"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

In Haiti, a neighbourhood converts ideas into innovation and opportunities

26 May 2015 by Rita Sciarra, Head of the Poverty Reduction Unit, UNDP Haiti

Forty initiatives were selected and an initial capital of US$500 to $1,500 was awarded, so they could transform their "idea" into a reality. Photo: UNDP Haiti
Fort National is a very poor and dangerous neighbourhood of Puerto Príncipe, a neighbourhood identified with high crime rates, violence, and large numbers of weapons. The mere mention of its name sets off alarm bells, warning you "Do not enter". In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. … 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

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

POPs Hunter: Smartphone game spreads serious message about pollutants

08 May 2015 by Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director, UNDP China

Primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall holds a POPs publicity poster during a visit to UNDP.Renowned conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall shows support for the #StopthePops campaign during a visit to UNDP in Beijing. Photo: UNDP China
Heptachlor, Mirex, Toxaphene, Endrin – these are not part of our everyday vocabulary, but without knowing it many of us come into contact with them on a regular basis. In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. … Read more

IATI and the UN System: Leading by example on open data

20 Apr 2015 by Annelise Parr, Effective Development Cooperation Specialist, Bureau for Development Policy

Discussions around the SDGs highlight that greater access to information enables individuals to hold leaders and development actors accountable. … Read more

Fighting corruption: Adapting ‘best practices’ or ensuring a ‘best fit’ to local contexts

20 Mar 2015 by Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, Director, USPC and Ahjung Lee, Programme and Policy Officer, USPC

 SeoulKorea’s case is particularly interesting because of its rapid economic and social development despite governance challenges such as corruption.
At UNDP’s Seoul Policy Centre for Global Development Partnerships, we often get to hear: “Korea developed so fast. I want to know how this happened, so that I can help my country too”. Policy makers and practitioners in developing countries find Korea’s case particularly interesting because of its rapid economic and social development despite governance challenges such as corruption. At the 2015 Seoul Debates, participants honestly wanted to take practical and immediate solutions home, and found Korea’s innovative tools particularly attractive. Besides the integrity assessment of Korea’s anti-corruption body - conducted by over 600 public organizations in Korea, and now applied in several countries including Bhutan - there was also the electronic subcontract payment system for transparent public infrastructure projects of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Other countries also shared their experiences, among them Uganda and Columbia. Uganda’s Inspector General of Government shared how her country had exceeded its target of prosecuting 50 cases of corruption per year, and stressed the importance of working with all stakeholders both within and beyond the country. Our colleagues from UNDP Colombia shared a transparency assessment tool that helps political parties manage the integrity of political processes. Yet we deliberately avoided the ‘best practices approach,’ or … Read more

IATI and the UN System: Leading by example on open data

17 Feb 2015 by Annelise Parr, Global Policy Specialist, IATI, Development Impact Group, Bureau for Policy and Programming Support

 UNDP is the top-ranked multilateral organization in global aid transparency. Photo: UNDP
The International Aid Transparency Initiative presents a chance for the UN family to lead the movement toward greater openness. … Read more

Innovative public-private partnerships are key to Post-2015 success

13 Feb 2015 by Neil Buhne, Director of UNDP's Geneva Liaison Office

 Kazakhstan produces 343,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year. Through a public-private partnership the country is now making positive changes to their e-waste disposal. Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan making changes to e-waste disposal through an unusual public-private partnership
In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their experiences and views on innovation in development practice. In a world where links between countries are greater and faster than ever, disasters that once might have had only local effects now increasingly have international ramifications. The effects from the tsunami/meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima reactor, for example, had devastating local consequences, but also impacted communities and economies thousands of miles away. In such an interconnected world, with impacts that touch upon all of society, locally and internationally, we need equally all-embracing approaches. While challenging, an increasingly interlinked world also provides unprecedented opportunities to reduce risk. Countries that might have once been at a dire disadvantage from a skills and knowledge perspective now have the ability to draw upon international resources. And the private sector—which operates in perhaps an even more hyper-connected environment than governments—can be called on to provide expertise. Our goal then, as we move into the post-2015 context, is to learn how to tap into these areas and to make use of innovative partnerships that draw on specific strengths and address identifiable gaps. The Get Airports Ready for Disasters (GARD) programme, a joint venture between UNDP and Deutsche Post DHL, … Read more

Infrastructure for Development: Show me the Money!

10 Feb 2015 by Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Solar panels in GazaA Renewable energy generation project, implemented by UNDP and funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), installed solar panels in schools and maternity clinics in Gaza. Photo: UNDP/PAPP
According to the Oxford University Said Business School, we are facing an unprecedented infrastructure mega-project investment era, amounting to 6-9 trillion US$ annually, or 8% of the global GDP. Whether it involves revamping old infrastructure, developing new sources of energy, providing access to social services and utilities to more people (with the paradigm of universal access in sight) or developing our communications infrastructure, it is easy to be in favour of more, and better, infrastructural development. The issue is not for poor countries alone to struggle with. President Obama wants to upgrade the US roads, bridges and ports by imposing new taxes on overseas earnings by American companies. Little can be said against infrastructure as a public good. The problem is how to interest private finance in that public good.       As the Secretary-General said in his post-2015 agenda Synthesis Report last December, “Urgent action is needed to mobilise, redirect, and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives.” Infrastructure makes life better, economies more competitive, and while being built, offers jobs to the value chain. On the other side, however, infrastructure also massively consumes cement and increases emissions. It is one … Read more