries”. Achieving 7 per cent growth is in the high range. In a rush to meet such a target, social and environmental outcomes may be compromised.… Read more

Ending violence against women: 3 ways to innovate

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Egyptian women participate in the "Reporting on Violence Against Women Innovation Camp" to share ideas on how to report violence against women. The camp was supported by UNDP, The National Council for Women, and Vodafone Egypt. Photo: Ezzat/UNDP Egypt

The status quo is unacceptable. Globally, one out of three women experiences violence in her lifetime. Both the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Humanitarian Summit Report call for innovation to end this global pandemic. Given the complexity of gender-based violence (GBV) and its main underlying cause of persisting gender inequalities - how can development and humanitarian actors innovate? As a starter, let’s put the emphasis on the changes we want to achieve and not the “solutions” we create.… Read more

The ripple effect of volunteering for planet and people

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Students were mobilized to plant trees as part of education on sustainable agricultural practices from the Asia Youth Volunteer Exchange Programme in partnership with UNDP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Photo: UNV Zambia

What role can volunteerism play in the future of planet and people? Now that the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted, we at United Nations Volunteers (UNV) are trying to gauge how our work can contribute to advancing those goals. As the world turns its attention to climate change, how can we be a part of the solution? UN Volunteers will be part of implementing practical and concrete tools to combat climate change. They will be the ones observing the tactics that work well on the ground and deciding whether these can be passed on across cultures.… Read more

From Paris to your hometown: Climate action is going local

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From planting trees to buying sustainably-sourced products, local action will determine the success of the global climate agreement. Photo: Riccardo Gangale/UN

Over recent years, climate negotiations have gotten more and more complex. With 193 countries bringing competing interests to the table, perhaps that’s not surprising. Negotiators are taking a bottom-up approach, with individual countries coming to the table to declare what they are prepared to do nationally to advance internationally agreed upon goals. Such is the template for the COP21 climate change conference, taking place from 30 November through 11 December in Paris. These are likely the most important climate negotiations the world has ever seen.… Read more

Sustainable development includes people of all abilities

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A young boy draws on a mural to commemorate International Children's Day in Cambodia. Photo: Bona Khoy/UNICEF Cambodia).

The 2015 International Day of Persons with Disabilities highlights that inclusion matters and emphasizes the critical importance of access and empowerment for people of all abilities to participate in public life. Today persons with disabilities constitute approximately 15 percent of the global population, and more than 80 percent of them live in developing countries. Still they encounter discrimination and obstacles in accessing the labour market, transportation, education and health services, and face a very high risk of falling into poverty.… Read more

Saving for a rainy day

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One of the first farmers who received a WIBI payout for low rainfall in Tacunan, Tugbok District. Photo: UNDP Philippines

“Save for a rainy day” is probably the single most important piece of wisdom a farmer can follow. Farming is a risky undertaking everywhere, one that is at the mercy of capricious weather. But farmers in the Philippines (and many other developing countries) now face additional difficulties as climate change makes weather more unpredictable than ever. Traditional approaches to predicting the arrival of the rains are becoming less and less effective, with rain sometimes falling too sparsely and other times too hard. Crop insurance is a common safeguard. In the United States, 90 percent of total harvested cropland is insured. But in the Philippines, crop insurance products cover less than 10 percent of total rice and corn production. Moreover, insurance in the Philippines is “indemnity-based”, which means that the damage needs to be verified by an insurance agent and payouts typically take up to six months.… Read more

Ending AIDS: it takes more than two and a half men

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The All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV lay out candles during a World AIDS day commemoration. Photo: UNDP

The media has gone crazy over the disclosure of the HIV status of one of America's most controversial stars, Charlie Sheen. Much of the reporting has been sensationalist, focusing on his multiple marriages and struggles with substance abuse. The majority of it has been dominated by prejudice and moral finger-wagging. Social media went into overdrive, as #Charliesheen trended around the world. Responses have been mixed, with reactions ranging from admiration for his very public coming out to speculation about how he contracted the virus and the vilification of sex workers. It also sparked discussions around confidentiality, blackmail and the legal implications of not disclosing his HIV status to his ex-partners.… Read more