If oceans were a country...

08 Jun 2015 by Johan Robinson, Technical Advisor for Sustainable Development, UNDP Asia Pacific

Fishermen in waters off São Tomé and PríncipeIf the ocean were a country it would have the seventh largest economy in the world – larger than Brazil’s or Russia’s. Photo: UNDP São Tomé and Príncipe
I recently went diving among some of the amazing coral reefs of Indonesia. Their sheer beauty is beyond description, and their value is beyond calculation. But let’s try to put it in perspective. The World Wildlife Fund recently estimated that the total asset base of the ocean is valued at US$24 trillion, and the annual “gross marine product” is at least US$2.5 trillion. If the ocean were a country it would have the seventh largest economy in the world – larger than Brazil’s or Russia’s. … Read more

Working to build an inclusive and sustainable future for all

01 Jun 2015 by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

Sanju Bhoi picks spinach from her floating garden in Odisha state, India.Sanju Bhoi picks spinach from her floating garden in Odisha State, India. In partnership with the Odisha government, UNDP is helping communities adapt to extreme weather events. Photo: UNDP India
For UNDP and the entire United Nations system, 2015 is a year of historic milestones. It is the year in which the 15-year quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals concludes, and a new era of global development commitments is expected to be launched with the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals by world leaders in September. UNDP played a central role in devising, promoting and helping countries to achieve the MDGs, and is now working with its national partners to prepare for the SDGs. … Read more

"Impact investing" benefits business, people and planet

28 May 2015 by Priscilla Sani-Chimwele, Programme Analyst, Private Sector Development and Engagement

Big players are already engaging heavily in various impact investment ventures in various parts of the globe. Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Some say that the most critical aspect of a successful business is the customer. I would agree: A business that contributes to the wellbeing and affluence of its customers by giving back ensures that in the long run they are able to afford and continue to consume the goods and services that the business provides. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … Read more

Let's make 2015 a turning point for youth participation!

27 May 2015 by Noella Richard, Youth Policy Specialist, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP

2015 has a special significance for all of us. We look beyond the Millennium Development Goals and feel more and more excited about the bold, ambitious and inclusive development agenda that is shaping up. It is vital to ensure that 2015 is also a turning point for youth participation. Youth are eager and ready to contribute. … Read more

Africa: Navigating the grey scale

25 May 2015 by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Africa

woman working with fabric in BurundiTo transform economic growth into shared prosperity, African countries must boost employment creation. Photo: Aude Rossignol/UNDP Burundi
The recent news out of Africa offers a mix of optimism and gloom, defying simple theories that the continent is either rising or hopeless. What is missing in either of these narratives is the admission that development involves a process of ebb and flow, full of progress and setbacks. … Read more

Data is key to successfully implementing the SDGs

21 May 2015 by Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist on Development Finance, UNDP and Jos Verbeek, Advisor, Office of the President’s Special Envoy (SEM), World Bank

Women in Burkina FasoForeign direct investment in Burkina Faso in 2010 amounted to US$888 million including technical cooperation, according to the OECD. Photo: UNDP in Burkina Faso
We have unprecedented data at our fingertips, yet a complete and accurate picture of international financial flows is currently difficult, if not impossible. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … Read more

To address women's poverty, we must make the invisible visible

20 May 2015 by Claudia Vinay, Policy Specialist on Economic Empowerment, Gender Team, UNDP

A Hmong woman and her child in Viet Nam.A Hmong woman and her child in Viet Nam. According to UN Women, women do two and a half times as much unpaid work as men, including caring for children, the elderly and the ill. Photo: Kibae Park/UN
“Let’s make the invisible visible.” This statement, by Argentina Minister of Social Development Alicia Kirchner, captured a recurrent theme at the global conference on women and social inclusion, recently co-hosted by UNDP in Buenos Aires. Despite gains that women have made over the past decades, there are still too many factors affecting women’s lives that are not recognized in public policies. … Read more

Permanent Beta: Six ways to innovate for development in 2015 and beyond

19 May 2015 by Benjamin Kumpf, Policy Specialist, Innovation at UNDP

Haitian gathering outsideLocals gather at the launch of UNDP Haiti’s LIDE project during the SHIFT Week of Innovation Action in September 2014. Photo: UNDP in Haiti
As negotiations on finalizing the new development agenda heat up, one thing is clear - delivering on these goals will require investment in innovation. But what exactly does innovation mean in the context for development? In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. … Read more

Sustainable energy, climate change and disasters

18 May 2015 by Martin Krause, Head of Global Energy Policy and Regional Climate, Energy and Disaster Resilience Team Leader for Europe and Central Asia

Man lighting an improved wood stoveEnergy efficient cook stoves require less wood or charcoal and thus reduce deforestation and land degradation, helping to avert landslides and floods. Photo: UNDP Burundi
In 2007, a lack of rainfall resulted in low water levels in rivers and lakes in Albania, severely hampering hydropower generation and resulting in frequent power outages across the country. Examples such as this exemplify the relationship between energy and development, highlighting how insufficient and intermittent energy access hampers development progress. … Read more

Eliminating discrimination: a way to mobilize the trillions needed for the post-2015 agenda

14 May 2015 by Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy at UNDP's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Woman carrying solar panels in HondurasLabour force participation of women is lower than men almost everywhere. Photo: UNDP in Honduras
While world leaders are focused on adopting a new set of sustainable development goals at the United Nations in September, a debate that has received far less attention is also raging: how to finance the new goals? There is one way to mobilize these trillions of dollars: eliminating discrimination against women. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … Read more