Young people use design thinking to come up with solutions for poverty reduction

October 19, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT) marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty by organizing an Ideathon on "Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting Dignity in Practice for All. The purpose behind it has been to raise awareness and encourage young people from across Uzbekistan to brainstorm and develop creative solutions that promote decent work and social protection, thereby contributing to the global effort to eradicate poverty.

Celebrated since 1987 as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty and recognized by the United Nations in 1992, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is highlighted in 2023 as intimately linked to ‘decent work’ and ‘social protection’ as drivers in ending poverty and achieving dignity in practice.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

That is why the Ideathon focused on three critical areas as “Purpose and the future of work: social enterprises as an alternative to business-as-usual”, “Filling the Gaps in Social Protection: The future of public services”, “Empowering the Care Economy: Innovations for Recognizing, Reducing, and Rewarding Care and Domestic Work”, in order to identify practical strategies for creating sustainable employment and inclusive economic opportunities, to solve the challenges faced by low-income families and persons with disabilities, ensuring that no one is left behind, and to create solutions to transform the care economy through identifying, documenting and amplifying market-based solutions that recognize, and reduce, redistribute and reward unpaid and paid care and domestic work.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Anas Fayyad Qarman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Uzbekistan

“Let us remember that our actions can change lives, transform communities, and shape the future. The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to promote awareness and take meaningful action to eradicate poverty in all its forms. It is a day when we come together as a global community to reaffirm our commitment to building a world where every individual can live in dignity and prosperity.”
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The ideathon concluded with pitch presentations where students from 8 universities pitched their projects to the audience, experts from different fields evaluated their projects, gave feedback, and awarded top 3 projects with laptops in hope it will help them develop their ideas further.

Through collaborative efforts UNDP and WIUT are taking significant steps to engage young people in idea-generation and solution-mapping for addressing socio-economic inequalities, reducing poverty, and promoting sustainable development.

This initiative was made possible through the generous support of the governments of Luxembourg and the Republic of Korea, channelled via UNDP's Funding Windows.

More about the project: Addressing socio-economic inequalities in a time of global and regional instabilities | United Nations Development Programme (