If you want it done, take action

12 Aug 2015 by Lei Phyu, Communications & Social Media Analyst, Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP

young Syrian womanYouth participate in a rubbish removal initiative in As-Salamieh, Syria. Photo: UNDP Syria
It pains me when people on social media comment that everyday civic engagement isn’t their responsibility and should be solely the work of governments and the UN. Civic engagement is defined as “individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern.” We don’t all need to be leaders, but we should all take part in our society. If we get a cut, do we treat ourselves right away or do we wait for a leader to bring us a Band-Aid? If we want an improvement in our community done right, our way, why shouldn’t we take initiative rather wait for permission from a leader to do it for us? … Read more

Indigenous knowledge has life

07 Aug 2015 by Alejandra Pero, Coordinator, World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers, Equator Initiative

indigenous woman talking about plantsAustralian indigenous forest ranger Alison Hunt teaches people about Bush Tucker Yams. Photo: WIN/Anson Smart
How traditional knowledge is collected and shared is increasingly becoming an issue of both concern and opportunity for indigenous peoples and local communities around the world. Digital technology’s potential to record information can lead to great benefits, but also raise questions around consent and digital sovereignty. Who owns the data recorded, where is the data being stored, who has the right to the data, and can it be destroyed? There is potential for good use of the new available technology. … Read more

Invest in infrastructure, invest in development

29 Jul 2015 by Stefano Pettinato, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for El Salvador and Belize

airport workerDuring the year and a half project, it directly employed 314 men and 23 women and generated 1,500 indirect jobs. Photo: Mauricio Martínez/UNDP El Salvador
Roads, buildings, airports – seemingly practical infrastructure developments can not only meet the demands of society, but also fulfill the requirements and rights of individuals, leading to better human development. The development and strengthening of logistical and transportation infrastructure has a potential impact both on economic development and poverty reduction. Transportation infrastructure is of vital importance to the standard of living of a population. It links urban and rural areas, connects the country internationally, facilitates access to basic services such as education and health, and contributes to the sound functioning of cities, rendering them more competitive. Furthermore, logistical infrastructure can play an instrumental role when it comes to creating high-quality jobs and bolstering competitiveness in the production of goods and services, enhancing increased productivity and efficiency, which reflects lower costs. … 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 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 paradox of development financing in Caribbean small islands

07 Jul 2015 by Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Trinidad and Tobago Country Office

Small island developing states in the Caribbean continue to experience social development challenges related to citizen security, public health, climate change and natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy's impact in Jamaica, 2013.
Small island developing states in the Caribbean are, for the most part, middle income countries and rank relatively high on the Human Development Index. In spite of this, they continue to experience social development challenges related to citizen security, public health, widening income gaps, retention of highly trained nationals, climate change and natural disasters. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … Read more

South-South cooperation -- how can we maximize its impact on sustainable development?

11 Jun 2015 by Grace Wang, UNDP's lead adviser on South-South and Triangular Cooperation

fishermen in CubaRisk Reduction Management Centers, a successful initiative in hurricane-prone Cuba, are being scaled up across partnering Caribbean states. Photo: Carolina Azevedo/ UNDP
South-South Cooperation is gaining new momentum as global political and economic realities change rapidly. It is also adding critical value to development. So how can we ensure that the larger potential of SSC is reflected in ongoing discussions on financing for development, while recognizing its differences from more traditional forms of ‘North-South’ development cooperation? In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … Read more

Innovation, state of the art of development

09 Jun 2015 by Stefano Pettinato, Resident Representative a.i. for Belize and El Salvador

Latin America and the Caribbean are starting to emphasize the importance of innovation as the engine for confronting development challenges. Photo: UNDP El Salvador
Creative inspiration is a characteristic commonly found among artists, and to some extent it is hard to explain. Living as we do in the age of Google and Wikipedia, which provide immediate gratification to whatever question we may have, the search for solutions that are inherently creative and innovative calls for a particular kind effort. Some solutions do exist, however, that can help us harness our imagination and creativity in our work as development stakeholders. In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. … Read more

What are the development solutions for displacement?

08 Jun 2015 by Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

woman and childrenAziza Galmi, 39, left Central African Republic for Chad with her three daughters after losing her husband. Photo: UNDP in Chad
The tumultuous events in countries like Yemen, Iraq, Ukraine, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have left millions of people displaced. Over 50 million people around the world are living as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees. According to UNHCR figures, over three quarters of the 50 million are in a state of protracted displacement— lasting for over 5 years. It is obvious that conflict in these countries may not end soon. … 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