Our Perspective

      • Local governance is the cornerstone of an effective post-2015 framework | Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

        24 Jun 2013

        A district police chief meets with local village heads and religious leaders in Farza, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Through a UNDP-supported programme, citizens in Afghanistan are cooperating with police officers in community-policing initiatives. (Photo: Sayeed Farhad Zalmai/UNDP Afghanistan)

        Critical objectives of the post-2015 development agenda such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and exclusion, and achieving environmental sustainability, depend on local action and leadership coordinated with all levels of governance. There is no doubt that effective development and service delivery require viable multi-level governance. At a recent meeting on Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG), I challenged development partners to go beyond advocating for local governments and to take more concrete actions to integrate them into decision-making processes. I encouraged them to improve their methodologies for facilitating governance at the local level, particularly in post-conflict and fragile situations. Beyond service delivery, local governments are critical agents for reconciliation and the re-establishment of the social contract between the state and the people. Decentralization and local governance partners agree that effective local development requires not only a multi-level process but also a multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach. At UNDP, we recognize from knowledge and experience that effective development requires multi-level governance which will close the policy gaps, deal with capacity deficiencies, and look at resource inadequacies. The three-day event – where the United Nations (UNDP, UNCDF, and UN-Habitat) hosted representatives of 27 multilateral and bilateral organizations on effective multi-level governance – was also an Read More

      • 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 nearly Read More

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

        14 Jun 2013

        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. But Read More

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