At Social Good Summit, everyone has a seat at the table

Celebrities, activists and development leaders opened the 2015 Social Good Summit by introducing the 17 Global Goals. UNDP photo

Victoria Beckham was there, as was the Queen of Jordan. But the most applause that day came for a 14-year-old boy from Texas who built a clock. His name is Ahmed Mohamed, and he was a big hit at this year’s Social Good Summit in New York. The annual gathering, held in over 100 countries this year as the UN General Assembly convened, unites people from all over the world around a common purpose: using social media, innovation, and technology to help solve the world’s greatest challenges.… Read more

Overcoming bottlenecks helps speed up MDG progress

In Nepal, Radhika Mijay is receiving community home based care service from Trishuli Plus, which provides HIV-related health services and support. The staff visits her home monthly. Photo: GMB Akash/UNDP

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on working with the Millennium Development Goals. In the early 2000s, soon after world leaders established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), I was a development researcher. I participated in many intellectual debates and discussions about the MDGs and the process of adapting them into national development plans and strategies. There were polarizing debates and heated arguments on whether or not the world should shift attention from focusing exclusively on economic growth in developing countries to human development and broader development outcomes.… Read more

Ending LGBTI discrimination is key to achieving SDGs

Transgender activists in downtown Porto Alegre, Brazil, during a mobilization campaign for civil registry change and LGBT rights. Photo: Daniel de Castro/UNDP Brazil.

The recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals embody a powerful commitment to achieving a life of dignity for all. This includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. That's why we at UNDP are pleased to join in the UN statement on ending violence and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.… Read more

South-South cooperation brings strong partnerships to the new development agenda

South Sudanese attend a planning workshop in Juba. UNDP supports Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to send civil servants for two-year terms in South Sudan to provide peer coaching to their counterparts. Photo: Jennifer Warren/UNDP

An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” The new sustainable development agenda recognizes the importance of partnerships to achieving the Global Goals. This agenda presents the opportunity for a new and inclusive global partnership, of which South-South Cooperation (SSC) forms an integral part. South-South Cooperation (SSC) is the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between countries of the global South. It’s about developing countries extending helping hands to each other to tackle development challenges together.… Read more

End impunity for corruption to boost resources for development

Activists attend a rally for International Anti-Corruption Day in Bangkok. Photo: UNDP Thailand

Ending impunity was the main topic at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference that took place this month in Malaysia. Most topics discussed at the conference resonated well with the proposed Sustainable Development Goal 16 on building peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Goal 16 is a victory for the anti-corruption movement as for the first time, the development agenda makes an explicit link between good governance and fighting corruption and peace, justice and inclusive development.… Read more

Oceans are inextricably linked to human development

Oceans are linked to our health, economy and wellbeing on the planet. Photo: UNDP Namibia

Three-fourths of our blue planet is covered by oceans, containing 97% of the earth’s water and representing 99% of the living space on earth by volume. They serve as the world’s largest source of protein for over 2.6 billion people. To fulfill SDG 14 it will be necessary to make conservation efforts more economically attractive and put a price on harmful activities. Governments will need both the political and technical support necessary to take on this ambitious agenda.… Read more

Simplicity, thy name is MDGs

At Musa Zai Union Council in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, women are trained in their areas of interest so they can earn their own income and have sustainable livelihoods. Women’s share in wage employment is the lowest in Pakistan (around 10 percent) as compared to other countries in South Asia. UNDP Pakistan

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on working with the Millennium Development Goals. When Dr. Mahbub Ul Haq presented the somewhat crude Human Development Index (HDI) in 1990, he was convinced that a single number, which is easily understandable, could convince policy makers, academics and politicians that GDP per capita was not a comprehensive measure of human wellbeing. Similarly, the MDGs as an agenda and framework, though a crude measure like HDI, was very simple and easy for a practitioner like me to communicate and convince stakeholders on its importance and relevance.… Read more

Cities will be big winners in 2015

Dharahara, Kathmandu after earthquake in April 2015. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi /UNDP Nepal

In just a few days, the international community will meet in New York to finalize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In doing so, countries will roll out the path forward for the next 15 years. With a human population that is increasingly urban, a focus on cities and settlements is not only welcome but necessary. Having seen first-hand the fragility of many of our cities, I am thrilled that Goal 11 focuses on urban resilience.… Read more

Using ancient traditions to break new economic ground

The farmers' group ‘Dangdung Menrig Tshogpa’ participates in an awareness programme on the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) framework in Bhutan. Photo: UNDP Bhutan

Here in Bhutan, the people of Namther and Dangdung communities have been collecting 47 different varieties of medicinal plants. After more than 50 years of collecting plants and making traditional medicine, the villagers have found another way to reap the benefits of biological resources to enhance their livelihoods. With support from UNDP, the Global Environment Facility and Japan’s Nagoya Protocol, the communities have taken a giant leap from collecting traditional medicine plants for personal use to providing resources for commercial products. For communities whose livelihoods primarily depend on seasonal subsistence farming, using biological resources helps them fill in the deficit.… Read more

The future is made in China

Futurescaper combines human insight and analytics together with data visualization.

China is a complex, diverse, and dynamic country. Home to internet companies worth billions of dollars, it has more web users than the population of the United States. Many are familiar with the “Made in China” label. But a label not frequently applied to China? “The Future is made in China.” In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice.… Read more