Becoming the Zero Hunger generation: Achieving food security for all

Increasing agricultural productivity, especially on small and family farms, is key to ensuring food security. Photo: UNDP Madagascar

As we approach the UN Sustainable Development Summit, when world leaders will come together to adopt a new global development agenda, it is critically important that we keep what is at stake firmly in sight.

A central issue like hunger, which is a long standing development priority, remains an everyday battle for almost 795 million people worldwide. While this figure is 216 million less than in 1990-92, according to UN statistics, hunger kills more people every year than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined.... Read more

Avoid stigma when measuring SDG achievements

The methodology used to measure MDG progress underestimated the relative good performance made by the least developed countries, particularly Sub-Saharan African countries. Photo: UNDP Burkina Faso

At the upcoming United Nations Summit, member states will reach an agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Development practitioners will then engage in monitoring the achievements of the goals and targets. As was the case with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), country, regional and global level progress reports are likely to proliferate.

Just to recall, MDG monitoring reports were not free from criticism... Read more

How do we communicate development goals?

In Nepal, the Interim Constitution of 2007 requires that political parties ensure that women constitute at least one-third of their total representation in parliament. The constituent assembly, in office between 2008 and May 2012, comprised 32.8 percent women. Photo: UNDP in Nepal

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on working with the Millennium Development Goals.

As a communicator, it has been both extremely exciting and a challenging journey to be a part of the Millennium Development Goals era at UNDP. Things were not that simple back in 2001 when we had to explain to our country partners what MDGs were all about and what our role was in it.

At the time, I had just started working as the Communications Officer for UNDP in Nepal, where we desperately tried to introduce the MDGs to the NGOs, media, and the general public.... Read more

Closing the Gap: Delivering impact for gender equality in Europe and Central Asia

Participants practice bending cuprum pipe for do-it-yourself solar water heaters during a workshop in Jilikul, Tajikistan. UNDP Photo

In Namangan in Uzbekistan, a long-standing dream for a crafts centre came true. In Misi village in Turkey, a silk unit for niche products, another dream child of a group of women, is having a fourth year of success, against all odds. In Jilkul village in Tajikistan, another group of women have gained more income and more time for their families by learning to set up solar water heaters.

These are some ways in which UNDP is supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Europe and Central Asia region.... Read more

Learning from adaptation experience means breaking down the context

In Tarrafal, Cabo Verde, Ms. Maria “Katy” Zaidy Soares Barbosa is one of the farmers working with extension workers to apply the agricultural research. Photo: UNDP/Jennifer Baumwoll

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their perspective on issues of climate change, in the lead up to COP21 in December.

When it comes to climate change adaptation, it is often said that we must identify the lessons learned and share these lessons with other practitioners. Given the enormous challenge posed by climate change, we must constantly ask ourselves: how can we replicate or scale up what works?... Read more

An AIDS-free generation was simply unimaginable

In Asia, the community of people living with HIV contributed to achieving the MDG 6 targets of halting and reversing the spread of HIV and putting 15 million people on HIV treatment by 2015. Photo: UNDP/Kazuyuki Uji

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on working with the Millennium Development Goals.

On 14 July 2015, the UN Secretary General made a historical announcement: “Together, we have achieved and exceeded the AIDS-related targets of Millennium Development Goal 6... [W]e are on our way to an AIDS-free generation.”

This was simply unimaginable around the period I joined UNDP in early 2000’s when HIV was still thriving in Asia and HIV treatment was a luxury for the privileged few.... Read more

To promote women’s leadership in the public sector, we need better data

Civil service support officers provide on-the-job training to their South Sudanese counterparts as part of a UNDP governance project. Photo: Brian Sokol/UNDP South Sudan

Public administration is the foundation of government and a major employer in most countries. As such, women’s participation in the civil service is vital for their economic empowerment as well as for improving the responsiveness and effectiveness of public services.

While some progress has been achieved in terms of women’s political leadership, verifiable data on women’s participation in public administration is lacking. In response to this, UNDP launched the Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) initiative.... Read more

Youth: not simply human beings, but human becomings

Zambian youth at a UNDP consultation. Investment in youth and their input is crucial to long-term and sustainable development. Photo: UNDP Zambia

It is important to remember that considering development from a youth perspective is not always straightforward. Even defining exactly when someone should be considered “young” can be tricky and varies between reports.

Listening to the views of young people will almost certainly require an investment of time and money, so development policies that are formulated with the input of young people will cost more to develop. But those policies will almost certainly work better and last longer, as today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders. ... Read more

We need to get better at "killing our darlings"

"The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up", painting by J. M. W. Turner, 1838.

Reading James Whitehead’s post on the best ways to be innovative, I found myself nodding to most of his reflections. Particularly: ”I want to be working with people who are passionate about solving problems at scale rather than magpies obsessed with finding shiny new innovative solutions.” Yet, I felt something more needed to be said.

The well-known side of innovation is the creative one. We identify novel ways of doing business, co-create new ideas with the end-users, and test them. The flip side of innovation is to discontinue practices for which we do not have sufficient evidence of impact or that are no longer relevant.... Read more

The 100 day dash for climate action

A man looks out over the mountains in Parque Regional Todos Santos Cuchumatán, La Torre, Guatemala. The Environment and Poverty initiative in Guatemala is promoting the relationship between natural resource management and poverty reduction. Photo: Giovanni Diffidenti/UNDP Guatemala

Aug. 22 marks 100 days until the U.N. climate conference in Paris, France. Countries have made commitments, which give hope that an ambitious agreement may be possible.

What makes an agreement ambitious? Above all, a push on all sectors and stakeholders so that development is climate-conscious and risk-informed. Development practitioners and climate experts need to work together.... Read more