Calling all superheroes for civic engagement

08 Aug 2015 by Guergana Botchoukova-Farkova, Social Media intern, Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP

kids in BurundiYouth in Burundi frame themselves. Get involved in #YouthDay like them by sending in a photo of yourself and civic engagement. Photo: UNDP Burundi/Rossignol
“Civic engagement.” The superhero term of our time is facing a big problem. It is virtually meaningless to the exact group of people (those between the ages of 14 and 25) which it is supposed to inspire and engage. Walking the halls of UNDP, you often hear the sentiment that if we could just get more youth to engage in their communities, the world would be a much better place to live. Yes, civic engagement is how modern day superheroes are born and you could be one of them. But what exactly is “civic engagement”? What does it entail? What is it not? And how can youth really take part in it? … Read more

What does inclusive economic growth actually mean in practice?

31 Jul 2015 by By Paloma Durán, Director, Sustainable Development Goals Fund

Coffee cooperative in AfricaA farmer with his family in Chingawaram village, India. Inclusive growth is about ensuring that the benefits of development reach the entire population, including the most vulnerable members. Photo: UNDP India
With the historic Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3) now completed, “inclusive growth” remains a high priority on the agenda. While most stakeholders agree it’s an important and compelling part of the dialogue on development, it still remains rather ambiguous as a term. And seemingly when you ask five economists to define the concept, you will likely end up with six answers. Within the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund), we are keen to understand the various theories pertaining to inclusive growth and how best to put them into practice. We realize that there’s more than one way to achieve this objective, which means there is plenty of room for creativity. … Read more

The gender gap in extractive dependent countries

28 Jul 2015 by Degol Hailu, Senior Advisor, UNDP and Chinpihoi Kipgen, Research Associate, UNDP

DR CongoIn high extractive dependent countries, the average unemployment rate for women is 15% and 8% for men. Photo: UNDP in DR Congo
It is time to shift policy attention towards a gender sensitive fiscal expenditure in resource dependent economies. This means investing the revenues from oil, gas and minerals in women and girls so that they enjoy equal access to leadership positions and employment in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented. … Read more

Stronger partnerships with foundations to take sustainable development further

27 Jul 2015 by Marcos Neto, Team Leader, Private Sector and Foundations and Karolina Mzyk, Policy Specialist, Foundations, UNDP

HC in IndonesiaA farmer in Kenya, one of four countries where UNDP is partnering with philanthropic foundations for the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. Photo: UNDP Africa.
“If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” This old African proverb underpins UNDP’s engagement with philanthropic foundations for the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda. Ghana is the fourth country – following Kenya, Colombia and Indonesia – where we are connecting local foundations with the UN, government, private sector and civil society led policy discussions and development initiatives. The project is in collaboration with our partners the Foundation Center and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and aims to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … Read more

The case for a better approach to drug control policy

23 Jul 2015 by Tenu Avafia, Policy Adviser, HIV, Health and Development Practice, Bureau for Development Policy and Javier Sagredo, Advisor on Democratic Governance and Citizen Security, UNDP in Latin America and the Caribbean

coca farmers in BoliviaMen working in the coca field in Bolivia. Photo: Ryan Anderton
The relationship between drug control policy and human development is complex and multifaceted. Both share a common objective to reduce drug-related harms. Yet drug control, human rights, public health and human development agendas often exist in isolation from each other. Policies aimed at prohibition and punishment form the international approach to drug control. Yet, there is ample evidence of the negative consequences of these policies. For the many farmers affected by poverty, conflict, and insecurity, cultivating illicit drug crops is a viable livelihoods option, yet international drug treaties ban the cultivation of these crops and require their eradication. … Read more

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda: A step forward on financing for development?

21 Jul 2015 by Gail Hurley, Policy Specialist on Development Finance

HaitiThe need to build capacities in risk preparedness and to ensure that the international community is able to respond to shocks with timely and adequate financial support is acknowledged in the Addis Abeba Action Agenda. Photo: UNDP in Haiti
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda lays out the steps the international community promises to take to fund the world’s new sustainable development agenda – to be agreed in New York in September. This new document must also chart a path for how we can address the challenges which have emerged – or become more pronounced – since the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, such as climate change, accelerated environmental degradation and inequality. So did we get our ‘Monterrey Plus’ in Addis Ababa? In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … 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

A new development model to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges

15 Jul 2015 by Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific

Kazakhstan is becoming a donor to other countries. Photo: UNDP in Kazakhstan
As economies boom in developing countries across the world, and many of these countries graduate to Middle Income Country status, the landscape of development is being fundamentally reshaped. We are now witnessing a range of more nuanced and complex development situations, which call for a new approach to meeting some of the world’s toughest development challenges. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … 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

The macroeconomics of development financing

09 Jul 2015 by Degol Hailu, Senior Advisor, UNDP

Mean years of schooling in countries employing relaxed macroeconomic policies are 1.5 years higher than those which adopted more restrictive policies.
During the summit on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the world community will agree to strengthen domestic resource mobilization capacity, increase the availability of external funds, reduce the cost of sending remittances and tackle illicit financial flows. However, all of these measures could be futile if countries adopt macroeconomic policies that are not developmental. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … Read more