Our Perspective

      • Scaling up local development innovations to reduce poverty and inequality | Selim Jahan

        18 Jun 2013

        A video on UNDP's work, presented to the Executive Board. (UNDP)

        'Think global, act local’ is a motto critical for development. And this, I believe, is at the heart of scaling up. By expanding small, successful projects to the national level, informing policies and strengthening institutions, scaling up can ensure coverage, impact, and sustainability for programmes aimed at supporting some of the world’s poorest people. UNDP and its partners around the world are working with governments to sustain and scale up successful innovations that provide opportunities to as many vulnerable and marginalized groups as possible. The need remains urgent. While we have achieved great progress toward some of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, current projections indicate that in 2015 almost 1 billion people will be living on less than US $1.25 per day. Through the Republic of Korea-UNDP MDG Trust Fund, we are supporting nine countries to scale up proven development solutions. To date, these projects have helped to improve the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people. These include: • In Colombia, job centres that offer business counseling, entrepreneurship training, and career opportunities opened up across the country, focusing particularly on vulnerable communities. More than 21,000 people, 59 percent women, have already been trained and 7,000 businesses developed, generating nearlyRead More

      • Will the Post-2015 report make a difference? Depends what happens next | Duncan Green

        14 Jun 2013

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        Climate change is causing unique challenges for countries such as Bangladesh, pictured above. The environment must be considered "if we are to sustain progress in tackling poverty," Green writes. (Photo: Munir Uz Zaman/FAO)

        Reading the report of the High Level Panel induces a sense of giddy optimism. It is a manifesto for a (much) better world, taking the best of the Millennium Development Goals, and adding what we have learned in the intervening years – the importance of social protection, sustainability, ending conflict, tackling the deepest pockets of poverty, even obesity (rapidly rising in many poor countries). The ambition and optimism is all the more welcome for its contrast with the daily grind of austerity, recession and international paralysis (Syria, climate change, the torments of the European Union). But then the doubts start to creep in. What’s missing is always harder to spot than what is in the text, but three gaps are already clear: The emerging global concern over inequality is relegated to national politics. The concept of poverty is pretty old school – income, health, education, and fails to recognize the considerable progress made in measuring "well-being" – the level of life satisfaction people feel. Finally there is too little recognition that the earth is a finite ecosystem, and that we need to make a reality of the concept of planetary boundaries if we are to sustain progress in tackling poverty. ButRead More

      • Sustainability must combine environmental concerns with poverty reduction | George Bouma

        12 Jun 2013

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        Addressing poverty-environment issues is essential for achieving sustainable development. Above, children in Rwanda. (Photo: PEI)

        With 2015 around the corner, one question dominates the global development agenda: what will replace the Millennium Development Goals? Twelve years on from the historic Millennium Declaration, indicators show that our failure to protect our environmental systems is undermining much of the progress that has been made in helping the world’s poorest communities. The stories from around the globe are all too familiar. Small-holder farmers in Tanzania have been suffering smaller yields as a result of soil degradation; communities in Bangladesh are struggling to cope with increasingly erratic weather conditions as a result of climate change; indigenous peoples in Latin America and South-East Asia are searching for alternative livelihoods where high levels of deforestation have robbed them of their principal economic assets. It is now clear that the post-2015 agenda must tackle the relationship between poverty and sustainability if it is to bring about long-lasting change. Efforts to bring the three strands of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic) into a single policy lens have a long history, dating back to the 1980s and ranging up to more recent Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. Despite progress in many areas, such plans have struggled to bring about enduring and institutional change. Often, internationalRead More

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The Speakers Corner helps connect think tanks, academia, the media and the public to a diverse group of experts who can speak to UNDP’s commitment to “empower lives” and build "resilient nations.”

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