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UNDP Global

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by Christopher Boian,

Director of International News Services, RIA Novosti, the international news agency in Moscow.


"How do you quantify dignity? What is the mathematical equation for overcoming adversity? Where is the algorithm for finding the courage to speak the truth?

As I read and reread entries in the UNDP storytelling competition, I grew, successively, interested, impressed and, finally, deeply moved by these vital, first-hand accounts of people striving, of forward progress, of communities working to become a little better – of humanity developing. And as a member of the jury for the competition, I wrestled with the dilemma: is it possible, objectively, to rank these brief works, each of which describes a reality of its own?"



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The Development Advocate

Jan 30, 2015

The first issue of The Development Advocate showcases the 12 winning entries of UNDP’s first annual storytelling competition in an easy-to-read and cost-efficient newspaper-style format. 


When we asked our colleagues around the world for submissions, we received more than 180 stories from 67 Country Offices. All of the stories you are about to read tell of the transformational change we contribute to across the four pillars of our mandate: poverty reduction; democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; and environment and sustainable development.


Extract of the letter from the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark

Overview of stories

  • UNDP and Tunisia's Radio Mosaique FM teamed up to create “DemocraTweet,” a voters’ education game aimed at mobilizing youth ahead of Tunisia's first free democratic elections.more 

  • Burundi citizens received free identification cards, allowing them to vote, legally marry and receive free health care. more 

  • A comprehensive electoral cycle support project in Timor-Leste has boosted female political participation.more 

  • Indonesia's poor are learning about their legal rights and gaining access to justice, thanks to a legal empowerment and assistance project.more 

  • A new national AIDS law in Kyrgyzstan helps to reduce discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS and grants them priority access to medication and primary care facilities. more 

  • Criminal victims and witnesses can now turn to support offices for guidance on courtroom procedures and how to protect their rights. more 

  • A UNDP-sponsored poverty reduction programme has provided fisherman in Gaza with new nets, allowing them to expand their businesses and boost their incomes. more 

  • Members of Zambia's Lake Tanganyika community have received small loans to develop environmentally-friendly, sustainable livelihoods. They are turning away from excessive fishing, and taking up agricultural and farming activities instead. more 

  • Peru's poorest and most vulnerable citizens have received energy-efficient cook stoves, which eliminate smoke from households and reduce dependency on firewood. more 

  • A UNDP programme has helped 20 of China's poorest villages recover from the devastating 2008 earthquake. more 

  • The UNDP-initiated Transitional Justice Programme (PAJUST) helped to investigate human rights violations carried out during Guatemala's internal armed conflict, providing closure for families, dignity for victims and reparations for survivors.more 

  • Youth unemployment is one of the major causes of war in Sierra Leone and a serious threat to the peace that prevails in the country today. An estimated 800,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 35 are actively searching for employment.more