Professors become students: Bringing data journalism into the classroom


Filed under: Guest posts Other


The power of data does not come from technology, but from the stories we are able to tell around the data.

Having access to data isn’t enough. We need more journalists who can use the data to tell impacting stories.

This is why I recently helped to facilitate an intensive 12-day workshop in Montenegro, where we explored with journalism professors ways of bringing data journalism into the classroom.

The event brought together journalism professors and communications and computer science faculty. Check out some of the main takeaways below.

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Labour migrants in Central Asia deserve our attention


Filed under: Human rights and rule of law Migration and remittances

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Nurlan came to Moscow a few years ago to work at a construction site. He works 12-hour shifts including weekends.

He has a wife and five children to feed in native Tajikistan. In order to save and send more money to his family, he shares a one-room apartment with seven other people.

Nurlan’s work is physically exhausting, with barely any free time to spare. Last month, Nurlan’s compatriot fell from the sixth floor of the construction they were building. He didn’t have a safety belt, nor a safety helmet. Nurlan felt really upset about the accident, but having no alternative job prospects, continues to work at the same place.

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Organising an innovation camp? Here are 4 things you need to consider

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Filed under: Development 2.0


Last month’s “Healthcare Heroes” was our fifth innovation camp in five years.

For the uninitiated, social innovation camps are intended as a space for using tech to solve social challenges. These two-day events help to crowdsource ideas, especially from those citizens (youth, or minorities) who are often lacking access to contribute to issues directly affecting them.

Building on UNDP’s “Toolkit for Troublemakers,” here are 4 tips from us for your next innovation event:

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Rethinking the way the world deals with refugees


Filed under: Development Human rights and rule of law Migration and remittances Peace and security Social inclusion


Syrian refugees Sfook Ali Alhelal and Fatima Hushein sit with their family in a two-room apartment in Amman, Jordan. They fear being evicted because they are struggling to pay the rent. (Freya Morales / UNDP)

A year ago, masses of people fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan began to stream through the  western Balkans on their way to northern Europe. Like anyone following the news closely, I was deeply moved by the chaotic scenes of crowded fields and train stations.

A year on, these images have all but disappeared, but the numbers are telling a very different story. According to the International Organization for Migration, by July this year arrivals were up 17% compared  with arrivals during the first seven months last year, many of them arriving through Italy and Greece.

Europe’s migration crisis is showing no signs of abating. That’s because the crises fueling it are intensifying, uprooting ever growing numbers from their homes. It doesn’t help that refugees are being quarantined or spurned in many places where they set foot. Those kind of measures create even more poverty and despair among already traumatized people. Read more »

No longer in the dark ages: Solar power brings life to rural Croatia


Filed under: Development Social innovation

Milka and Stevo Balać in front of their solar system in Cikote (Photo: Mislav Kirac)

What if you lived far from the grid? If you wanted power desperately but could not access it?

In the small village of Cikote, Milka and Stevo Balac have been living without electricity for more than 10 years.

Dusty light-bulbs are still in their fixtures, but they are just a memory of what it was like to have a light, refrigerator and a radio. By the time I first met them, both Milka and Stevo had lost any hope for ever getting back access to electricity. Read more »

United by a passion for a stronger world


Filed under: Development


It’s International Youth Day! Over the last two years, UNDP in Azerbaijan has collaborated to establish a Model United Nations and boost the MUN movement in the country.

The Model UN movement unites youth from different educational backgrounds and social status. Their shared interest in global affairs unites them, creating a strong network of Azerbaijani youth. Nearly 900 young people have participated.

What is that experience like for a young Azerbaijani? 21-year old Sheyda Karimova, majoring in American Studies, writes about her experience.

Day 1

It’s 8.30 and the bus is packed with sleepy people who have little idea what awaits them in the upcoming days.

We’re on our way to the Model UN conference. The introvert in me is panicking. What have I got myself into?

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Step aside, Pokemon Go: Moldova goes Mega to fight climate change


Filed under: Climate change Development 2.0

Dried Fruit and Nuts exhibition, UNECE 66th Session, 14 April 2015, Geneva. The Nuts and Dried Fruit exhibition shows how UNECE agricultural standards facilitate international trade and warrant quality and food safety. It offers visitors a unique possibility to taste products from all over the world.

The economic losses of Moldova related to natural disasters are almost 61 million USD.

The disastrous droughts of 2007 and 2012 affected over 70 per cent of the territory of the country. They were also historically the most severe droughts in the entire instrumental record period.

Though the intensity and frequency of such disasters are expected to increase, it is not easy to start a public debate about climate change.

Even beyond Moldova, climate change is often considered a myth, and it often takes a lot of work – and creativity – to convince people that it is real, that it is happening now and that we need to act.

So we wondered: Could we use gaming as a way to raise awareness?

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Controlling guns protects women and a law obeying society


Filed under: Gender equality Human rights and rule of law Peace and security


I am deeply saddened by the tragedy Serbia has faced, where a recent mass shooting left five people dead and twenty injured.

This event brought to light once again three major but often ignored problems – the large scale availability of illicit firearms, its impact on public safety, and most specifically its impact on intimate partner and domestic violence.

Like the rest of the Western Balkans, Serbia is awash with firearms. The authorities estimate that between 200,000 and 900,000 weapons are in illegal possession. This is a staggering figure.

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“I’m Not Afraid to Tell”: How Kazakh women are breaking the silence on gender-based violence


Filed under: Gender equality


Over the past few months, I’ve witnessed as women in Kazakhstan break their silence on sexual violence.

A campaign titled #ЯнеБоюсьСказать (I’m not afraid to tell) и НеМолчи (Don’t keep Quiet) has led to many women sharing their stories. One of them is Dina Tansari (pictured), a well-known TV producer.

“…I was unconscious. They left me in front of my flat, rang the bell, and ran away. In the morning I couldn’t remember anything, except for my mum’s screams when she found me…,” she wrote on her Facebook wall.

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